Trial by ordeal as an effective system for guilt

Trial by Ordeal is a judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by subjecting them to a painful task. If either the task is completed without injury, or the injuries sustained are healed quickly, the accused is considered innocent. In medieval Europe, like trial by combat, it was considered a judicium Dei: a procedure based on the premise that God would help the innocent by performing a miracle on their behalf.

The believing guilty, then, faced an easy choice: admit guilt, be punished, and be spared the loss of an arm or the discomfort of frigid waters; or endure the ordeal, face the discomfort and possible loss of a hand or limb, and be punished anyway. Most of the guilty, history suggests, admitted their guilt before proceeding to the ordeal.

This practice from history is reverse to the current judicial practice, one is innocent until proven guilty.

ResonVate Thought:
Interesting change management approach. Can be used to complement solutions in scenarios of identity theft when there is lack of factual evidence to prove the guilty.
Reference
http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/trial-ordeal-was-actually-effective-test-guilt
http://www.lms.asn.au/
http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=28090 (Peter Leeson)