Laura Ikins Stern
The Criminal Law System of Medieval and Renaissance Florence describes the law, procedure, courts, police and crime from the late thirteenth century through the early fifteenth century. The court system and inquisition procedure reached their furthest development in the early fifteenth century before the Medici recall in 1434 and before citizen-manned courts eroded ius commune procedures and law. Bullectini, orders from the executive branch to the judicial branch, were still rare. The central institutions of the Florentine criminal system in the early fifteenth century were still the medieval courts of the three foreign rectors, the Podesta, the Captain of the People and the Executor of the Ordinances of Justice. The system sometimes used less legitimate forms of evidence, such as public fame witnesses and confessions extracted under torture. Policing was improved, which made the full implementation of inquisition procedure possible by allowing the court system to accuse suspects. The Statutes of 1415 increased the number of crimes in which public initiation was permitted; these cases had a higher conviction rate.
LAURA IKINS STERN holds a BA in History from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan. She has been the recipient of a research Fulbright, Villa I Tatti and Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award. She taught at the University of North Texas for twenty-two years.
Republication of this book has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.