109 votes

Have American urban rioters ever looted residences?

To pick just one notorious example, 99 years ago to the day, black people's homes were heavily looted by whites in the Tulsa riots of 1921. As this article describes, at least 65 looters were arrested....
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 20.8k
48 votes
Accepted

Has chattel slavery ever been used as a criminal punishment in the USA since the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment?

Yes, but for fixed periods of (for example) six months or 1 or 2 years rather than for life. This section of the 13th Amendment, ratified on the 6th of December, 1865, was controversial from the ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
45 votes
Accepted

How did German unification affect existing sentences for criminal convicts?

Thanks to some hints provided in the comments to my original post here, I have been able to locate some sources that answer my questions, at least on a high level: Beginning in 1989, even before the ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 2,810
44 votes

Have American urban rioters ever looted residences?

Yes. In San Francisco, 1849, a gang called the "Hounds" looted and destroyed residences in the district of Little Chile: "The Chileans in large numbers are living in tents on the outskirts of town. ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.7k
40 votes
Accepted

Is this medieval picture of hanging 5 royals showing an historical event?

This is from the so called Crusader Bible: Image icon MS M.638, fol. 11v An Execution, Joshua's Final Commands, Joshua's Passing Old Testament Miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

What was the criminal charge of "pretending sodomy" in 1719 England?

"Pretending sodomy" here is just that: claiming that 'sodomitic practices' have taken place, with the accuser starting or 'pretending to start'/feigning to begin such an act. This means that ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
32 votes

How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

The earliest evidence for keel-hauling that I'm aware of is actually from ancient Rhodes (~800BC) in the Lex Rhodia. There are also depictions of the practice known from ancient Greece (one is ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
27 votes
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When did one-way mirrors become widely used by police?

Surprisingly enough, in England, screens for identity parades did not come in at all until the late 1980s. A poke around the British Newspaper Archive (paywall, sorry) found this article from Nov 1986,...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

From 1936-45 what was the prescribed punishment in Nazi Germany for failing to join or participate in the Hitler Youth?

There was no upper limit to sanctions. From to 1936 to 1939, membership in the HJ was "voluntary". So actual punishment was not put into law until the Second Executive Order on the law about ...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 13.9k
15 votes
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How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

It would seem that by the mid-18th Century, the act of keel-hauling was considered (by the British public, at least) to be a Dutch punishment. A contemporary dictionary gives the following definition: ...
Steve Bird's user avatar
  • 19.9k
15 votes
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What is this crime, "F and A", from the 1890's US?

The crime reported in the newspapers as "f. and a." was "Fornication and Adultery", as in this case from 1922: The penalty handed down to Oakey Ferguson in this case of "one year on road" meant ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
15 votes

What was the criminal charge of "pretending sodomy" in 1719 England?

"Pretend" comes from the Latin praetendere, from prae- ("before, in front of") + tendō ("stretch, strive for"). In the 1884 legal book "Commentaries on the Laws of ...
Pranab's user avatar
  • 250
14 votes

In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

The Killing a Thief Act of 1532 (24 Hen. 8, c. 5) legalised using lethal force against highway robbers or home burglars as justifiable homicide. Eventually the British Parliament closed this gap in ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
14 votes
Accepted

Who was the last person "Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered" under British jurisdiction?

The punishment of being "Hanged, drawn, and quartered" (sensu stricto, it should always be 'hanged', rather than 'hung') was abolished in England by the Forfeiture Act 1870: From and after the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
13 votes
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Why did the Nazis guillotine criminals but mostly hang political enemies, and why were the White Rose group an exception?

The key distinction was not between beheading and hanging, but rather "good" and "bad" beheading and "good" and "bad" hanging. Which in turn depended on the skill of the executioner. More highly ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
12 votes
Accepted

Why was the Halifax death penalty reserved for thefts of at least 13½ pence?

13½d is a historical value called a loonslate. According to William Hone, it has a Scottish origin, being two-thirds of the Scottish pound, as the mark was two-thirds of the English pound. The same ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.7k
11 votes

From 1936-45 what was the prescribed punishment in Nazi Germany for failing to join or participate in the Hitler Youth?

The Hitler Youth Act states: Section Four All regulations necessary for the execution and completion of this law will be issued by the Führer. This is government by decree, and is how ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
11 votes

Is this medieval picture of hanging 5 royals showing an historical event?

Apparently the illustration is from the Morgan Bible, depicting the execution by Joshua of the Amorite kings. For biblical context, see Joshua 10-11. According to Wikipedia, "The prevailing scholarly ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Meaning of the words "Wanted Dead Or Alive"

In the USA, people acting as Bounty Hunters have been (and in some cases still are today) legally allowed to arrest fugitives who have a valid warrant out for their arrest. If said fugitive uses ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
9 votes

Was rape common in Europe during the Middle Ages?

The only honest answer to this question is We don't know. To state that rape, or any crime, or any activity, was more or less prevalent at one period of time than another requires written records to ...
llywrch's user avatar
  • 730
8 votes

Why did the Nazis guillotine criminals but mostly hang political enemies, and why were the White Rose group an exception?

One reason is that hanging is regarded to be one of the more disgraceful ways to kill a person, normally reserved for petty criminals, while beheading or shooting was regarded to be more 'honorable'. ...
tj1000's user avatar
  • 3,451
8 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to "take the Cross"

To "take the cross" is to take crusader vows and participate in a crusade to the Holy Land. It doesn't seem to have been a punishment exactly. It was intended as a form of penance so the wrongdoers ...
KillingTime's user avatar
  • 4,801
8 votes

What did Moritz Ormai forge and what happened to him?

Only partial, but we'll get a bit closer with this info: Subsequent to the date on which the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador requested the extradition of Moritz Ormai on charges of forgery and uttering ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
7 votes

How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

According to this source (wiki) a keelhauling could take place over either the length or the width of a ship. A keelhauling over the length would be fatal, either through drowning, or through ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
7 votes

How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

I was interested enough in my own question to reach out to a naval historian at Oxford University, Nicholas Rodger, to see if he could shed any light on the subject. His answer was, indeed, ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
  • 4,265
7 votes

From 1936-45 what was the prescribed punishment in Nazi Germany for failing to join or participate in the Hitler Youth?

Membership and service were obligatory. True, on paper. But especially those who joined by decree from an older, now abolished organisation were sometimes less enthusiastic about actually showing up ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
7 votes

What did executioners do when not performing executions?

In the case of Sweden, the last executioner Anders Gustaf Dalman was employed by one or more housing owners in Stockholm to care for their houses. In Sweden executions was usually done with an axe (...
Stefan Skoglund's user avatar
6 votes

Were there ever actual organizations of pirates?

The Victual brothers, a fourteenth and fifteenth century group first organised to aid King Albert when he tried to defend against Queen Margaret in a war for the Swedish crown. They can arguably have ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 5,661
6 votes

Did airports have security checks before the 1970s?

This is a fair bit before my time, but the first two photographs at least seem quite reasonable. They're both technically from the 1970s anyway, and so doesn't contradict your impression. That said, ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k

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