Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Complete And Utter

Drudge links to this story about a mother who allegedly made a deal with her grandmother to sell her son for $500.

The article notes that Additional felony charges of forgery and uttering are pending against Burns.

"Uttering?" What the heck is a charge of "uttering?"

Oddly, the first - and obsolete - definition of "uttering" in at least one dictionary is: to offer for sale

But the charge of the crime of "uttering" this errant mother faces has nothing to do with selling anything - including her child.

As one legal dictionary puts it (under "forgery"): "Uttering" is defined as "offering as genuine an instrument that may be the subject of forgery and is false with intent to defraud". This doesn’t involve just any writing. The document passed off as genuine must have some legal significance like a check or a deed.


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