The Anglo-Saxon Justice System

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The criminal justice system changed over time from the centuries during the Anglo-Saxon time period to the centuries of the Middle Ages. Justice transformed from a savage way of punishment to more organized and civilized. The Canterbury Tales and Beowulf reflect the change, and even the continuity, of punishments due to legal justice of the Anglo-Saxon and the Middle Ages.
Anglo-Saxon Justice System
Justice System Overview
The way the Anglo-Saxons handled legal justice in their time period could be described as “primitive” and “almost all disciplinary.” The justice system in Anglo-Saxon times was not highly developed and was mostly focused on punishment for crime or issues of morality. (~Church and Law in the Early Middle Ages~)
Law Enforcement
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The primitive way of justice in the Anglo-Saxon times continued on into the Middle Ages, as it “tended to be savage.” (~Daily Life~) However, “common law was custom,” (~Medieval Expectations of Law~) and “early medieval councils show a degree of social awareness which is quite remarkable.” (~Church and Law~) They used imprisonment, but sparingly; “the keep seemed to have prison facilities. (~Daily Life~)
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Overall, many aspects of the justice system in the Anglo-Saxon time period seemed to be similar to that of the Middle Ages. For example, the punishments were often handled directly, according to the crime. However, the Anglo-Saxons set a price to crime, using wergilds, where crimes in the Middle Ages had specific punishments. The justice system has continued to be important to societies for centuries to ensure order, and laws from the centuries of the Anglo-Saxons to the Middle Ages have either changed or remained the same, according to
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