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Corporal Punishment

Prevalence, Normative Arguments, Effectiveness, Conclusion, Bibliography

Corporal punishment is the infliction of physical pain as a penalty for an infraction. Past forms of corporal punishment included branding, blinding, mutilation, amputation, and the use of the pillory and the stocks. It was also an element in such violent modes of execution as drowning, stoning, burning, hanging, and drawing and quartering (in which offenders were partly strangled and, while still alive, disemboweled and dismembered). In most parts of Europe and in the United States such savage penalties were replaced by imprisonment during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, although capital punishment (usually by hanging) remained. Physical chastisement became less frequent until, in the twentieth century, corporal punishment was either eliminated as a legal penalty or restricted to beating with a birch rod, cane, whip, or other scourge. In ordinary usage the term now refers to such penal flagellation.

GORDON HAWKINS

RICHARD S. FRASE

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law