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Belgium (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 10
olished. We have got outside of the Bible now; we have got the experience of two hundred years in England, that every crime from which the penalty of the gallows was taken off has diminished; we have got the experience of Russia, of Tuscany, of Belgium, of Sir James Mackintosh in India, where they have given up the death penalty, yet murder did not increase. You say, these experiments were local, and for a short time; true, but they were all one way. Society has never tried the gallows but to; it is easy to get a living here, and poverty, therefore, does not drive to crime, as in some other places,--our circumstances are all favorable to morality. We are in a better condition to try such an experiment than Michigan, far better than Belgium, Tuscany, or Russia; yet they tried it and were successful, and why will not we try it also? All the great lights of jurisprudence are on our side,--Franklin, Livingston, Rush, Lafayette, Beccaria, Grotius, -I might mention forty eminent names,
Tuscany (Italy) (search for this): chapter 10
e penalty of the gallows was taken off has diminished; we have got the experience of Russia, of Tuscany, of Belgium, of Sir James Mackintosh in India, where they have given up the death penalty, yet We are in a better condition to try such an experiment than Michigan, far better than Belgium, Tuscany, or Russia; yet they tried it and were successful, and why will not we try it also? All the grate that has abolished it has ever taken a backward step voluntarily. It was re-established in Tuscany by a foreign power, and is not executed even-there. I understand that the Grand Duke of TuscanTuscany promised his sister never to obey the law forced upon him by Napoleon, and you see murderers walking in their parti-colored dress along the streets of Leghorn and Florence; yet Tuscany is the most Tuscany is the most moral and well-behaved country in Italy. So it is with our States. All experience points one way. The old barbarous practices have gradually given place to others more humane and merciful. Once a
Russia (Russia) (search for this): chapter 10
ment why it should be abolished. We have got outside of the Bible now; we have got the experience of two hundred years in England, that every crime from which the penalty of the gallows was taken off has diminished; we have got the experience of Russia, of Tuscany, of Belgium, of Sir James Mackintosh in India, where they have given up the death penalty, yet murder did not increase. You say, these experiments were local, and for a short time; true, but they were all one way. Society has never ta living here, and poverty, therefore, does not drive to crime, as in some other places,--our circumstances are all favorable to morality. We are in a better condition to try such an experiment than Michigan, far better than Belgium, Tuscany, or Russia; yet they tried it and were successful, and why will not we try it also? All the great lights of jurisprudence are on our side,--Franklin, Livingston, Rush, Lafayette, Beccaria, Grotius, -I might mention forty eminent names, all throwing their t
Michigan (Michigan, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
the penalty of death, and then highway robbery diminished; there were more cases before than since. In the States that have abolished the death penalty, the result has been entirely satisfactory; and every humane man must rejoice at it. Take Michigan, and those States that have rescinded the penalty; they were no worse off than Massachusetts. I say that this is a State pre-eminently fitted to try this experiment. We are the great Normal School of all civil government,--Massachusetts. We e a homogeneous population; it is easy to get a living here, and poverty, therefore, does not drive to crime, as in some other places,--our circumstances are all favorable to morality. We are in a better condition to try such an experiment than Michigan, far better than Belgium, Tuscany, or Russia; yet they tried it and were successful, and why will not we try it also? All the great lights of jurisprudence are on our side,--Franklin, Livingston, Rush, Lafayette, Beccaria, Grotius, -I might men
Florence (Italy) (search for this): chapter 10
t. The whole current of legislation is to give it up. We have given it up in almost all cases, and we are safer than we were. No State that has abolished it has ever taken a backward step voluntarily. It was re-established in Tuscany by a foreign power, and is not executed even-there. I understand that the Grand Duke of Tuscany promised his sister never to obey the law forced upon him by Napoleon, and you see murderers walking in their parti-colored dress along the streets of Leghorn and Florence; yet Tuscany is the most moral and well-behaved country in Italy. So it is with our States. All experience points one way. The old barbarous practices have gradually given place to others more humane and merciful. Once a prisoner was not allowed to swear his witnesses; then they would not allow him counsel. Now he may swear his witnesses, and is entitled to counsel; yet the government is safe. Men used to say, We cannot get rid of the .gallows. Why, murder is so rife in the land that
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
. 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. Why, Homer tells us, two thousand years ago, that a thing seen has double the weight of a thing heard. Everybody knows that a child will recollect what he sees ten times as well as what he hears. You know that in old times (not to make a laugh of it), in Connecticut, they used to take the children to the line of the town, and there give them a whipping, in order that they might remember the bounds of their township by that spot. Now, there are fourteen States in the Union that have made executions private, and in England they are private. Only a few men — some twenty or thirty or fifty--are allowed to witness them. Mark you, the whole claim of the value of executions now lies in their example; yet it is found that out of one hundred and sixty-seve
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
walls and keep him there his whole life. Massachusetts can build prisons strong enough to keep a shall his blood be shed. Every pulpit in Massachusetts interprets that as a command of God. I beose you had made a statute for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; suppose you had passed the Maine te; what right, then, has the Governor of Massachusetts to exercise such a power on the theory of But you sit here under the Constitution of Massachusetts, and if that Constitution is right, you haows was a violation of the Constitution of Massachusetts; for it undertook to assume over that man'ence, the moral sense, and the religion of Massachusetts go up and stand by the side of that poor ue gallows but to fail. Now, all we ask of Massachusetts is, that when she has tried the one and no the penalty; they were no worse off than Massachusetts. I say that this is a State pre-eminentlyy one step further in the same direction. Massachusetts has got up to the wall. She has thrown it[2 more...]
Sinai (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
he authority of a statute so uncertain in its meaning that no sheriff would hang an individual man on a precept so equivocal, and so much surrounded with difficulties! If men are to come here and propound it as a statute sounding down to us from Sinai, and before Sinai, then it is a statute that we must put our hands on our lips, and our lips in the dust, and obey to the letter. We have no right to reject one word and take the next; there is no trifling to be done with it. Gentlemen, we haSinai, then it is a statute that we must put our hands on our lips, and our lips in the dust, and obey to the letter. We have no right to reject one word and take the next; there is no trifling to be done with it. Gentlemen, we have now dismissed the subject of obligation. It is unnecessary to say,,after this, that I do not believe in the obligation. If society can get permission to take life from this text, it is the most that it can get; it is no command, no continuing command. But, mark you, even that permission your Constitution does not allow you to use! Your Constitution does not even recognize it as a permission; because, if it is, it is a per. mission to commit suicide. You have got to upset the American i
Salem (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
lawyer would call an interpretation from contemporaneous practice. Here is the practice of fifteen hundred years under that statute, and the man who commits murder, with aforethought or unawares, is to be slain by the nearest of kin of the murdered man. If that was the original command, obey it. We have only the statute of Genesis; we have no thirty-fifth chapter of Numbers, with its limitation,--that was addressed to the Jews. We have no cities of refuge. A man cannot go to Worcester or Salem, and stay there a year, by way of punishment, or atonement for his offence. We have not the exception; we have only the statute. Now, gentlemen, are the reverend gentlemen willing to say that you shall annul the distinction between murder and manslaughter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,--that if a man kills another unintentionally, without malice, he shall be punished with death, under the covenant with Noah? If they will not, what right have they to come here and tell you to obey
Oriental (Oklahoma, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
ine of Hebrew text. If you will look into our friend Spear's book, or Dr. Cheever's book, or any book on this subject, on either side, you will find that there are as many as twelve different interpretations of it. No two of the great lights of Oriental learning and the Hebrew language have been able to agree upon an interpretation. One says that it means one thing, and another, another thing; and from Calvin and Luther down to our own day, there has been no unanimous agreement among scholars say it is a prophecy, Whosoever taketh the sword, shall perish by the sword; and so of all the different meanings. I do not go into them, because it is utterly immaterial to my argument which is the best. The simple fact that the most eminent Oriental scholars have never been able to agree upon an interpretation, is enough for me. Is it not singular, I say, that so transcendent an act of legislation as breaking into the bloody house of life, as Shakspeare writes,--the taking of human life,--s
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