You need a new dictionary. Malum in se is Latin for "evil in itself", not "wrong in itself" HUGE difference.I was pretty sure malus means "bad", but it's been 25 years since I studied Latin so I looked it up:
malus (1) -a -um: comp. peior -us; superl. pessimus -a -um [bad , evil (physically or morally); unfavorable, unsuccessful, ugly]. N. as subst. malum -i, [an evil; harm, disaster; punishment]; as a term of abuse, [scoundrel].So, yes it does appear that malum/mala is not intended as a part of malus and therefore means evil rather than bad. However, saying that malum defined as evil does not equal wrong is a distinction without a difference (gotta luv that phrase - never heard anyone but lawyers use it). Look in the thesaurus under "wrong" and you get this:synonyms.
Are you really positing that "..[an] angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarreling with her neighbors." is inherently evil? Really?No, I'm saying it doesn't actually fit under either definition, but that the characteristics of the law fit more closely to the characteristics of laws we are taught to group under malum in se. It comes from the common law, has an ancient heritage, and was not enacted by statute.
andIn way back times punishment for every felony was death and other wonderful things like trial by combat, trial by ordeal, and branding existed. At that time the punishment you object to was probably considered a measured punishment. However, please note that by the time it was eliminated in the US, by State v. Palendrano, it was a simple misdemeanor like any other. It was banished from US law not because the conduct was deemed proper or the punishment onerous, but because it could only be applied to members of one sex.
"punishable by dunking: being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond."
this is not immoral behavior of the State? Really? Seriously?