MEASURES PREVENTING EVASION OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION IN ROMAN LAW DURING PRINCIPATE
Languages of publication
Ancient Romans developed quite an effective and cohesive system of measures guaranteeing the imminence and certainty of retribution for crime, whose aim was to satisfy the public sense of justice and to ensure that punishment be not only severe, but also unavoidable. Measures used to guarantee commencement of criminal proceedings and to prevent offenders from escaping criminal prosecution included an arrest warrant and a pledge on property. Roman emperors were also very strict when it came to suicides committed to evade punishment. In such cases the accused suicides were always found guilty posthumously, and a sentence of forfeiture of his/her property followed. An escape of a suspect from custody was treated as an independent offence against the system of administration of justice and the runners away were usually sentenced to death. Prison guards responsible for the escape were also severely punished, and when found grossly negligent, they could be sentenced to capital punishment. However, in the event of an attempt to avoid a punishment already administered and implemented (e.g. return from banishment or attempted escape from a guarded public works site) the original punishment was merely increased, being replaced with a more severe one available in the punishments catalogue.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier