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Colonial Period

The Colonial Criminal In The Seventeenth Century

Colonial criminals were almost all men. Men were accused of 95 percent of violent crimes and 74 percent of thefts, or an overall 80 percent of the serious crimes. Witchcraft was one of the few crimes where women were the majority of the accused. Another female-related crime was infanticide, in which women killed their newborn children. Those in the lower ranks of the colonial social order, such as laborers, apprentices, the poor, and slaves, received most of the punishment courts handed out.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawColonial Period - European Settlement Of North America, Factors Influencing Early Colonial Law, Differences From The English Criminal Justice System