Kara pozbawienia wolności; krakowski sąd grodzki; orzecznictwo; XVIII wiek
"Z Dziejów Prawa" (T. 4 (2011), s. 51-67)
The penalty of imprisonment played above all a role of a preventive means in Poland in the
18th century. Imprisoning an accused person was to make him/her unable to run away during the
trial. This way of treating the penalty of imprisonment derived to a large extent from the lack
of proper places of isolation and costs of the upkeep of a prisoner. The situation changed slowly
with time and the penalty of imprisonment ceased to be regarded as a preventive means exclusively,
but an institution of a substantive law.
The source of the investigation is above all the book of criminal cases that were dealt with
between 1722 and 1791 in a magistrates’ court in Kraków. The book covers almost the whole
century, which allows for a reconstruction of the court practice. Additionally, the acts of the magistrates’
court in Kraków from 1792—1793 which replaced the previous body were examined.
The analyses of the sentences from the magistrates’ court in Kraków prove that the penalty
of imprisonment was available in the 18th century. It was used in three different ways. Traditionally,
the prisoner was placed in one of the two towers. With time, it was a local prison and the the legal act of Rada Nieustająca, the accused could be sent to the fortress in Kamień Podolski.
Owing to an insufficient number of places adjusted to imprisonment the fortress in Częstochowa
started to fulfill the function of the prison and the ones convicted by a magistrates’ court were
to be found among the prisoners.