I remember something I heard from the film Dragonheart. The villain referred to death as a release and not a punishment. With this in mind, if death is the release then what is the real punishment? I think the real punishment would be a fate worse than death. Imagine having your mind, body, and spirit so irreparably broken over time that when you are finally executed you would not be mourned as a martyr. Overall, if you are not dead then the real punishment will make you wish you were dead. In future fantasy works, I am thinking of this punishment to be how rebels and traitors will be treated. After doing a lot of medieval research combined with my dark imagination, I am more than certain to come up with a suitable punishment in my fantasy series.