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Vandalism

VANDALISM

The intentional and malicious destruction of or damage to the property of another.

The intentional destruction of property is popularly referred to as vandalism. It includes behavior such as breaking windows, slashing tires, spray painting a wall with graffiti, and destroying a computer system through the use of a computer virus. Vandalism is a malicious act and may reflect personal ill will, although the perpetrators need not know their victim to commit vandalism. The recklessness of the act imputes both intent and malice.

Because the destruction of public and private property poses a threat to society, modern statutes make vandalism a crime. The penalties upon conviction may be a fine, a jail sentence, an order to pay for repairs or replacement, or all three. In addition, a person who commits vandalism may be sued in a civil tort action for damages so that the damaged property can be repaired or replaced.

Vandalism is a general term that may not actually appear in criminal statutes. Frequently, these statutes employ the terms criminal mischief, malicious mischief, or malicious trespass as opposed to vandalism. A group of individuals can be convicted of conspiring or acting concertedly to commit vandalism. Generally, the attempt to commit vandalism is an offense as well, but the penalties for attempted vandalism are not as severe as the penalties for a completed act. Penalties also depend on the value of the property destroyed or the cost of repairing it.

To obtain a conviction the prosecution must ordinarily prove that the accused damaged or destroyed some property, that the property did not belong to the accused, and that the accused acted willfully and with malice. In the absence of proof of damage, the defendant may be guilty of trespass, but not vandalism. If there is no proof that the defendant intentionally damaged the property, the defendant cannot be convicted of the crime but can be held liable for monetary damages in a civil action.

Some state statutes impose more stringent penalties for the destruction of certain types of property. Such statutes might cover the desecration of a church or synagogue, the destruction of

jail or prison property by inmates, and the intentional destruction of property belonging to a public utility.

Destructive acts will not be excused merely because the defendants acted out of what they thought was a noble purpose. Political demonstrators may exercise their first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association and assembly, but if they deface, for example, government property with spray-painted slogans, they can be convicted of vandalism.

The peak period for committing relatively minor property crimes is between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one. In the United States adolescent vandalism, including the wanton destruction of schools, causes millions of dollars of damage each year. Apprehending vandals is often difficult, and the costs of repairing the damage are passed on to taxpayers, private property owners, and insurance companies. Some states hold parents financially responsible for vandalism committed by their minor children, up to specified limits. These statutes are designed to encourage parental supervision and to shift part of the cost of vandalism from the public to the individuals who are best able to supervise the children who destroyed the property.

cross-references

Juvenile Law.

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"Vandalism." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Vandalism." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vandalism

Vandals

Vandals, ancient Germanic tribe. They originated in N Jutland and, along with other Germanic peoples, settled in the valley of the Oder about the 5th cent. BC They appeared in Pannonia and Dacia in the 3d cent. AD, apparently under imperial aegis. In the early 5th cent., the Vandals began a migration that was to take them farther than any other Germanic people. They invaded (406) Gaul, where the Franks, as allies of Rome, refused them permission to settle. In 409 they crossed the Pyrenees to Spain. After meeting opposition there, they concluded a peace with Roman Emperor Honorius, who recognized their right to the land, subject to imperial authority. While in Spain, however, they continued to fight the Romans and Visigoths and were able to develop their maritime power. In 428, Gunderic, the Vandal king, died and was succeeded by his brother, Gaiseric, whose leadership carried the tribe to its greatest heights. Pressed by the Goths, and taking advantage of unsettled conditions in Africa, the Vandals crossed (429) to that continent and defeated the Roman general Boniface. The tradition that they came at Boniface's invitation is probably false. By 435 the Vandals controlled most of the Roman province of Africa, and in 439 they took Carthage. Their vessels made pirate attacks on ships in the Mediterranean, and they went on plundering expeditions to Sicily and S Italy. In 442, Valentinian III recognized Gaiseric as an independent ruler, and Vandal migration ceased. The next years were spent in building a powerful kingdom. Their fleet controlled the Mediterranean, and even the Eastern Empire felt their power. In 455, Rome was sacked by Gaiseric's troops, and Empress Eudoxia and her two daughters were taken as hostages. The Vandals were Arian Christians, and, especially under Gaiseric and his son, Hunneric, they harshly persecuted Orthodox Christianity. The Roman emperors Marjorian and Leo I made attempts to destroy Vandal power, but Zeno was forced to make peace (476) with Gaiseric. After the death (477) of Gaiseric, however, the Vandals declined quickly as a dominant power. In 533, Justinian I sent against them an army under Belisarius, which after meeting weak resistance, captured Carthage. With this overwhelming defeat the Vandals ceased to exist as a nation. The Vandals were not an artistic people, and they left no monuments of their reign. The modern use of their name is probably derived from the fear and hatred felt toward them by African Catholics and a reminiscence of the sack of Rome.

See J. B. Bury, The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians (1928, repr. 1967); J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Barbarian West, 400–1000 (3d ed. 1967).

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"Vandals." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Vandals." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vandals

Vandal

Vandal a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, Rome (455), and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries, destroying many books and works of art. They were eventually defeated by the Byzantine general Belisarius (c.505–65), after which their North African kingdom fell prey to Muslim invaders.

The name is recorded in English from the mid 16th century; from the mid 17th century, the word vandal is used for a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.

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"Vandal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Vandal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vandal

Vandals

Vandals Germanic tribe who attacked the Roman Empire in the 5th century ad. In 409, they looted Roman Gaul and invaded Spain. Defeated by the Goths, they moved further south and invaded North Africa (429), establishing a kingdom from which they controlled the w Mediterranean. They sacked Rome in 455. In 533–534, Byzantine General Belisarius destroyed the Vandal kingdom.

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"Vandals." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Vandals." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vandals

vandalism

van·dal·ism / ˈvandlˌizəm/ • n. action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. DERIVATIVES: van·dal·is·tic / ˌvandlˈistik/ adj.van·dal·is·ti·cal·ly / ˌvandlˈistik(ə)lē/ adv.

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"vandalism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"vandalism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vandalism

vandal

van·dal / ˈvandl/ • n. 1. a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property: the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals. 2. (Vandal) a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries and sacked Rome in ad 455.

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Vandal

Vandal member of a Gmc. tribe which invaded Western Europe in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., and in 455 sacked Rome XVI; (v-) destroyer of beautiful or venerable things XVII. — L. Vandalus — Gmc. *Wandal-, il-, -ul- (repr. by OE. Wendlas pl., etc.).
Hence vandalism, vandalize XVIII.

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"Vandal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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vandal

vandaladdle, paddle, saddle, skedaddle, staddle, straddle •candle, Coromandel, dandle, Handel, handle, mishandle, Randall, sandal, scandal, vandal •manhandle, panhandle •packsaddle • side-saddle •backpedal, heddle, medal, meddle, pedal, peddle, treadle •Grendel, Kendall, Lendl, Mendel, Rendell, sendal, Wendell •cradle, ladle •beadle, bipedal, credal, needle, wheedle •diddle, fiddle, griddle, kiddle, Liddell, middle, piddle, riddle, twiddle •brindle, dwindle, kindle, spindle, swindle, Tyndale •paradiddle, taradiddle •pyramidal • apsidal •bridal, bridle, fratricidal, genocidal, germicidal, homicidal, idle, idol, infanticidal, insecticidal, intertidal, matricidal, parricidal, patricidal, pesticidal, regicidal, sidle, suicidal, tidal, tyrannicidal, uxoricidal •coddle, doddle, model, noddle, swaddle, toddle, twaddle, waddle •fondle, rondel •mollycoddle •caudal, chordal, dawdle •poundal, roundel •Gödel, modal, yodel •crinoidal •boodle, caboodle, canoodle, doodle, feudal, noodle, poodle, strudel, udal •befuddle, cuddle, fuddle, huddle, muddle, puddle, ruddle •bundle, trundle •prebendal • synodal •antipodal, tripodal •citadel •curdle, engirdle, girdle, hurdle •dirndl

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