corporal punishment

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corporal punishment,

physical chastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capital punishmentcapital punishment,
imposition of a penalty of death by the state. History

Capital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in the Code of Hammurabi.
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), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, caning, mutilation, and branding. Until c.1800, in many parts of the world, most crimes were punished thus, or by such practices as confinement in the pillory or stocks, which combined physical chastisement with the humiliation of an individual possible in a relatively small, cohesive society. Flogging was especially prevalent, being used also to keep order among the institutionalized insane and in schools and the armed forces.

In America, a movement against the use of corporal punishment was led in the late 17th cent. by Quakers who achieved local reforms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 18th cent. saw a general reaction against violent punishment, and with the emergence of the modern concept of rehabilitating an offender, confinement has been accompanied more by forms of moral, rather than physical, coercion. Nonetheless, the use of the whipping post survived in the United States into the 20th cent., and was last used in 1952 in Delaware.

The effectiveness of corporal punishment has been questioned by criminologists and educators, but it is still widely used. Flogging, for instance, was not banned in South Africa until 1995, and caning is employed in Singapore and Malaysia. Within British and American prisons flogging and beating are still used unofficially, ostensibly to maintain order, often for retribution. Mutilation, including amputation of fingers and hands, is also used in some countries, especially in those whose legal system is based on Islamic law. Caning and spanking remain common in schools in some areas of the United States and Britain. Movements to restore or encourage corporal punishment of children recur periodically, as in rural and Southern parts of the United States. Opponents of corporal punishment in education note that under some states' laws the actions that may be used on children in schools would be crimes if used on an adult.

Corporal Punishment


a special kind of criminal punishment, which had arisen even in antiquity and which has persisted in several countries into the mid-20th century. Corporal punishment consisted in the public infliction of physical torment on the offender—for example, by beating with sticks (rods, switches) or with a knout or whip, by the amputation of extremities, the excision of the tongue, the tearing of the nostrils, and branding. It was widely used to compel the payment of tax arrears (in ancient Egypt) and debts (Russian pravezh, or the exaction by force of a debt or damages); it was universally used as a means to deal with slaves and to punish offending serfs.

In Western Europe, various forms of corporal punishment were established in law from the 13th century. Corporal punishment figured prominently in, among others, the “bloody legislation against the dispossessed,” the Carolina, and measures taken against heretics.

References in periodicals archive ?
Neither had the Vatican, even though the Holy See was an early signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has consistently called for an end to corporal punishment of children.
The terms physical punishment and corporal punishment are used here as synonyms to refer to an act by parents intended to cause the child physical pain, but not injury, for purposes of correction or control of misbehavior.
PEF Chairman Raja Anwar further said that corporal punishment incites violent behaviour in children which then encourage violent social behaviours in the society.
Growing public concern and strong research evidence supporting "anti-spanking" legislation have led 35 countries to ban corporal punishment in the past thirty years.
Later, during a debate on the proposed Education Bill announced in the Queen's Speech, Mrs Shephard said Mr Major took a different view on corporal punishment to hers but the Government was not restoring corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment, Harris says, has long been "one of the tools in the toolbox we use for discipline.
a psychology professor at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and featured some of the top names in the field related to corporal punishment.
Texas lawmakers voted against parental approval for corporal punishment Wednesday, allowing schools to spank students with or without parents' say.
1) Upon comparison to the law of corporal punishment, an area controlled by the legislature, it appears that the public naturally uses a form of progressive civility without being forced to do so as judges compel in Eighth Amendment law.
As the Humanist has reported in the past, there currently is no federal ban in the United States on the use of corporal punishment against students; in fact, corporal punishment is a legal form of discipline in twenty states.
NEARLYL a fifth of parents want to see corporal punishment brought back into schools, a survey suggests today.