Crime and Punishment

The Crime and Punishment during the middle Ages including the Anglo-Saxon period was cruel and brutal. These times was a time of severe punishment and harsh torture for crimes that today would seem trivial and require consideration.  People were beheaded and limbs cut off, thefts were often whipped and chained in stocks. People lived in a state of fear thinking they would be the next victim. Even the Catholic Church used torture and imprisonment to obtain confessions from people regardless of whether they were guilty.

   Torture and punishment has existed for thousands of years. Roman and Greek law stated that only slaves were allowed to be tortured, eventually the laws changed and free men were tortured and imprisoned for committing crimes.

  People often had their right hand cut off for stealing, people were beaten, burned alive, stretched on a rack and women committing adultery were drowned.

   Suffocating people in water was a common practice. People were boiled in oil; eyes were burned out with tongs and fingers torn off. Crimes committed back in those days were similar to the ones of these days but more democratic consideration and less brutal punishments were carried out.