To call a man a hangman is the greatest insult you can cast upon him.
).--I suppose that is because he has touched sin and been polluted.
.--But the mob does not pelt the clergy
who takes the man's hand only the moment before he is executed!
[This retort excited great merriment, the audience loudly applauding.]
No, Mr. Chairman
, it is a very remarkable circumstance that in all time the man who did his duty in obeying this statute has been infamous.
Then here is another very important fact.
That statute--one line of which, according to these gentlemen, has sufficient vitality to cover all space and time — is so horrid you cannot permit the world to look at it. It demoralizes society.
The reason given for hiding the gallows was, that its influence was demoralizing; it was found to be the universal testimony that executions were great promoters of crime.
police never had so much to do as when there was an execution.
If example is the object, why certainly the example of the actual thing at the moment ought to have prevented people from committing the same offence.
Yet you remember the very remarkable case of the widow of a forger in London
, who begged her husband's body of the executioner and took it home; and the police, suspecting the parties, entered the house and found forged notes concealed in the very mouth of the corpse!
The wife and the other parties were engaged in the same crime, and to conceal it, put into the mouth of the corpse the evidence of their guilt!
And such cases are not at all uncommon, though this one may be most remarkable in its circumstances.
This was the reason why executions were made private.
Let me cite high authority on this point.
Six or seven