Between the early 16th and 18th centuries, English attitude towards crime and correction were based on the strong held belief that faith and religion were the only cure to immorality. Lawmakers began to threaten citizens with capital punishment for menial crimes such as petty theft and begging. Resulting of a moral panic, lawmakers turned to the deterrence to dissuade citizens from partaking in criminal activity. The list of crimes punishable by death in England rose from 50 offenses in 1688 to over 220 in 1815. This article explains the origins of the Bloody Code and how Enlightenment-Era thought transformed the penal code in England.
Good, Rebecca M.
"The Unwavering Movement: Integrating Reason into British Penal Code 1730-1823,"
International ResearchScape Journal: Vol. 6
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/irj/vol6/iss1/6
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