Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Good Old Days

Yah, wearing that ankle-bracelet is really rough.

Marietta and Rowe's Troubled Experiment, which I mentioned quite recently, includes a number of mentions of sodomy and buggery laws. At p. 12, they mention that the liberalism of the early Quaker government is exposed in that in the first sessions, in 1682, they made a number of crimes that were capital under English law, such as "rape, sodomy, bigamy, and incest" non-capital. First offense led to forfeiture of property, whipping, and imprisonment. I already had a copy of this statute; first offense: 1/3 of your estate is taken, six months of "hard Labour", and life in prison for the second offense. (I have a copy of that statute here.)

At pp. 17-18 they report that in 1700, the Pennsylvania Assembly decided to make all their criminal statutes more harsh:

Conviction for sodomy brought with it a life sentence with a whipping to be administered every three months if the defendant were single, castration if the convicted felon were married.

NTTAWWT, of course. In 1718, Pennsylvania made sodomy and buggery capital crimes (again.)

HT: Cramer

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