Well, it might be wrong. Consider this: Who is the source for 18th century figures on murder? Well, the government. And who runs the government? The Genoese - who, if you think about it, have pretty good reasons for wanting to portray the Corsicans as bloodthirsty savages who are totally incapable of self-government lest they descend into murderous anarchy. I'm not saying the figures are wrong, necessarily - we don't really have any other figures to go on, so I can't say. But I would not be the first to wonder if the murder statistics for Corsica at that time might be exaggerated. That said, even if the murder rate wasn't "an order of magnitude worse than 2015 El Salvador" bad, it was clearly still very high in comparison to the rest of Europe. A lot of human capital was being needlessly squandered. EDIT: Although I should add that 700 in 100,000 isn't actually the highest figure claimed (that would be 900 per 100,000), and that Costa himself, addressing that figure in one of his writings, did not claim that it was untrue but simply said it was the result of Genoese misgovernance. There were informal indigenous courts, in the form of clan elders and caporali, but their decisions were often based on the same code of honor that motivated the murderers. As a historical example, there was a case where man A killed man B, and in retaliation man B's brother killed man A's nephew. Belatedly, a Genoese official made inquiries (which seems to have been rare). The village elders discussed the situation and decided to tell the official that the two dead men had killed each other. As far as the elders were concerned, honor had been satisfied since each family had lost a man, and telling the Genoese official the truth would have only meant that two men of the village would be hanged or forced to live as outlaws, which would only hurt the community. From the perspective of the village and the clans, the decision made perfect sense, but from the perspective of crime prevention it was quite unhelpful, as it only affirmed the notion that retaliatory murder was acceptable and would not be punished.