The Court of Oyer and Terminer (literally translated as “to hear and determine”) originated from English law; these courts were used to prosecute criminal offenses of an extraordinary and/or serious nature. The judges of assize sat on these commissions (along with some others) and were charged with the duty to inquire about the situation and prosecute those found guilty. Trials of treason, felonies, and misdemeanors that were committed in the areas specified by the commission were tried in these courts. First, the inquiry section of the ...

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