life, no matter how, shall be hanged by the neck until he is dead?
Do not say I am quibbling.
I will show you I am not. Look in the thirty-fifth of Numbers, and you will observe that Moses
makes a peculiar institution.
He sets apart six “cities of refuge.”
What are they for?
Whoever commits murder with malice prepense, with design, is to be killed.
Whoever smites a mall unawares, that he die, he has a right to fly into a city of refuge, and stay there a year and a day, or until the death of the High Priest
; and provided he stays there during that period, the nearest of kin cannot kill him. “These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them; that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.”
(Num. XXXV. 15.) That was the only restraint which Moses
dared to put upon the right of the nearest of kin to take the life of anybody who had killed his relative, whether he took it by design or not. The murderer, you will observe, by the fifth chapter of Numbers, is to be put to death, whether he gets to the city of refuge or not; but the man who has committed manslaughter is not to be killed, provided he stay in the city of refuge a year and a day. Now, what does that show?
It shows two things,--in the first place, that, prior to Moses
' making that statute in Numbers, the nearest of kin took the life of anybody who killed his relative; and in the second place, it shows, what I have stated to you, that there is no distinction in this passage between murder and manslaughter.
institutes a distinction, and says that if a man has committed homicide,--has killed a man unawares,--and shall go to a city of refuge, and shall stay in this city a year and a day, he is not to be punished.
The two statutes interpret each other.
That second statute, which makes a limitation on the first,