twelve men; and then, having him utterly, irremediably in her power, she hangs him; and then she turns round and tells you, “I have only the right of the individual;” and the common law retorts upon her: “You had no right to take that man's life; you might have restrained him, if you would, and you had no right to kill him.”
As I said at the beginning, there are two objects of penalty,--first, to restrain the offender from repeating his offence; and second, to deter other people from imitating it. Now, if the object be simply to prevent the individual from repeating the offence, he cannot repeat it if he is shut up in prison.
You can keep him there; you can deny to the governor the power to pardon such persons.
You can declare, as O'Sullivan
proposes, that such persons shall not be pardoned except by the two-thirds vote of three successive legislatures.
You can keep them in prison, if you choose.
Nobody can say that a million of men and women, with one poor, hapless man in chains, are so afraid of him that they are obliged to take his life in order to prevent the offence.
No, gentlemen, nobody pretends it. The only claim now is, that it is necessary, in order to prevent other men from repeating it.
Here is another point.
If this idea of hanging men, for example, is correct, then why do you not make your executions as public as possible?
Why do you not hang men at the centre of the Common?
Our fathers did it. They hung their people under the great tree.
They hung them for example, and of course they wished everybody to see it. They hung men upon the Neck, and crowds went out to see it. If example is the object, the sight of punishment would seem to be essential to its full effect.
tells us, two thousand years ago, that a thing seen has double the weight of a thing heard.