Derb – They’re actually a somewhat recent here too. In the West, there were very few prisons in the 19th century for understandable reasons. There were few buildings, few people, few resources etc. There were jails, of course. But that’s where you hold people before they’re sentenced, not after. I remember hearing somewhere that in the Old West there were over 200 crimes punishable by death including barn-burning, horse stealing etc. That illustrates nicely how absurd so much of the anti-death penalty blather is — at least as a matter of constitutional law.