The Little Book of Crime and Punishment
Publisher: The History Press
The English criminal justice system has come a long way since the days when noses were cut off, heretics burned at the stake and rebels were hung, drawn and quartered. Yet the Common Law, which emerged from Henry II’s conflict with Thomas a Becket, survives in England (and much of the English-speaking world) and magistrates still deal with 95 per cent of crimes as they have done for at least 650 years. We no longer duck scolds and witches but we still follow Magna Carta in the way we try people; and we no longer cut off hands or heads; instead we impose curfews, ‘tag’ persistent offenders and, where necessary, lock them up. This book shows how our system of justice, crime and punishment has evolved and suggests where we go from here.