In a departure from the traditional attitude of Roman Law and feudal custom the inquisitorial procedure of the thirteenth century determined that crime should no longer be viewed as a personal offense between two private individuals but rather as a public felony inimical to the peace and tranquility of the commonweal; that evidence should be weighed and judged in court; that a trained judge should pass on the principles of law and fact as presented by a public prosecutor in the name of the community; that appeals from the decisions and sentences of the court should be permitted; that punishments other than death or mutilation should be utilized, e.g., imprisonment. All of these innovations were subsequently adopted by all the civil courts of Europe, and we take them for granted today.

Albert Shannon, The Medieval Inquisition


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