In the 18th century, a couple of hundred crimes were capital offenses in Virginia. These included rape, arson, theft, piracy, and murder. Typically, execution was swift and by hanging.
If one were lucky, reprieve meant branding with a hot iron on the fleshy part of the palm.
Even non-capital crimes yielded corporal punishment, e.g. whipping, or time in the pillory or stockade.
Imprisonment, life or otherwise, was unheard-of as a sentence. The public gaol was where suspects awaited trial.
If they were convicted, they returned to the gaol to await public hanging, three at a time, on a simple gallows.
Punishment was public, and meant to deter others from committing similar crimes.
As America’s Declaration of Independence asserts, the purpose of government is to secure people’s rights. And government at the time would severely punish those who violated the rights of others.
For two decades, I worked at political jobs. Then my parents got sick, and I went home to help care for them, and they died, fourteen weeks apart, in their late 60s. And I decided that life is too dear, and too uncertain, to fritter away in political offices. I fought back the sorrow with travel, and started this blog. I believe that passions are more fun when you share them with others, and my hope is to share my passions for travel and culture with you. Welcome! Read more …