RULE OF LENITY

RULE OF LENITY

rule of lenity (len-[schwa]-tee). The judicial doctrine holding that a court, in construing an ambiguous criminal statute that sets out multiple or inconsistent punishments, should resolve the ambiguity in favor of the more lenient punishment. ¡ª Also termed lenity rule. [Cases: Statutes 241(1).]
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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.