Back before we had DNA evidence, fingerprint databases, police lineups, or even presumption of innocence, trials were performed in the church. The "trial by ordeal" was simple: put your hand in boiling water (or hold a red-hot iron, or be thrown in the lake). If you were innocent, God would leave you unscathed. If you were guilty, you suffered the consequences. As barbaric as it sounds, George Mason University economics professor Peter T. Leeson points out that it probably was a pretty accurate test of guilt at the time. Here's why.
Innocent Until Proven Maimed
Trial by Oil
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Written by Ashley Hamer November 29, 2017
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