The pillory was used to publicly humiliate a victim. Even though it was meant as a mild form of punishment, the crowd sometimes made it lethal.
The pillory often served as a post for Flagellation. When the victim was restrained with the device, he was completely defenseless and subject to the crowd.
In many cases the crowd threw harmless objects such as vegetables, but when the victim committed a serious offense they threw stones or other heavy objects. The crowd often humiliated the victim by cutting his hair, putting marks on his body and even mutilating some of his body parts.
The pillory didn't last more than a few hours, but it was sometimes carried on for days. The device was situated in either the marketplace or the plaza - where most villagers could see the victim's suffering. The army was also well-known for using the pillory as a means of punishment.