[Three-quarter length portrait of an elderly convict, facing slightly left]
The first Russians exiled to Siberia were convicted of rebellion against Tsar Godunov's believed to order assassination the young prince Dmitry in 1593. In 1653, the death penalty for thieves and robbers was revoked and exile to Siberia instead became an alternative punishment. In the 19th century it widely believed that criminals would start leading new lives in a new place, they would build their new homes and have new families, as well as improve the economic well-being of Siberia. However, the population increase was not registered in the region. Siberian officials reported that more than two-thirds of the exiled did not live in their homes. About 500,000 people were exiled in Siberia during the first half of the 19th century, though 400,000 seemed to have not living at the exile destination or disappeared.