In the Mayan Culture the Mayan city-states had strict legal codes to deal with criminals. The Mayans believed that criminals did not act on their own but were being controlled by evil spirits. Although they believed this, criminals were still being punished.
Criminals were given visible slashes to be seen as a sign of disgrace. The most serious offense was murder and the punishment was death. There were councils of judges in the city-states to deal with criminal cases. From time to time they would send runners to obtain sacred decisions from local Gods at local temples. This came in the form of an oracle written on an obsidian block. Sentences were carried out immediately. Guilty verdicts meant torture or death on the central podium of the court.