Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

as consideration for the recovery of the horse, and knew that thereby he had saved the remaining seventy-five per cent. from falling on his own shoulders: the owner of the horse would also be pleased, and so would all his honest neighbours, for they would say to each other—“So, neighbour, such an one has got his horse again;" and they would smile or laugh according to their tempers; in short all would be pleased but the thief, and if they did not hang him he would have more cause to be pleased than any of them, and would not be half so likely to steal another as if he had got well off with that.

As every offence entered at the court of record would go to the reduction of the salary of the police-officer, it should be kept by a man of undoubted integrity, and all persons having been robbed or otherwise injured, should have free access to the article relating to his case immediately it was entered, and once afterwards if desired; he should also immediately confer with the police-officers, to give any further explanation that might afford a clue to the detection.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

It might be better not to have any unpaid magistrates; the notions of independence of some of them are so productive of conceits and pride, that although they do considerable good, it is to some not clear but that they do more harm by keeping more efficient men out of office.

Every offence should be recorded at the examination, with the names and addresses of prosecutor, witnesses, &c. yet no bar to calling other witnesses or evidence.

Care should be taken to state the naked truth, without any extraneous matter, as to value of weapons, value or sexes of animals, whether alive or dead, as to which hand committed the offence, or very generally as to the probable motive of the offender, and most carefully abstaining from all lies, which are now introduced into perhaps every indictment; is this agreeable to the dignity of the courts? If courts are held in the infernal regions, such practices doubtless there prevail, but we should strive not to be like unto them. Identity through every stage to be considered as belonging to the individual and not

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

to his name, though the latter is useful as
a means of rendering the case more tangible,
and the same to apply to the sufferers. No
advantage to be taken of incorrect descrip-
tions, but if the offence really meant by the
prosecution be proved against the individual,
no misnomer of person or thing should avail
to screen him from the punishment.

As detection should as speedily as possible
follow crime, and magisterial examination
with all convenient speed follow detection,
and trials by their frequency, and where
practicable, invariably clearing off all the
cases up to the day before the closing of the
court, might afford as little interval as possible
between detection and the commencement of
the punishment, so the latter should at once
be applied on conviction ; for few, if any,
circumstances palliate more the wholesome
dread of punishment than uncertainty and
distance. So a police, whose interest lay in
its vigilance and frequent trials, would con-
stitute invaluable auxiliaries. Now as every
vagabond increases the misery of a country,
and reduces its real respectability a little, so

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

measures calculated honestly to produce these effects would raise the country exceedingly in the scale of comfort, happiness, and respectability. As to pecuniary distress for want of profitable employment, if employment were doubled, with crime and profligacy doubled also, the distress would be increased, there would be more destitution, more misery: so if our rulers cannot lead us into, or allow us an inlet into more trade, yet if they will place our penal code on the basis of common sense, and thereby reduce the quantum of dissolute habits, they will do more towards the comfort and respectability of the nation.

All the real crimes, recognized as such by the present laws of England, might be placed in a few classes with a maximum and minimum punishment to each class, exhibiting considerable difference, so as to provide for such degrees of severity as to reach hacknied malignity on the one hand, and on the other provide for the degree of mercy which is unquestionably demanded in cases of occasional sudden temptation of youth, and recent uprightness of character.

[ocr errors][merged small]

On conviction, the jury would have to say
whether in the first or second degree they
considered the culprit guilty, or to which
the circumstances altogether most nearly
approached, and the judge would pronounce
sentence accordingly; there would not then, as
now, be frequent appeals from the jury to
the judge as to the extent of punishment,
half inquiry half stipulation, before they can
resolve how to state a matter of fact on which
as fact they have made up their minds. This
classification of punishment with offences
should differ much from the present code
which values a sheep at a higher rate than
a child, and sees in the stealing of the former
a blacker crime than in that of the latter.
Oh money! money! how does the love of
thee blind the eyes of the wisest of nations,
and blunt the feelings of the most humane
and magnanimous !
There

appears a manifest necessity for
degrees of punishment, also for degrees of
clearness of guilt, which could also be taken
into account as well as and along with the
considerations of degrees of malignancy of

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »