Sentence Examples with the word BENEFIT OF CLERGY

These claimed benefit of clergy and were branded in the hand and released.

This diversity of jurisdiction, and subjection of the clergy only to the sentences of judges bribed by their esprit de corps to judge leniently, led to the adoption of a scale of punishments for the offences of clerks avowedly much lighter than that which was inflicted for the same crimes on laymen; and this in turn led to the survival in England, long after the Reformation, of the curious legal fiction of benefit of clergy (see below), used to mitigate the extreme harshness of the criminal law.