Until the nineteenth century, corporal punishment in England could consist of whipping, branding, or the cutting off of a body part.

If the prisoner's death is imminent, society is not served by his continued confinement because he is no longer capable of committing crimes.

Under the utilitarian philosophy, laws that specify punishment for criminal conduct should be designed to deter future criminal conduct.

The punishment serves as an example to the rest of society, and it puts others on notice that criminal behavior will be punished.

Specific deterrence means that the punishment should prevent the same person from committing crimes. First, an offender may be put in jail or prison to physically prevent her from committing another crime for a specified period.

Most of these crimes were petty violations, such as pick-pocketing or swindling.

A defendant could be hanged, burned at the stake, or beheaded. A person found guilty of Treason, for example, was placed on a rack and stretched, hanged until not quite dead, then disemboweled, beheaded, and quartered (cut into four pieces).

The imposition of hardship in response to misconduct. However, a judge or jury may assess Punitive Damages against a party in a civil case if that party's conduct was especially wicked.

law include community service, monetary fines, Forfeiture of property, restitution to victims, confinement in jail or prison, and death. The primary aim, though, in most civil cases is to compensate the victim.

Often the body part sliced off was the part thought responsible for the act.