Death penalty for small theft
January 23, 2009 6:11 AM   Subscribe

"Must the maid hang?" -- death penalty quote

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?
posted by KRS to Society & Culture (1 answer total)
Was it Samuel Romilly?

Reference to it here.
posted by rottytooth at 10:55 AM on January 23, 2009

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