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Demise The Danish Decree of 1767

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Chapter Summary

The phenomenon of the suicide murder began later in Copenhagen than in Stockholm, Hamburg and probably other German cities, but the murders soon became popular, and in the middle of the eighteenth century the Danish capital was heavily burdened by them. The decree of 1767 was revolutionary in laying down a new type of punishment in the European penal arsenal. This chapter gives a general overview of the position of Mosaic Law and of penal practice in the Lutheran areas in the middle of the eighteenth century. It discusses the developments in the Danish penal practice, with references to developments in Sweden and Germany.The death penalty alone could still be given to suicide murderers, but this required a long period of lying to suspicious prosecutors and judges as well as to pastors urging one to be honest before God and not deny the sins one had committed.

Keywords:1767 decree; Danish penal practice; death penalty; eighteenth century; European penal arsenal; Lutheran areas; Mosaic Law; suicide murder

10.1163/9789004221376_013
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