Crime has been around since the beginning of time. The way people have dealt with it has, however, evolved. Punishment in bygone days often took the form of revenge. It was hoped that severe sanctions would discourage others from committing similar crimes.
This infographic takes a look through time and space at the punishments meted on those who had committed crimes. Our forefathers certainly didn’t lack imagination when it came to dreaming up the punishment that fit the crime.
Most people today would consider the punishments of yesteryear to be extraordinarily gruesome. Just imagine congregating in the town square to watch your neighbour hanged, drawn and quartered, or your cousin whipped for unclean behaviour. Can you picture a modern American locked in the stocks for a week, or the town gossip sentenced to wearing a cage over her head?
And they were far from unbiased. Some of the cruelest punishments were reserved for the women and girls who failed to fit into their designated societal niches. In some countries, there remain remnants of these dated practices.
In today’s world we don’t punish people to take revenge on a crime, nor do we allow torture, humiliation, and pain. We are more concerned with the rehabilitation of the criminal than we are in the public humiliation of the individual. Most punishment in today’s world revolves around imprisoning people and when they have done their time they are rehabilitated – in some countries anyway.