Roman crime and punishment:
Slaves would often be branded on the forehead, lashed, have a weight tied to their feet, crucified and were forced to cary wood around their necks as a form of punishment.
Forgery resulted with death, unless a slave or banishment.
Punishment by death included: to be stripped stark naked, whipped to death, beheading, strangling, throwing a criminal off somewhere, crucifixion, burying a person alive, throwing a criminal into the river. Too add to throwing off the river they were stripped of everything then whipped with rods. He was then sewed up in a sack, and thrown into the sea. Later in time, to add to the punishment for patricide, a serpent was put in the sack; and still later, an ape, a dog and a cock.
The Anglo-Saxons didn't have prisons. People found guilty of crimes were either executed or punished with fines. If they ran away, they became 'outlaws' (outside the law), and anyone could hunt them down - unless they hid in a church. The fine for breaking into someone's home was 5 shillings (25p), paid to the home-owner. For minor crimes like stealing, a nose or a hand might be cut off.If a person killed someone, they paid money to the dead person's relatives. This was 'wergild'. The idea was to stop long quarrels or 'blood feuds' between families.
Middle ages Punishment:
The manorial court made sure that if one person committed a crime that the others in the tithing (group) would make sure they went to jail.
The accused had to face trials to show wether they were guilty or not.
Ordeal by fire: The accused had to pick up a red hot iron bar and hold it while they walked three or four paces. Their hand was then bandaged. After three days they had to return to the court where the bandages were removed. If the wound was beginning to heal they were innocent but if the wound showed no sign of healing then they were pronounced Guilty.
Ordeal by water: The accused had their hands and feet tied together. They were then thrown into water. If they floated they were guilty but if they sank they were innocent.
Ordeal by combat: Noblemen would fight (usually to the death) in combat with their accuser. The winner of the battle would be considered to be in the right.
Tudor and Stuart crime and punishment: stealing anything worth over one shilling (5 pence), was punished by hanging.