Observations on the Criminal Law of England: As it Relates to Capital Punishments, and on the Mode in which it is Administered

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T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1810 - Capital punishment - 76 pages
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Page 64 - If by saying it is better, be meant that it is more for the public advantage, the proposition, I think, cannot be maintained. The security of civil life, which is essential to the value and the enjoyment of every blessing it contains, and the interruption of which is followed by universal misery and confusion, is protected chiefly by the dread of punishment. The misfortune of an individual (for such may the sufferings, or even the death, of an innocent person be called, when they are occasioned by...
Page 3 - HERE is probably no other country in the world in which so many and so great a variety of human actions are punishable with loss of life as in England.
Page 18 - ... imprisonment. The news of this sentence having reached the accomplice in his retreat, he immediately returned, and surrendered himself to take his trial at the next assizes. The next assizes came; but, unfortunately for the prisoner, it was a different judge who presided ; and, still more unfortunately, Mr Justice Gould, who happened to be the judge, though of a very mild and indulgent disposition, had observed, or thought he had observed, that men who set out with stealing fowls, generally...
Page i - Will. 111. 12 Ann. and 24 Geo. II. ; which make the crimes of stealing privately in a shop, goods of the value of five shillings ; or in a dwelling-house, or on board a vessel in a navigable river, property of the value of forty shillings ; capital felonies.
Page 11 - ... thus committed were discharged, because those who had suffered by their crimes would not appear to give evidence upon their trial : in how many cases the witnesses who did appear withheld the evidence that they could have given : and how numerous were the instances in which juries found a compassionate verdict, in direct contradiction to the plain facts clearly established before them ; — we do not know ; but that these evils must all have existed to a considerable degree, no man can doubt.
Page 19 - ... astonishment of this unhappy man, sentenced him to be transported. While one was taking his departure for Botany Bay, the term of the other's imprisonment had expired; and what must have been the notions which that little Public, who witnessed and compared these two examples, formed of our system of Criminal Jurisprudence?
Page 66 - They ought rather to reflect, that he who falls by a mistaken sentence, may be considered as falling for his country ; whilst he suffers under the operation of those rules, by the general effect and tendency of which the welfare of the community is maintained and upholden. CHAPTER X. OF RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OF TOLERATION. ' A RELIGIOUS establishment is no part of Christianity ; it is only the means of inculcating it.
Page 17 - It has often happened, it necessarily must have happened, that the very same circumstance which is considered by one judge as matter of extenuation, is deemed by another a high aggravation of the crime. The former good character of the delinquent, his having come into a country in which he was a stranger to commit the offence, the frequency or the novelty of the crime ; are all circumstances which have been upon some occasions considered by different judges in those opposite lights : and it is not...
Page 18 - Norfolk circuit, a larceny was committed by two men in a poultry yard ; but only one of them was apprehended ; the other, having escaped into a distant part of the co'untry, had eluded all pursuit. At the next assizes the apprehended thief was tried and convicted ; but Lord Loughborough, before whom he was tried, thinking the offence a very slight one, sentenced him only to a fewmonths imprisonment.
Page 4 - ... from transportation, confine our observations to those larcenies, unaccompanied with any circumstance of aggravation, for which a capital punishment is appointed by law, such as stealing privately in shops, and stealing in dwellinghouses and ou board ships, property of the value mentioned in the statutes, we shall find the proportion of those executed -reduced very far indeed below that even of one to twenty.

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