| Torture was frequently employed during the Middle Ages to punish criminals and extract confessions. Hundreds of devices were used including The Rack and The Chair. Even though thousands died in unimaginably painful ways, torture wasn't as frequent as most of us believe. During the Inquisition only 1 or 2 percent of the heretics or criminals were subject to long periods of torture - the rest were simply incarcerated or punished in other ways.
Most medieval towns had a council to determine a person's guilt. Only in the most severe of cases, such as murder or treason, was the victim tortured. In the majority of cases he was incarcerated or simply vanished from the town and never allowed back.