How did Trials by Ordeals come to an end?Posted: November 10, 2011
How did Trials by Ordeals come to an end?
In 1215 the Lateran Council of the church was forbidden to contribute
in ordeals resulting in replacement by jury trial.
People were reluctant to accept the fact that a judge determined
whether you were innocent or guilty because it meant replacing god
for a human to decide. If you committed a crime and was found guilty the
punishments were extremely severe. Thieves’ hands were cut off. Women who
murdered were strangled and then burnt. People who illegally hunted in royal
parks had their ears cut off and high treason was a result by being hung and strained.
Because of the expense there were only few prisoners which local communities
weren’t equipped to pay for their maintenance. The cheaper and quicker way was
to either injure someone then let them go or just execute them for their crime. After 1275, a law was introduced which allowed
people to be tortured if they refused to go to trial before a jury.
For a while, the law enforcers imprisoned people with common reputations
of illegal behaviour, banished those guilty of medium significant crimes, and
required security to ensure the peacefulness of people accused of small crimes.
When this method proved disappointing, judges began questioning people in the
community to make decisions. As many as forty-eight neighbours might be asked
whether the accused was innocent or guilty, their opinions were based on what
they knew or could find out about the case and not of evidence and
was not well-liked among the people as they thought that if their neighbours
had a grudge against them then they would claim false information. This method was the approaching of the now modern jury.