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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0008-0002-0006
23. Capias is a writ ordering the sheriff to take the body of the defendant; a distringas orders the sheriff to take goods of the defendant to compel his appearance. Black, Law Dictionary. “[I]f a process issuing out of a court of record to a sergeant at mace, sheriff, or other minister, be erroneous, as if a Capias issue, when a Distringas should issue, yet the killing of such a minister in the execution of that process is murder.” 1 Hale, Pleas of the Crown 457.