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offenders, that garroting has become almost a thing of the past, and in its application to wife-beating it has also very considerably lessened that form of brutality. Now, it seems to me that there is not anything of a retrograde character in society in applying the lash to people who themselves commit these acts. A witty Frenchman was once asked whether he was in favor of abolishing capital punishment, and he said : “Yes, but I want the criminals to set the example. They regard the possession of a watch on my part as a good reason for perpetrating capital punishment. Now, when they abolish capital punishment and set the example, we will follow."
Now, it is the same with reference to certain forms of brutality. A man who has a helpless woman in his charge, and because she is his wife regards that as a good reason for treating her brutally, should be whipped with the lash. Why, sir, some few years ago in the city of New York a shoemaker drove his awl into the eyes of his young wife, an eighteen-year-old girl, because she had looked admiringly upon some men. As to that man, I would regard it as no offense to have him stripped once a week during his life and thirty lashes applied to his back. Now, I say once more that you must take into consideration, first of all, not general phases of what is civilized or uncivilized, but what deters the criminal classes from committing crime; and under those circumstances the testimony of a man like Sir Edward Hillthough not published, but given in conversation over the breakfast-table—is worthy of consideration.
C. Stuart Patterson, of Pennsylvania :
I have only a few words to say, Mr. President, and I say those few words only because for a good many years past I have been a student of the treatment of the criminal classes, and for a number of years past I have been one of a body of five Governors which has had charge of a penitentiary containing one thousand one hundred convicts, and I suppose there are not many more gentlemen who have a more intimate
acquaintance with the criminal classes than myself. Therefore, I don't think I bring any prejudice to the consideration of this thing, but I do bring a certain amount of practical knowledge. Now, I think we will all agree that the object of the punishment of a criminal is not vindictive, and we will also agree that the object is not simply to reform him. Both the punishment and the reformation of the criminal are merely means to an end, and that end is the protection of society. It is for that that prisons are established. It is for that that courts of justice sit. Now, the very first thing that strikes you when you begin to study criminals is that you have got two classes to deal with. You have not only to deal with the young and the old offenders—that is one classification—but there is a broader classification than that, and that is that you have got to deal with those whom I may characterize as casual offenders and those who are by inheritance predisposed toward crime. Dealing with those two different classes, you cannot scientifically undertake to deal with them in the same way. One thing that strikes you is that for certain classes of people imprisonment within the walls of a prison is a severe punishment which makes an impression upon them, but it strikes you at the same time that when you have to deal with those that belong to the criminal class that imprisonment is not any punishment at all in the proper sense of the word, for the reason that you bring those men from a precarious condition of life and put them under modern conditions of society in a prison where they receive regularly good food and are carefully treated. That is certainly a fair statement of the custom of modern prisons in all civilized countries. Now, you bring in there a man who has been guilty of violence against a person. He has simply a feeling of restraint. To that extent he is punished. He finds that in playing his game against society he has lost a point. Perhaps I can illustrate that by a little experience. Within a very few months I was present at the prison when a prisoner was discharged at the end of a five years' term. He had
committed a very aggravated assault and battery. He had inflicted upon his victim that which was far worse than death. He was sent to prison for five years. I saw him when he went out. I was present at the prison within three weeks when that same man came back again, and when I saw him come in I said : “Here again; why ?” He said: “As soon as I went out, I went at it again.” Now, what is the use when you are dealing with a brute of that sort of simply sending him to prison. He ought to be whipped. I tell you there is a great deal of sentimentality in the country with regard to the treatment of criminals. We have got to protect the innocent as well as the criminal classes; and I do say that I earnestly hope this resolution will go forth with the stamp of approval of this Association,
Julius B. Curtis, of Connecticut :
As this resolution is stamped with the name of one of the leading gentlemen of this Association, Mr. Baldwin, of Connecticut, I think I have a right to say, so far as my own State is concerned, that I don't think the State of Connecticut is retrograding in the direction of the whipping-post, or in the direction of the burning of witches. I think we got rid of the whipping-post very many years ago, and I believe we shall stay rid of it. I have heard the arguments which have been stated here. The last gentleman, it seems to me, misses the question entirely. He says the present means of punishment are inadequate. That may be, but are they met by the whipping-post? Is that adequate? Take such a criminal as he has described before this meeting as having committed an infamous offense, and then returned to prison. Would the whipping-post deter such a criminal ?
C. Stuart Patterson :
I will admit that if you take his life it would end the matter, or if you were to torture him in such a way as to render him incompetent to do harm any more, that would
end the matter. The truth is that the whipping-post will not do that. You would have to go into the whole system of torture. You would have to bring out the criminals who should be whipped—this one to be whipped, and this man tortured, and this man to be burned. All these things we got rid of years ago, the whipping-post with the rest. Now, this important provision is in the Constitutions of all the States, I believe, that cruel and unusual punishments are not to be inflicted upon criminals in this country. What are cruel and unusual punishments? The whippingpost was in existence when the Constitution of the United States was first established, but wise men brought it under that provision of the Constitution, and said the whippingpost was an unusual and cruel punishment, and, although it then existed, civilization does not permit it at the present time. There is a great and important matter to be considered in this question so far as criminals are concerned, but it is not the whipping-post. I often hear gentlemen say that they wish the whipping-post was established again. For what? Wife-beating. Would that prevent it? Suppose a man committed a cruel act upon his wife, and you take him and whip him for it, would he live with his wife after that? I tell you, gentlemen, you had better adopt the law of Connecticut and give the wife a divorce and have an end of it. Now, I understand that such a law as this has been passed in Maryland. I believe there has only been one man whipped there under the law because the wives would not complain of their husbands.
Robert D. Benedict :
Has the gentleman read the report of the Committee, in which the Committee showed what was the effect of that one man's whipping ?
Julius B. Curtis :
Does that meet the case? The gentleman says there have been very few cases. The Committee reports that fact. But have they gone behind the scenes and found how many wifebeaters there are? The truth about this is that at this period of time I am not in favor of any such law as that.
Skipwith Wilmer, of Maryland:
It may be doubted, Mr. President, whether it is wise altogether for questions of this sort to be raised in the Association until we are prepared to express ourselves decisively upon them. I do think, however, that as this question has been raised, as it has been before the Committee for one year, and before the Association for one year after the Committee has made its report, it will be very unfortunate that there should be any expression of opinion upon this question that would leave society in a more defenseless condition than, in my judgment, is the one which it now occupies. I think every gentleman here will recognize the fact that while crime is steadily on the increase, while the census of 1880 shows twenty-five per cent. more of criminals than was shown by the census of 1870, that the resources of society for the effective punishment of crime have been steadily diminishing. Not a year rolls by that the Legislature does not abolish labor in one form or another in some of our penal institutions. Whenever an industry is conducted there with sufficient prosperity to interfere, in the opinion of men engaged in similar work outside, with the profits of their trade, a bill is passed prohibiting that industry. Some of the States have abolished labor in prisons entirely. Some of the States, such as the . State in which I live, have abolished certain forms of work. In houses of correction and institutions where criminals are confined who are sentenced for short terms, it is found that