Saturday, November 15, 2008

Malaysiakini: Law and Order

Shall we look at Law and Order in a different time zone, and zoom in and out at will to compare with what we are in, a world where lawyers rule the world, in the way they know best.


No appeal against Abdul Razak's acquittal
Hafiz Yatim | Nov 14, 08 5:05pm
breaking news The prosecution confirms that it will not file an appeal against the political analyst’s acquittal in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

Sodomy trial faces further delay
Hafiz Yatim | Nov 14, 08 10:10am
breaking news updated 5.40pm Court hearing the trial has been put off after the prosecution applied for a stay pending an appeal for the case to be moved to High Court.

Karpal: Nazri's mistake should be dealt with
Nov 14, 08 3:03pm
The veteran DAP leader wants the minister to be referred to the parliamentary Committee of Privileges for allegedly misleading the Dewan.

VoxPop: Why 8 cops to arrest Ronnie Liu?
Nov 14, 08 10:10am
free ‘He is not going to run away. Police only need to send one or two men. The others can be sent to fight the ever-increasing crime.'

Gov't edgy over candlelight protests
Anil Netto | Nov 14, 08 11:11am
news analysis The latest show of force by the police comes at a time when Umno and its coalition partners are experiencing leadership transitions and factional struggles.

Light lamps to commemorate Hindraf rally
Nov 14, 08 2:02pm
he banned movement calls for lighting of 18 lamps to mark the first anniversary of its ground-breaking Nov 25 rally and to symbolise the 18-point memo submitted to the PM.

By the time of Henry II, the system of law in England had been improved because Henry sent out his own judges from London to listen to cases throughout all England’s counties. Each accused person had to go through an ordeal. There were three ordeals:

Ordeal by fire. An accused person held a red hot iron bar and walked three paces. His hand was then bandaged and left for three days. If the wound was getting better after three days, you were innocent. If the wound had clearly not got any better, you were guilty. Ordeal by water. An accused person was tied up and thrown into water. If you floated you were guilty of the crime you were accused of. Ordeal by combat. This was used by noblemen who had been accused of something. They would fight in combat with their accuser. Whoever won was right. Whoever lost was usually dead at the end of the fight.

In 1215, the Pope decided that priests in England must not help with ordeals. As a result, ordeals were replaced by trials by juries. To start with, these were not popular with the people as they felt that their neighbours might have a grudge against them and use the opportunity of a trial to get their revenge. After 1275, a law was introduced which allowed people to be tortured if they refused to go to trial before a jury.

If you were found guilty of a crime you would expect to face a severe punishment. Thieves had their hands cut off. Women who committed murder were strangled and then burnt. People who illegally hunted in royal parks had their ears cut off and high treason was punishable by being hung, drawn and quartered. There were very few prisons as they cost money and local communities were not prepared to pay for their upkeep. It was cheaper to execute someone for bad crimes or mutilate them and then let them go.

Most towns had a gibbet just outside of it. People were hung on these and their bodies left to rot over the weeks as a warning to others. However, such violent punishments clearly did not put off people. In 1202, the city of Lincoln had 114 murders, 89 violent robberies and 65 people were wounded in fights. Only 2 people were executed for these crimes and it can be concluded that many in Lincoln got away with their crime.

source: Medieval Law and Order...