Spierenburg attempts to trace the origins of pre-industrial repression, making the point that the evolution of repression is deeply connected with the development of the state. The chapter focuses on how repression is a system of control.
Spierenburg makes an interesting point, highlighting that originally, repression of crime focused mainly on the crime and its impact on the community, rather than the purpose for which the crime was being committed. Criminal justice in fact had nothing to do with the criminal or the amount of guilt this person had, that is at least until the nineteenth century.
What I found most interesting about this reading was the fact that Spierenburg points out that the increase in capital and corporal punishment between the 12th and 16th centuries was not a result of a growing bloodlust in the general population, but rather a "consequence of growth and stabilization of a system of criminal justice."