The Aztecs did not tolerate crime or misbehavior in their society. Numerous offenses were punishable by death in the Aztec legal system, including homicide, perjury, robbery, destruction of crops, witchcraft, and even public drunkenness -- but only for younger offenders. Aztec elders could consume as much alcohol as they wished. The Aztecs' tipple of choice was pulque, a mildly alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. In the Aztec language, it was known as octli. The beverage's potency could be increased by adding certain roots and herbs.
Matters of life and death:
- Capital punishment could be carried out in a number of different ways, including hanging, stoning, beheading, disembowelment, burning, and quartering. If the victim chose to forgive the perpetrator, the death sentence could be vacated, and the perpetrator would become a slave of the victim’s family.
- Adultery was also a capital offense. Men were punished for adultery only if they had relations with a married woman. Married women were considered guilty regardless of the circumstances.
- The children of Aztec nobility could be sentenced to death if they were disrespectful, cowardly, or wasteful.