By the 1700s, 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including stealing, cutting down a tree, and robbing a rabbit warren.
Because of the severity of the death penalty, many juries would not convict defendants if the offense was not serious. From 1823 to 1837, the death penalty was eliminated for over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony held its first execution in 1630, even though the Capital Laws of New England did not go into effect until years later.
The New York Colony instituted the Duke's Laws of 1665.
The Conference brings together 30 inmates who were freed from death row because of innocence.