MAYHEM, crimes. The act of unlawfully and violently depriving another of the use of such of his members as may render him less able in fighting either to defend himself or annoy his adversary; and therefore the cutting or disabling, or weakening a man's hand or finger, or striking out his eye or foretooth, or depriving him of those parts the loss of which abates his courage, are held to be mayhems. But cutting off the ear or nose or the like, are not held to be mayhems at common law. 4 Bl. Com. 205.
2. These and other severe personal injuries are punished by the Coventry act, (q. v.) which has been re-enacted in several of the states; Ryan's Med. Jurispr. 191, Philad. ed. 1832; and by congress. Vide act of April 30, 1790, s. 13, 1 Story's Laws U. S. 85; act of March 3, 1825, s. 22, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2006.