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Crime and Punishment Through Time

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Presentation on theme: "Crime and Punishment Through Time"— Presentation transcript:

1 Crime and Punishment Through Time

2 The Romans c 450BC-600 AD The Romans had a very developed system of laws made by the Emperor and the Senate, written down, updated and covered all aspects of crime. First recorded in the 12 tables c. 450 BC and added to over the next 1000 years. In 535 AD Justinian brought all the laws into one book the Digest of Roman Laws, one and a half times the length of the Bible. No police force, but vigiles (patrols at night to prevent fires and stop crimes and catch runaway slaves) Urban Cohorts (keep order and stop riots, did not patrol) Praetorian guard (protect the Emperor). Punishments used to deter crime. Trials; had to be brought by the victims of crime, trained lawyers could be hired and juries tried serious cases, judges only for minor ones. Punishments; harsh and violent to deter crime, executions common although nobles would be exiled, could be sent into gladiator arena, prison only used for debtors as expensive to run, crucifixion used for some crimes.

3 Anglo-Saxons AD Roman empire collapsed c 450 AD no central government, primitive systems now used based on kings rule. Trials were usually by groups of people known to both the victim and accused and they would decide on guilt. Witnesses could be called and if difficult to decide then Trial by ordeal used, hot water and cold water for men and hot iron for women, consecrated bread for priests on trial. A priest supervised as most trials were inside the church. Punishments based on Wergild system, however serious crimes such as treason, arson, betraying your lord did carry death penalty. Regular offenders could suffer mutilation; cutting off hand, ear or nose or 'putting out’ of eyes. Law and Order maintained by: Blood feud Tithings Compurgation The hue and cry Juries

4 Normans AD In 1066 England conquered by William of Normandy how did this effect law and order: any Normans killed all local people paid fine called Murdrum fine kept basic laws of previous English kings New laws included forest laws – no-one allowed to cut down trees for fuel or building without permission, hunting or even caught with dogs or bows or arrows in forest punishable with mutilation, fines or even death. Rebellion against himself punishable by death. Death penalty for serious crimes and fines for lesser ones, but payable to the king’s officials rather than the victim, mutilation for some crimes. Introduced Trial by combat for disputes between individuals the accused and accuser fighting until one wins, victor innocent, defeated hanged. He did set up new courts called King’s courts which did help improve law and order. William so harsh it was said a man with a chest full of gold could travel throughout the country with no problems.

5 Medieval Law and Order 1200-1500
Important point: Most rules brought in by Anglo-Saxons and Normans still followed. By 1200 the wergild system had ended and all fines paid to the king or his officials, trials by ordeal ended in Manorial courts still used. Sheriffs had more importance and were responsible for apprehending criminals together with locally appointed unpaid officials called constables Hue and cry still used if people caught in act of crime New ideas of King’s peace – wherever the king was if a crime was committed there then punishment was death – the Grand Jury was used for important cases made up of leading citizens –travelling specialist justices Church courts became important for those who could prove they were a priest or other member of the clergy such as monks and nuns. Gave more lenient punishments in comparison to Royal courts etc. Trials were now more likely to be held with a Jury of 12 men, but punishments did not include imprisonment other than while waiting for trial. Execution and fines were most common. The stocks, pillory and whipping mostly used for minor crimes all carried out in public to scare possible future offenders.

6 Early Modern Britain Big idea in this period, make the punishment so harsh it would then deter people from committing crime! Most punishments used in the later Middle ages continued such as stocks pillory whipping, carting, ducking stool, fines and prisons still only used for criminals awaiting trial or for debtors. The system came to be called the ‘Bloody Code’ as most crimes were punishable by death, including theft of anything worth more than a shilling! New punishments were introduced during the period such as Bridewells or Houses of Correction from late 16th century for vagrants, unmarried mothers and runaway apprentices where they were whipped and set to hard labour. Also transportation was used from the 1660’s to the colonies, first America and from 1770’s Australia. Prisoners were treated as slaves and set to work for colonists. Typical crimes – vagabonds, Highwaymen, smugglers, poachers. In period witchcraft was believed to be a major problem and many ‘witches were executed. From Puritan laws even made drinking and not attending church a crime as well as banning Christmas, swearing, closing pubs and theatres. Still no police force and Hue and Cry still used, unpaid constables, but also now thief-takers who made a living from the rewards given for catching criminals.

7 The Industrial Age Changes during this period in Industry, education, growth of towns and acceptance of government intervention with political reform meant law and order changed. Big change was the abolition of the ‘Bloody Code’ by 1850, but was a gradual process over the 1820’s and 1830’s. It clearly was not working and putting off criminals. Public executions were not working and ideas were changing. Last public execution was in 1868 and only murder and treason were now capital crimes People now more interested in why people committed crime and wanted to find ways to prevent it. Transportation was increasingly being used in the early part of the period to Australia, but ended in 1868. Prisons were increasingly being used, although at start of period were terrible places with systems such as isolation and silent methods tried, but through work of people like Fry and Howard gradually they were improved with better conditions and segregation for men, women and children. However, hard labour was expected, but early release for good behaviour was introduced until 1860’s.

8 The Industrial Age Police force introduced – 1805 Bow Street runners in London, 1829 Metropolitan Police set up by Robert Peel and then copied by other cities around Britain. By 1860 police forces had been set up all over Britain and detective forces followed. System of trials was little changed. 90% of serious offenders were sent to prison, but fines were still common. Whipping and other physical punishments abolished except in prisons. New laws included 1870 it became compulsory for parents to send their children to school.

9 Crime and Punishment in the 20th/21st centuries
Crime is still a problem today, with many different types of crime such as internet fraud, credit card fraud etc, but still many of the old crimes such as murder, theft, rape and assault. The most worrying of modern crimes is terrorism. Today we have more agencies to deal with crime, a much larger and more efficient police force with women police officers at all ranks. Technology plays an important part in the modern police force, computerised records and surveillance equipment, CCTV etc. Prisons have changed over the century with the aim being to rehabilitate the criminal rather than just lock him/her away. Special prisons for mentally-ill prisoners and open prisons for those criminals who are near the end of their sentence and not regarded as a risk to society. Alternatives to prison are also considered such as Community Service orders and electronic tagging. Capital punishment was abolished in 1957 except for murder of police officer, prison officer, through explosion or shooting, or while resisting arrest. It was completely abolished for all crimes in 1965. Trials are still by jury in Crown courts, but many crimes go before a Magistrates court first and can be dealt with there only. Juvenile courts are often in more relaxed surroundings so as to not intimidate both the accused or the victims if they are young. Video links can be used in certain circumstances.

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