In the early 1700s, the Europe legal system was in disarray. The laws were open to interpretation and vague where the judges were accorded with a lot of power which they misused in interpreting laws to suit their interests. A penalty for a particular crime varied depending on who was at the receiving end. Equality in law application did not apply:
Some criminals could go unpunished for a crime committed while others received a life sentence for the same (Cullen & Agnew 2006). It had become the order of the day for the societies in the upper class bribing the judges to go free for offences committed while the poor with no resources to bribe their way out received unconditional harsh punishments. Petty offences like theft resulted to stiff punishments amounting to torture, life imprisonment or murder (Cullen & Agnew, 2006).
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