A Little Crime Carried The Sentence Of Death Penalty Essay

1000 Words 4 Pages
In 1688 very little crime carried the sentence of death. Among the crimes punishable by death were, murder, rape, treason, and generally arson. During this period as little as fifty crimes required the death penalty. However, this quantity would increase drastically. By 1765 the number of criminal offenses that were punishable by death increased from no more than fifty in 1688 to one hundred and sixty. An additional sixty-five offenses were given the death penalty by 1815. Two-hundred and twenty-five crimes stood punishable by death by 1815. In hindsight, it appears that nearly everything was a capital crime. The multitude of crimes that carried a capital offense were not as severe as murder, arson, rape, and treason. The crimes that now carried capital punishment in the 1700s included petty acts such as, cutting down a young tree and stealing from a rabbit warren. The jarring system of English criminal law from the year 1688 to 1815 is generally given the label of, “The Bloody Code.” There is an obvious shift when examining the era of the Bloody Code from beginning to end. Many of the crimes that eventually carried the sentence of death were crimes that involved personal property. The English legal system became more susceptible to the Bloody Code in a time where significant changes were taking place. During this era events, such as, The Glorious Revolution and The Napoleonic Wars took place. The English legal system would eventually progress into a more strident one in…

Related Documents