Hue and cry

From Academic Kids

Hue and Cry were a Scottish pop group of the 1980s.

At common law, a hue and cry (Latin, hutesium et clamor) was a process by which bypassers were summoned to assist in the apprehension of a criminal who had been witnessed in the act of committing a felony.

By the statute of Winchester, 13 Edw. I cc. 1 and 4, (1285) it was provided that anyone, either a constable or a private citizen, who witnessed a felony shall make hue and cry, and that the hue and cry must be kept up against the fleeing felon from town to town and from county to county, until the felon is apprehended and delivered to the sheriff. All able bodied men, upon hearing the shouts, were obliged to assist in the pursuit of the criminal, which makes it comparable to the posse comitatus. It was moreover provided that a hundred that failed to give pursuit on the hue and cry would become liable in case of any theft or robbery. Those who raised a hue and cry falsely were themselves guilty of a felony.

In contemporary terms, the hue and cry is also used figuratively to describe the behaviour of the news media, seeking a scapegoat for some complex public calamity or instigating moral panics.

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