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An obsolete term. Persons who were present at the commission of a crime only for the purpose of aiding, countenancing, or encouraging its perpetration. They could not be brought to trial until the principal offenders had been convicted or outlawed. 

An accessory after the fact is one who, with knowledge of the other's guilt, renders assistance to a felon in the effort to hinder his detection, arrest, trial or punishment. See State v. Williamson, 282 Md. 103-105; Camphor v. State, 233 Md. 203, 205, 196 A. 2d 75 (1963); Thornton v. State, 232 Md. 542, 544, 194 A. 2d 617 (1963); Veney v. State, 225 Md. 237, 238, 170 A. 2d 171 (1961); Davis v. State, 38 Md. 15, 45 (1873); Agresti v. State, 2 Md. App. 278, 280, 234 A. 2d 284 (1967); 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *34-38; Clark & Marshall §§ 8.01-8.03, 8.06; Hochheimer §§ 31-36; Perkins at 643-669. For a neat summary of the common law of parties as applied to felonious homicide, see State v. Powell, 168 N. C. 134, 138, 83 S. E. 310 (1914). 

According to 18 U.S.C. § 3, an accessory after the fact is one ...

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