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The law is that thou shalt return from hence to the place where thou camest and from thence to the place of execution where thou shalt hang by the neck till the body be dead dead dead and the Lord have mercy upon thy soul The eighteenth century is notorious for the creation of the Bloody Code 1618-1815 of capital laws in the English criminal legal system The administration of justice and the importance of punishment to the maintenance of ruling class power in an urbanising and industrialising society led to this brutal code which imposed the death penalty for often trivial offences But was the Bloody Code that bloody Historians suggest that the Bloody Code was merely a death threat or terror based system that was not always enforced Change in England in the modern era is frequent and generally passes through parliament quite rapidly History however is unlike the present Most things in English society remained the same for decades and sometimes even centuries Changes occurred infrequently and tended to occur over extended periods of time The criminal justice system was no exception Change was an agonisingly slow process and faced incredible opposition Citizens were against a special force of lawmen or police because of their suspicion towards soldiers during the Wars of the Roses 15th century and Civil War 1642 - 1651 Their main fear was the possibility that a specialised force of lawmen may lead to further internal wars Prior to the Bloody Code Justices of the Peace and Petty Constables pre-police made up the only system of crime prevention Their role however was not comparable to the law enforcement of today A major crime unit was non-existent Essentially the monarchs forced the justices behind the scenes to create statutes and government regulations and constables were selected for a one-year tenure from the community and were essentially influential towns people The Government believed this to be
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