During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a sad building occupied the present open space in Piazza Casotti: it was the municipal prison building. All those who contravened the rules of the municipal statutes were detained here. Ferocious murderers, thieves, brigands, cheats, swindlers, but also small-time tax evaders who did not pay one of the many taxes already in existence at the time, were locked up together. Justice at that time was very strict and opposite the prisons, in what is now Via Arcipretura where the paper and printing shops are today, was the home of an esteemed civil servant: the executioner. On 24 November, St Prospero's Day, a person condemned to death, drawn by lot, was taken to the Basilica of the same name and pardoned: this was the city's homage to its patron saint.