Civilization is a veneer which we apply to our culture. A veneer which does not always adhere. Recently, I was reminded of this when someone asked me if it was true that Cross used to employ the pillory as a form of punishment.
My response was that of course, it was true. In fact, we didn’t stop until well into the 1920s.
Behind the Cross courthouse, there had once been a tall wall, which kept unsightly scenes from the view of those of a delicate temperament in the town. It was on the other side of this wall that we punished certain criminals. Those men and women we did not wish to send to the state for correction.
And why should we? Cross is an old town, a proud town, and a place where we settled our own business.
I placed many men, and several women, in stocks. Whipped a few, too, but that was before the nation was formed. I am of the firm belief that the disappearance of the pillory has led to an increase in petty crime in the town. Were it up to me, we would bring it back.
Of course, if it were up to me, we’d still have public executions in front of town hall.
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