Crime and Punishment- Criminal Justice
During the time of Charles Dickens London had become a big city and crime was running rampant. The cure was to make punishment so severe that it would deter the criminals from committing the crimes. I believe that over a hundred crimes were punishable by death. One of those crimes was pick pocketing! In order to maximize the punishment and the deterrence there were public executions of the pick pockets. These drew huge crowds because executions in this period of time were particularly grizzly. There were no trapdoors. No hoods. The noose was placed around the neck while the victim stood on a large box and then the box was kicked away. The poor devil kicked and struggled until he passed out and then slowly died. The executions were very popular.
They were discontinued after a fairly short period of time though. You can probably guess the reason. Too many people were getting their pockets picked at the pick pocket hangings! Read the rest of this entry