The sacred college had grown especially worldly and troublesome since the time of Sixtus IV., and Leo took advantage of a plot of several of its members to poison him, not only to inflict exemplary punishments by executing one and imprisoning several others, but also to make a radical change in the college.
On the one hand the retributive principle itself has been very largely superseded by the protective and the reformative; on the other punishments involving bodily pain have become objectionable to the general sense of society.
It began to be recognized also that stereotyped punishments, such as belong to penal codes, fail to take due account of the particular condition of an offence and the character and circumstances of the offender.
De Beccaria,Crimes and Punishments; also works quoted under Criminology; Capital Punishment; Prison; and articles on e.g.
Every citizen of twenty-one years of age, unless subject to some legal disability, such as actual engagement in military service, bankruptcy or condemnation to certain punishments, has a vote, provided that he can prove a residence of six months duration in any one town or commune.
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