Many people do various things that are forbidden by law and it depends on where you are but in some countries death sentences are still allowed.
However, there are many different practices of punishment in some times and many times it was much worse than death.
Throughout history there have been various ways you can punish someone to show them what they have done wrong, but in many cases it was really too much even if it was argued that the person in question deserved it.
There were many interesting people in Ancient Assyria and also one of the very revered people Ashurnarispal II who was also very famous for brutally hurting and condemning people who stole something from him or caused something else.
However, one practice was practiced on many prisoners and especially on people who needed to get some information out. For while they were alive, they were skinned alive with various knives.
This method was used in the time of the Romans and was also used for many years afterwards.
Many people may think that boats mean to send you, for example, tied up in a boat into the sea and leave you there to die, but you are wrong.
Again we are in Roman times where one of the judges had before him a man who had been convicted of killing his father.
So he decided that he deserved more punishment than just the normal punishment and so they started to get very creative as well.
First the man was whipped with a whip with his face covered with a sack. Then he was put in the sack with various animals, none of which were at all friendly.