Law Enforcemnt Anglo Saxon

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  • Why was Anglo Saxon Law Enforcement mainly the responsibility of local communities
    • Tithings
      • Shires were split into 10 tithings. These tithings were responsible for each other: if one was accused of a crime, the others made sure he went to court or they would have to pay for him
        • A shire reeve was responsible for taking criminals to court and carrying out punishment. He would meet regularly with one man from each tithing
    • Hue and Cry
      • The victim and witnesses raised a hue and cry by shouting to alert others. Anyone who heard it was expected to chase and help catch the suspected criminal
    • Courts
      • If the suspect did not admit, their guilt was decided by a court. There were different courts depending on what type and who commited it
      • Royal and National courts dealt with more severe crimes and lesser in shire courts, petty crimes in hundred courts. These took place in public
    • Oaths
      • Swearing oaths before God was a major part of Saxon justice. The accused could swear their innocence under oath and others could support oath helpers
    • Deciding guilt
      • The victim or family provided evidence of guilt for court. If jury could not decide the accused was handed to the Church of God, to do trial by ordeal.


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