An ancient form of trial in which an accused person could call a number of people, usually 12, to swear to their belief in his or her innocence.
The former practice of clearing an accused person by the oaths of others testifying to that person's innocence.
Origin of compurgation
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin compurgātiōnem, from compurgāre (“to purify”).