Crime and Punishment in Elizabethan England

788 Words Aug 11th, 2012 4 Pages
During the Elizabethan Era, crime and punishment was a brutal source of punishments towards criminals. The term “crime and punishment” was a series of punishments and penalties the government gave towards the people who broke the laws. In William Harrison’s article “Crime and Punishment in Elizabethan England”, says that “the concept of incarcerating a person as punishment for a crime was a relatively novel at the time” (1). This seemed reasonable at the time, because back then they didn’t sentence life in prison to criminals, so the only way for the government to issue out punishments for criminals was abuse, or murder. During the renaissance, the most common punishable crimes were “theft, cut purses, begging, poaching, adultery, debtors, …show more content…
5). The lethal punishments criminals took during this time seem unbearable to the punishments that are issued today, because it seems as almost people tried thinking of the most horrific ways to kill criminals. These people that decided on the types on punishment were “dealt by Justice of Peace” (Crime and Punishment in Elizabethan England, par.2). The Judicial system often gave a swift and brutal decision, meaning it came fast and the punishment was awful. The Judicial System seemed to be unfair to the criminals, because they say there were brutal, and often didn’t care what punishment they gave. There were many reasons why the Judicial System used these punishments. These punishments were used to “punish a person for his crimes, intimidate him and the group to which he belongs, gather information, and/or obtain a confession” (Different Kinds of Elizabethan Era Torture, par. 3). This was smart, because it seemed to make since, and seem logical to send a message to other criminals that justice will be served. These punishments criminals received prevented further crimes in the future. During the Elizabethan Era, “torture was regularly practiced and as a result, the people were tamed and afraid and crimes were low in number” (Different Kinds of Elizabethan Era Torture, par. 11).
The phrase “crime and punishment” means something different today. It is said that “capital punishment was completely done away with after 1965” (Capital Punishment in Modern British Law and
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