Maryland Prisoners Languishing in Gaol Volume 1: 1635-1765. Henry C. Peden Jr. Crimes ranged from debt to theft to murder to rape, as well as slander and disrespect towards the government and its officials. Punishments ranged from hanging to being burned in the hand to banishment from the province. Repeat offenders were subject to having an ear cut off and many were put on display at the public pillory. More often then not, however, prisoners languished for years in jail before getting a chance to be tried in the county courts or before the Provincial Court. Many petitioned for relief and their petitions contained details of each particular deplorable situation, begging for relief. 2013, 240 pp., 8 ½ x 11.