In classical Athenian law, inanimate objects could stand trial for a crime they may have committed. If the object was found ‘guilty’, then it would be cast beyond the Attic borders, as a way of purifying the land again.
Pausanias tells us of a bronze statue of Theagenes which was flogged every night by a man who had hated him during his lifetime. But one night, the statue fell and killed him. His sons prosecuted the Theagenes statue for murder, and as a result, was drowned in the sea. It was only retrieved some years later when the oracle at Delphi instructed it.