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Also this is spelled accessary.'In the field of felony the common law divided guilty parties into principals and accessories.' .' Perkins, Criminal Law 643 (2d ed. 1969). Principals came to be classified as in the first degree (perpetrators) or in the second degree (abettors) and accessories as before the fact (inciters) or after the fact (criminal protectors). 'According to the ancient analysis only the actual perpetrator of the felonious deed was a principal. Other guilty parties were called 'accessories', and to distinguish among these with reference to time and place they were divided into three classes: (1) accessories before the fact, (2) accessories at the fact, and (3) accessories after the fact. At a relatively early time the party who was originally considered an accessory at the fact ceased to be classed in the accessorial group and was labeled a principal. To distinguish him from the actual perpetrator of the crime he was called a principal in the second degree. Thereafter, in felony cases there were two kinds of principals, first degree and second degree, and two kinds of accessories, before the fact and after the fact.' Perkins, Criminal Law 643 (2d ed. 1969). 

The California Penal ...

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