The history of crime and violation of a law

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A crime is when "an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction." This means that a crime is a wrong doing by an individual against the population and it does not necessarily have to be direct, but can be the case of not a performing an implied duty.

Crime may occur because of poverty, needs, and it may even go as far as unfit individual in respect to metal health, but the most common crimes occur out of greed and power hungry individuals. As this is the case, a criminal can be anything from being a common thief or a tax evader.

The consequences of crime have usually been a form of punishment, and these punishments have changed during time. A punishment consists of making an individual pay back to the society for the wrong that has been committed this may be a minor fine, or as severe as death.

The earliest forms of punishments as recorded were from the Roman Empire, in which depending on the crime committed a suitable punishment would be established. [2] Romans had a wide category of crimes as well as suiting punishment for each, but in practice your punishments severity would depend on how important you were. Romans did not use prisons as a method of punishment but only had them to hold people awaiting trial and or execution.

3Punishments that the Roman Empire would impose for what they termed as common crimes i.e. theft from temples, theft, selling underweight bread, arson and a violent crime, these would be met by the punishments of either death, whipping , reparation, or exile(for nobles). All these were very harsh punishments for what we might term as minor offences but in that time the harsh punishments deterred others out of committing such crimes as they were scared of the consequences, but apart from deterrence with exile they achieved denunciation, which would stigmatize an individual.

During the Roman Empire they decided on how the punishment would be suiting by having [4] trials with juries sometimes, with crimes of burglary a judge would decide in the magistrates on whether the individual is guilty or not, and also decide the punishment, but for more serious cases you would have a jury decide if the individual is guilty, but the Roman rule was a defendant was innocent until proven guilty, and allowed to bring in as much evidence as was relevant. This went ahead to illustrate that even though the punishments were harsh and were not dealt out right depending on your social status the processes in which a decision was brought fourth was just.

As times changed and people discovered more, the middle ages brought about a whole change in system as now more crimes and punishments had been introduced. [5] During the period of AD 400-1500, crimes were generally the same as from the Roman Empire but now constituted of some more provisions such as theft was now of money, food and belongings, and the selling of poor quality goods, underweight bread but the other crimes remained relatively similar. Punishments had taken a new approach as theft was now dealt with by paying compensation, violent crime was through executions, mutilations and fines, Poaching was through stocks, pillory, whipping, and prisons were still used to keep people awaiting trial. These new punishments displayed some evolvement as now the punishments were more suiting to the crime rather than before when minor crimes had devastating consequences. In the same sense these punishments were to deter individuals but in a more fitting method according to their crime, but as an escape, criminals claimed sanctuary at local churches.

6The Normans and Saxons would come to decisions on how to punish individuals by trials, but in Saxon trial there were no lawyers allowed, but each had a jury to make the decision on the matter of an individual's guilt, local landowners and nobles were used as judges in their area and would hold the seat for a term of 4 years.

Early modern Britain (1500-1750) introduced new crimes such as [7] vagrancy, highway robbery, and smuggling. Lawmakers were witnessing an increase in crime as the towns were larger in size and rich landowners were experiencing or were in constant threat of theft to their property. The only solution was to make the punishments harsher thus the introduction of the [8] "Bloody Code", what this code did was to increase the number of capital crimes. New punishments were introduced such as execution in public, pillory and stocks, ducking stools, fines, prisons, and transportation. These new methods of punishment had a task to perform, the execution in public was meant to deter individuals, transportation was meant to condemn individuals, and prisons were for rehabilitation in order for prisoners to reform, and after fit for society they would return. Some of the aims of these punishments failed such as the executions in public were not deterring people but gave them some entertainment and large crowds would appear to view these executions.

On how they decided on suitable punishments was through a judge and jury but many juries found defendants not guilty as most of the crimes were dealt with by hanging but an alternative to death was found i.e. transportation.

In the establishment that the punishments were too harsh ideology changed during the period of Industrial Britain (1750-1900), as most of the crimes had already been established they were not added but actually reduced to only now accommodate [9] minor theft, violent crimes, machine wrecking and riots, but each of these crimes had a lot of provisions that defined them. By now the bloody code had been abolished and more prisons were built, transportation still existed, and the numbers of capital crimes were minimal. As fear of revolution was occurring during this time anyone thought to be associated and was arrested. As the punishment for treason was death, more juries did not pass a guilty verdict thus many more prisons were built as a method of rehabilitation and reforming criminals, and hence a lot more of the courts were functioning as supposed to.

To cater for future development the Twentieth Century introduced a wide variety of crimes as well suiting punishments. With the improvement in technology, gadgets, and goods the Lawmakers have gone to a great deal to cover all possible crimes such as [10] vandalism, car crime, petty theft, anti-social behaviour, violent crimes, drug dealing, computer fraud, football hooliganism, tax evasion and more. As the varieties of crimes have increased so has the number of punishments, the introduction of punishments include, prisons, community service, ASBOs (anti-social behaviour order), probation, and fines among others. Today these punishments are dealt out suiting to the crime, and as it was in the Roman Empire, social status does not exempt you now. By this time the death penalty had been revoked and so the aims of all this new punishments were meant to deter people in the sense of being afraid to commit certain crimes, they were meant to warn people in the sense of being dealt with probation, to rehabilitate individuals in respect to the prison system, restoration in order to cater for minor offences such as vandalism may be dealt with through community service and a further fine may be charged, retribution is a method in which an individual would get even with the wrong doer maybe by paying reparations or damages, and education in order to educate others about to or those who already have committed crimes, in order to point them in a more positive direction.

Today the system on deciding on whether a punishment is suiting for the crime is justified by courts, this system has become a lot more complex since the Roman empire and now consists of many different kinds of courts some with options to juries and others with none, a similar aspect that has remained is that the judge sit through court hearings and will pass the sentence to the defendant unless acquitted.

Overall punishments through time have evolved, and that's because crimes are changing, and to cater for future developments crimes and punishments are still evolving. The motive behind a crime could differ as explained before, but the general impact of the punishments have always stayed the same for a while now as the lawmakers aims are to deter, denounce, rehabilitate, educate, restore and incapacitate those individuals who do not abide by the rules of the land, hence punishment being the most effective method to help maintain order and keep populations from entering a state of complete anarchy.