EXECUTION

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EXECUTION, in law, is a judicial writ grounded on a judgment of the court, by which the execution is issued, and is granted for the purpose of carrying the judgment into effect, being an order in the name of the supreme power of the state, or the executive branch of the gov ernment, attested by the court, to the sheriff marshal, or other officer, to whom it is directed, to cause the judgment of the court to be executed; as that a debt shall be levied against one party in favor of another; or that a punishment shall be inflicted, which has been awarded after due trial and conviction of the accused. Execution is granted by a court only upon the judgments given by the same court, not upon those pronouncedly another; for where satisfaction of a judgment given by one court is sought in another, a trial must be had in such other, and a new judgment there given, on which execution issues. Executions are of various descriptions, according to the kind of satisfaction ordered, as a capias ad satisfaciendum, or an arrest for giving satisfaction, by which the sheriff, &c, is ordered to arrest and imprison the party against which it is issued, until he satisfies a certain debt declared by the judgment to be due, or is otherwise discharged by order of law; a fieri facias, by which it is ordered that the amount of the debt be made of the goods and chattels of the party against which the execution is issued, for the satisfaction of the same; a levari facias, by which the officer is ordered to cause satisfaction of the judgment by a levy on the goods or lands of the debtor; an elegit, by which the judgment is ordered to be satisfied by setting off all the goods and half the lands of the debtor, by appraisement, to the creditor, in satisfaction of his debt, whereas, by the levari facifts, the goods of the debtor are sold by the officer, and the proceeds in money are paid over to the creditor; and the statute merchant or staple, in England, whereby execution issues upon an acknowledgment by the debtor, with certain forms, before some magistrate, and a record thereof, that he is indebted in a certain amount to the creditor; this is, in fact, obtaining a judgment for the debt before it is due, so that, on its becoming due, execution issues immediately without trial. The order issuing to an officer to execute a judgment given on an indictment, varies according to the penalty inflicted by the law for the crime or delinquency of which the party is convicted. In the U. States, the same execution is usually issued in favor of creditors, against the lands, goods and effects of debtors, and also against their bodies, it being ordered, that the officer should seize and sell the goods of the debtor for money to satisfy the judgment, or seize and sell, in some states, or set off at an appraised value in others, lands of the debtor, to the amount of the judgment, and, for want of goods, or of goods and lands, to imprison the debtor until he shall satisfy the debt, or be otherwise discharged by order of law, so that the same execution includes the capias ad satisfaciendum and levari facias. Many of the states make a distinction between a satisfaction from the goods and the lands of the debtor, by ordering his goods to be sold at auction, and the proceeds to be paid over to the creditor; but if the satisfaction is to be made out of the lands of the debtor, they are not sold for this pur pose, but set off on an appraisement to the creditor. Some states heretofore enacted stop laws, as they were called, providing that the goods of the debtor, instead of being sold at auction for money, should, as in the case of lands, be appraised, and, if the creditor would not take the goods, either at the appraisement or at some other rate specified by the law, in satisfaction of his debt, his execution should be delayed for a certain time, on the debtor's giving security, or complying with the other conditions in such case provided by the laws. This was, in substance, extending to a levy on goods the same principle which had prevailed, and still prevails, in many states, in respect to lands. EXECUTION. (See Death, Punishment of) EXECUTOR, in law, is one appointed by a man's last will, to carry its provisions into execution after the testator's death. The testator may, by the English law, as adopted in many of the U. States, appoint any person of sound mind and discretion, though under some legal disabilities, as to contracting and transacting business in general, such as a married woman, or a minor. In some of the states, however, the appointment is limited to persons of the age of 21. The duties of executors, and those of administrators (q. v.), are, in general, the same, the difference ol the two depending mostly on the mode of appointment, the executor being nominated by the testator, the administrator being appointed by the. judge of probate o and often an administrator is appointed to administer upon an estate under a will, as where the testator does not name an executor or where the executor named declines, or where the executor or administrator first assuming the trust has died, or is discharged by the court, where administration on the estate has once been granted and commenced, and, before it is completed, a new appointment is necessary, the person so appointed is called an administrator de bonis non, "with the will annexed," if there be a will. The administrator, with the will annexed, assumes the duties that would have belonged to the executor, if one had been appointed, or if the one appointed had acted, or had continued to act. Though a testator is at liberty to appoint any person to be his executor, with some few exceptions, the judge of probate is restricted, both in England and theU. States, in the appointment of an administrator, whether it be the one on an estate of a person dying intestate, or " with the will annexed," and whether it be the one originally appointed, or the one appointed de bonis non; for the widow and nearest of kin to the testator have a right to the appointment, unless they are under some legal disability. The statutes more generally provide, that the nearest of kin of the age of twentyone shall have the administration, either jointly with the widow, if there be one, or on her declining, or on there being some legal objection to her appointment. By other statutes on this subject, it is left to the discretion of the judge of probate, of the orphan's court, or of the magistrate, whoever he be, having this jurisdiction, to appoint either the widow or the next of kin. The principal creditors of the deceased are next entitled to this appointment. But a liberal discretion is generally vested in the magistrate as to this appointment. The same judge who appoints the administrator has the power of revoking the appointment.An executor de son tort, that is, an executor of his own wrong, is one who meddles with the administration of the goods of a person deceased, without any authority so to do, and he is accordingly answerable to the rightful executor, or administrator, when one is appointed. It is the duty of an executor, or administrator, after the will is proved, if the estate is to be administered under a will, to give notice of his appointment, make an inventory of the estate, and return it to the probate office or court; to take care of the personal property of the deceased, and see that it is not wasted; to collect the debts due to the estate, and, finally, to distribute the effects or their proceeds among the creditors, until their demands are paid, and then among the heirs and legatees, according to the directions of the will of the deceased, or according to the dispositions of the law, in case of its being the estate of a person dying intestate, or what is called, in the civil law, an estate ab intestato. In collecting the effects and debts, and so in investing the proceeds pending the administration, the executor, or administrator, for the most part, acts according to his own discretion ; but in making a distribution of them among the heirs or legatees, he is particularly'directed by the judge of probate. In the former case, he accordingly acts at his peril, and is liable, as are also his sureties, for his managing the estate with proper discretion ; but in distributing the effects and proceeds, he acts under a judicial decree, and so is secure from any personal liability. EXEGESIS (from the Greek iZvywis); the interpretation of the Scriptures. The science which lays down the principles of the art of sacred interpretation, may be called exegetics; though it is also designated by another nameliermeneutics. As the sacred books were composed by authors of a distant age and country, and in foreign languages, it is evident, that, in order to understand them, it is necessary to have not only a profound knowledge of the languages, but also a mass of historical, geographical and antiquarian knowledge ; and as the knowledge of Christian doctrine must be drawn from the Scriptures, it follows that the whole study of theology must proceed from exegesis. The most celebrated exegetic authors among the church fathers were Origen, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Diodorus of Tarsus, and Jerome. o In the middle ages, when people confined themselves almost exclusively to the Vulgate, or Latin translation, which was in common use, and most of the theologians were ignorant of the languages, exegesis was very much neglected. But the study was revived by the reformation, and the last century shows a multitude of eminent exegesists, particularly in the Protestant church, and especially in Germany.