Peine forte et dure


Also found in: Encyclopedia.

PEINE FORTE ET DURE, Eng. law A punishment formerly inflicted in England, on a person who, being arraigned of felony, refused to plead and put himself on his trial, and stubbornly stood mute. He was to be laid down and as much weight was to be put upon him as he could bear, and more, until he died. This barbarous punishment has been abolished. Vide Mute.