Friday, June 26, 2009

Faleste

Faleste: A capital punishment inflicted on a malefactor on the seashore by laying him bound on the sands till the next full tide carried him away. From Norman falese, sands, rocks, cliffs.
--John Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1839

In Britain, in 1810, more than 220 crimes could carry the death penalty. During this time those who were poor, including children, could be executed for "petty theft, livestock rustling, forgery, sacrilege, sodomy, postal theft, adopting a disguise, and even begging." Around 72,000 people were hanged during Henry VIII's thirty-seven-year reign (more than five a day when their population was fewer than five million! But it looks like one could avoid death if they joined up for the navy! Maybe they had it right back then...death for any offense...I think that would take care of the over-population problem. Speeding=Death, Jay-walking=Death!

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