Benefit of clergy  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

In English law, the benefit of clergy was originally a provision by which clergymen could claim that they were outside the jurisdiction of the secular courts and be tried instead under canon law. Eventually, the course of history transformed it into a mechanism by which first-time offenders could receive a more lenient sentence for some lesser crimes.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Benefit of clergy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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