An Eye for an Eye: A Global History of Crime and Punishment by Mitchel P. Roth

By Mitchel P. Roth

From “an eye for an eye” to debates over capital punishment, humanity has an extended and debatable dating with dispensing justice for legal acts. this present day, crime and punishment stay major components of our tradition, yet societies fluctuate vastly on what's thought of felony and the way it may be punished. during this worldwide survey of crime and punishment all through heritage, Mitchel P. Roth examines how and why we penalize convinced actions, and he scrutinizes the effectiveness of such efforts in either punishing wrongdoers and bringing a feeling of justice to victims.

Drawing on anthropology, archaeology, folklore, and literature, Roth chronicles the worldwide historical past of crime and punishment—from early civilizations to the outlawing of intercourse crimes and serial murder to the improvement of prepared crime and the danger this day of world piracy. He explores the start of the reformatory and the perform of incarceration in addition to the fashionable philosophy of rehabilitation, arguing that those are maybe crucial advances within the attempt to protect electorate from damage. having a look heavily on the retributions societies have condoned, Roth additionally examine execution and its many varieties, displaying how stoning, hemlock, the firing squad, and deadly injection are thought of both barbaric or justified throughout diverse cultures. eventually, he illustrates that regardless of advances in each point of human adventure, there's notable continuity in what's thought of a criminal offense and the sanctions administered.

Perfect for college kids, lecturers, and basic readers alike, this interdisciplinary booklet presents a desirable examine illegal activity and its results.

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Executions, while not quite the spectacle they would become in the later Roman Colosseum, were often conducted in public as a warning from the state to potential law breakers. This was especially so when it came to treason, rebellion and adultery, which were sometimes punished with burning at the stake. In other cases the preferred form of civilian execution was being impaled on a wooden stake,33 while murderers were beheaded. Egypt, like most ancient peoples, considered parricide the most serious crime and a more loathsome punishment was reserved for it.

In a 2009 study by Pew Research Center, 83 per cent of Pakistanis believed adulterers should die in this fashion. 26 Decapitation was seen as the quickest and most humane form of execution and was reserved for those who committed wilful murder and communal apostasy (renunciation of religion). From a twenty-firstcentury perspective, it would seem that ancient forms of execution such as beheading had been relegated to the grim past. However, over the past decade Islamic extremists have adopted the method to punish selected Westerners.

However, returning early from exile removed his cloak of protection, making him easy prey for anyone that sought to exact revenge. Deliberate homicides and bodily injuries, as well as cases of arson and poisoning, were tried at the Court of Areopagus (unintentional homicide was not punished). Over time executions made the transition from pieces of heavy wood to the sword. There is some debate as to what this wood looked like, but it probably resembled a club. Archaeological evidence suggests another execution protocol in which the condemned was fastened to a piece of wood standing in an upright position.

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