Criminal punishments have always been a part of society. From the earliest days of civilization crime and criminals has been dealth with by issuing a puinishment. The punishment has not always fit the crime and throughout history debates have raged concerning appropriate punishments. The 1900's saw a diversity in punishments as society became more civilized and less interested in vengence than rehabilitation.

Firing Squad
Firing squads are a method of capital punishment whereupon the prisoner is shot and killed. Five gunman take aim and fire into the prisoners heart. Four have live rounds but one will shoot only a blank. Firing squads became the basic method of military execution when guns replaced swords in battle. It is still a secondary option for execution in Oklahoma.

Electric Chair
The electric chair is a form of punishment used to electrocute offenders. It was first used to execute human beings in 1890. It remained a major form of execution throughout the century and into the following centuries. Crimes punishable by the electric chair are those involved in the course of a murder.

Hanging was used in most capital cases in the early 1900's and continues to be an option in New Hampshire and Maine. It was later replaced by firing squads and the electric chair. Prisoners are weighed and measured to ensure a quick drop to death. Hangings do not always result in death and were eventually deemed an unreliable form of punishment.

Gas Chamber
The gas chamber is a sealed chamber that fills with poisonous gas in order to kill a human being. Gas chambers became a form of execution in the 1920's. They were used in Nazi Germany to kill massive amounts of people during Holocaust. Death is not always immediate within a gas chamber. Therefore, it is controversial and often deemed inhumane and cruel.

Fines and fees were used as punishment during the 1900's for misdemenor criminal offences. A fine would be assigned to each offender in accordance with the crime. Fines are used with a jail sentence or without and must be paid with a specific time frame.

Imprisonment in a jail or prison was used in the 1900's. Magistrates and judges sentence the offenders to a specific amount of time in incarceration. Imprisonment can also include work houses and group homes. Resticting an offender from leaving his own home is a form of imprisonment developed in the late 19th century. Children are housed in a special juvenile facility.

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