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DonRocks

King Louis IX of France (1214-1270), Better Known as Saint Louis

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A bit of historical trivia: The first-ever recorded auto-da-fé occurred in Paris in the year 1242, under the reign of King Louis IX - better known as Saint Louis.

This is all found in Wikipedia:

To his credit: Louis IX banned trials by ordeal, introduced the presumption of innocence in criminal procedure, and created provosts and bailiffs in order to enforce its application.

To his detriment: Louis IX severely punished blasphemy (the punishment being mutilation of the tongue and lips), gambling, interest-bearing loans, and prostitution. He expanded the scope of the Inquisition, and ordered the burning of Talmuds and other Jewish books.

All of this raises two interesting (and inter-related) philosophical and sociological issues: 

* At what point does a person's positive qualities outweigh their negative ones?

* How much time must pass before glossing over a person's atrocities?

For example, in Seat Pleasant, MD, there used to be a Roger B. Taney Middle School - this is all documented right here.

People had the common sense to rename Roger B. Taney Middle School as Thurgood G. Marshall Middle School in 1993; yet, one of the most important cities in the United States remains named St. Louis, MO.

The conflict is obvious, but where does it begin, and where does it end?

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On 4/27/2018 at 8:50 AM, DonRocks said:

the presumption of innocence in criminal procedure

To his detriment: Louis IX severely punished blasphemy (the punishment being mutilation of the tongue and lips), gambling, interest-bearing loans, and prostitution. He expanded the scope of the Inquisition, and ordered the burning of Talmuds and other Jewish books.

This is what happens when I'm away for a year! Don or others will post on a subject that is right in my wheelhouse without my comment or guidance.

I have nothing to disagree withe here; Louis IX really did all these things, but I'd just add:

The "innocent until proven guilty" formulation wasn't introduced into the English common law until the great barrister and parliamentarian William Garrow forced the issue in the early 19th century. It's still a universal feature in all the common law countries, most importantly ours, although perhaps more honored in the breach than in th'observance. Non-common-law countries have let it go by, as in all of Western Europe, where guilt is presumed and procedures are often conducted by judges, who are not expected to be neutral and where there are no juries (exceptions abound, particularly in those countries forced to accept constitutions by the U.S. after the War). Even in Britain itself, they now empanel "special juries" expected to find against the defendant and allow majority verdicts even in capital cases.

The banning of interest-bearing loans has a number of contradictory aspects. Charging interest (usury) is explicitly banned repeatedly in both the Old Testament and the new. For example: Deuteronomy 23:19 - Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: or in the gospels: Matthew 25:27 - Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. This from one of the parables of Christ, spoken out of his own lips.

On the other hand, charging interest on loans made possible the rise of capitalism, a mixed blessing indeed.

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