Purpose and History of Punishment

Topics: Prison, Death Penalty, Crime Pages: 2 (785 words) Published: December 24, 2012
Purpose and History of Punishment
The American society of punishment has been heavily based on British law, which has in turn grown from Western capital punishment and personal retribution. In the seventh century A.D. leaders in government have begun to realize that crimes harmed society. The government started becoming more involved in controlling crimes and punishment for the crimes being committed. To protect the citizens the leaders of the governing body assembled a set of laws that were passed along with punishments for crimes. The government devised a list of different crimes that could have several different punishments, so the government determined a list of punishments that could fit the crimes. Throughout this era many of the punishments were very violent and many criminals were tortured to death. Punishment takes a different course in the Middle Ages and Renaissance era where government actually believed it was important to justify the punishment of convicted criminals. In this era many of the criminals would battle in an arena to the death for their trial, if they made it out alive they where proven innocent. Government in both the seventh century and Renaissance era believed in very gruesome torture to criminals for the crimes that where committed. Punishment to crime stared to change in the eighteenth century European era; the government at in this era had taken the time to discuss and decided that the torture that was happening for crimes had to be stopped. The Europeans had chosen to focus on the value of all people’s lives and focused on the fact that everyone had potential to serve for the good of life. In the European era the government stated to go away from liberty as a resource for punishment. The Europeans started to enforce incarceration as a form of punishment (The U.S. History of Capital Punishment, Jan,). Incarceration for punishment brings on prison development; some of the earliest prisons ever formed were in the sixteenth...
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