I found it very peculiar, while reading, that the author described that torture as a whole disappeared during the Revolutionary period 1760-1840. The body became a sacred. Torture was aimed more towards the soul now. We talk about torture as only something that occurs in wartime scenarios. But I didn’t think that torture would become such a taboo this early in the crime life. I thought that it faded out more recently. The trial process also became very in depth. The judges would question the defendant about every little thing. Before they would just ask if you were guilty or not. Defendants could now plead to a mental illness and be sentenced a smaller crime, and to take medication.
Even thought the public executions and tortures faded out in the late 1700s, it originally wasn’t the most popular form of punishment. There typically was banishment and fines sentenced to many criminals. Its refreshing to see that they weren’t because basically all the readings we’ve seen talk about the executions.
I was confused thought throughout the different readings, because I read the first Foucault section, where it was talking about the revolutionary period, then it jumped to more recent times. However in the second reading, it jumped back to the 1700s. I had to put myself in the right time period again.
In the second reading, Foucault compares the public execution to the coronation of a king. That really struck me, why would you celebrate a death like you would welcome the new king? He mentions that it became a real tradition and almost a ritual.
He also discusses how the public started to riot when they thought that a person sentenced to execution didn’t deserve to be killed. He mentions how they rioted because a servant was sentenced to death for a petty theft. The public turned into a sense help. They were beginning to realize how wrong this was.