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Document Details :
Title: Criminal Justice in Sasanian Persia
Author(s): JANY, J.
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 42 Date: 2007
Sasanian criminal law had at least three different functions: to protect the political interest of the state and the ruling elite, to maintain Zoroastrianism as the official religion of the kingdom, and to protect the society against criminals. Crimes were classified into various categories and sub-categories on which penalties of individual delicts were depending. According to the theory of punishment elaborated by the sages and jurisconsults, the aim of the penalty was to save the soul of the perpetrator from the consequences of his crime. In criminal procedure law Zoroastrian clergy played a decisive role, at least in proceedings against heretics and members of religious minorities. Capital punishments were imposed by crucifixion, beheading with the sword, burning, stoning and other crucial methods of execution. Albeit existing, prisons served only as preventive detention. Prisoners could be released on bail; bribery, however, was also an effective means to escape punishment.