"Punishment was severe."
Christians are not to deal out harsh punishment to his brothers in Christ but rather show him love and concern to admonish him to repent and come back into the fold.
Yes there are examples down through history of very cruel dealings with men by so called Christians. One period of time was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_(historiography) the dark ages where the Catholics warred against any that opposed them. Many men died over this. They are long time dead now and have met there God and there in Gods hands now