Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1750–1914
Between 1750 and 1914 the English criminal justice system was transformed. George III's England was lightly policed, and order was maintained through a draconian system of punishment which prescribed the death penalty for over 200 offences. Trials, even for capital offences, were short. The gallows were the visible means of showing justice in action and were intended to create awe among the public witnessing the death throes of a felon. However, by the time of Queen Victoria's death, public executions had been abolished, and the death penalty was confined in practice to cases of murder.
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