Death penalty for small theft
January 23, 2009 6:11 AM Subscribe
"Must the maid hang?" -- death penalty quote
posted by KRS to Society & Culture (1 answer total)
Hanging used to be the penalty for any theft, even if a mother stole a loaf of bread to feed her children (see Les Miserables).
Then someone (perhaps John Dryden) seriously asked "Must the maid hang for stealing a loaf of bread?" Merely asking the question (at the right moment) made it self-evident that this was unjust.
Does anyone have the source of this probably mangled quote?