Justice Ranking The criminal’s social ranking was incorporated in criminal charges. Higher classes (wealthy) : their problems were seen as moral. Lower classes (workers) : considered dangerous, disorderly, and always guilty.
Crimes Throughout the Victorian Era, theft crimes were the most common. Any reported theft crimes would be considered “lost property” with little importance. “Garroting”, or street robberies, were considered serious crimes.
Crimes… con’t. Violent crimes such as murder, street robbery, and sexual violence were highlights in newspapers. Domestic violence incidents at home were rarely justified. Family’s reputation was considered instead of the crime.
The Judge Is Always Right English courts were rude toward jury members, witnesses, and clients. They were rarely given details about a crime. If the jury disagreed with the judge, they would be bullied and disrespected.
The Judge… con’t. Clients were not given an attorney if they could not afford one. The Judge held past crimes and character against the client.
Court Conditions Courtrooms were disorganized, unsanitary, and had terrible ventilation. Courtrooms usually smelled like sewers. The court did not give out resources for lawyers. They had to share supplies of towels, combs, and water.
Punishment Punishments depended on the client’s social status and the degree of the crime. Common crimes often resulted in hanging, drowning, abuse, isolation, etc. Serious crimes resulted in hanging.
Punishment… con’t. Garroting resulted in flogging and imprisonment. Some prisoners were transported to Australia and left to die. “Houses of Correction” were prisons that isolated prisoners with only a Bible. This usually resulted in mental disorders.
Imprisonment Prisons were typically old, small, and badly-run. Children were put together with adults in degrading surroundings. Prisoners had to provide their own food and had access to little water.
Imprisonment… con’t. Prisoners would pay the “Gaoler” for punishment and food fees. If prisoners lacked money, they had to beg citizens who were passing the prison. If they behaved well, the prisoners were released early.
Work Cited Anderson, Jane. “Victorian Crime and Punishment.” EEBN. 2006: 1-4. Print. Dickens, Charles. “Courtroom Experiences in Victorian England.” The Victorian Web. 1996. Web. 11 Nov 2011. www.victorianweb.orgwww.victorianweb.org Emsley, Clive. “Crime and the Victorians.” BBC. 2002: 1-4. Print. 12 Nov 2011. “Victorian London in Depth.” The Victorian London. June 2006. Web. 12 Nov 2011. www.victorianlondom.html www.victorianlondom.html
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