Incas and the Law

On the whole the Incas were very law-abiding people. Because they were provided with everything they needed in life, theft was rare. There were no prisons in the whole land.

The worst crimes were murder, insulting the Inca and making fun of the gods. These were punishable by death. Also you could be punished to death for lying three times or for being lazy three times. The usual method of slaying was to throw the villain over a great cliff so that he or she was smashed on the rocks below.

Lesser crimes were punished by the cutting off hands and feet or gouging out eyes. The unfortunate victims were than kept by the state and given food and clothing. Every day they were brought to the gates of the nearest town and made to sit with a begging bowl. This was so that everyone could see them and learn what crimes had led to their terrible punishment.

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