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Crime and Punishment in the 1800s
Transcript of Crime and Punishment in the 1800s
and Abby Meister Crime and Punishment
During the 1800s Background How Crime and Punishment
Relates to Frankenstein ~ In Frankenstein, Justine is accused of murdering young William Frankenstein and is consequently hung
~This is an accurate punishment because death by hanging was the typical punishment for murder during the Victorian era
~ Victor Frankenstein is accused of murdering Henry Clerval and is thrown into jail
~ This was not the typical punishment because during this time Ireland also hung murderers Works Cited "19th Century Revolution, Police and Crime in Britain." 19th Century Revolution, Police and Crime in Britain. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013.
"The Prison System In the Victorian Age." Victorian Prisons. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013
"19th Century Justice - Victorian Crime and Punishment." 19th Century Justice - Victorian Crime and Punishment. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013. Minor Offense Crimes and
Their Punishments Wandering around the streets in a drunken state
Cheating a customer (A baker purposely might not measure the bread ingredients properly, or a butcher's scales might have been tampered with. A horse trader might put garlic in the animal's nose to make the horse appear "lively"- all to make a profit)
Gossiping or speaking too freely
Petty theft, coinage or items less than 12 pence Public humiliation- wearing a barrel and being paraded through town ~ During the beginning of the 19th century, 60% of all people in Great Britain lived in rural areas
~Because of this lack of
concentrated population, crime was
not that big of an issue and there were no police
~ When the Industrial Revolution
happened, many people
moved to urban areas
~With this concentrated
population, crime became more prevalent and the use of police forces more common The Courts and Judiciary System The court system during this time was very different than what we have in modern day Trials were often very quick The prosecutor was usually the victim of the crime and he/she would accuse the defendant The defendant was expected to explain the evidence in their favor, proving their innocence Unlike American courts, the policy was more "Guilty until proven innocent," rather than "Innocent until proven guilty There were no standardized or national rules, so each court had its own way of doing things Time in the stocks or pillory A sharp metal strip placed on the
tongue, preventing movement Public whipping or time in the stocks Crime Punishment Gaols ~ Gaols were prisons
~ They were often dark, overcrowded, and filthy
~ There were no separation of men and women, the young and the old, the convicted and unconvicted, and the sane and insane
~ The gaols are depicted accurately in Charles Dickens' book Great Expectations when Pip's father is in the Poor House Punishment Within
the Gaols By the mid Victorian period 90% of serious offenders were sent to prison as punishment. However people disagreed about whether prisons were there just to punish offenders or to also reform them.
Several systems were tried including the 'separate system' where prisoners were kept in isolation and the 'silent system' where prisoners were not allowed to talk to each other. These systems were meant to provide prisoners with time to reflect on their crime away from the influence of others.
In the latter part of the 19th century, after the 1865 Prisons Act, prisons were made even tougher. Hard plank beds replaced hammocks, food was deliberately boring and inmates had to work hard on boring, often pointless tasks. The idea was to make prison the sort of punishment that would deter prisoners from further crime. Crime Punishments Capital Offenses and Their Punishments murder, manslaughter, rape, arson, or witchcraft mandatory death sentence commoners were hanged, nobles or upper class were beheaded Robbery hanged, branded with a hot iron, or by the removal of a body part such as a hand or an ear high treason- plotting to overthrow the queen which is the most serious Hanging, Drawing, then Quartering. The traitor was hanged, taken down before he was dead, dragged face down through the streets by a horse, and then hacked into four pieces. The body parts were displayed in public as a warning to others Adultery public whipping or branded on his or her forehead with a hot iron