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Senate Journal 1823

30-41272-P150B.pdf

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289
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[Governors Message]
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punishments are altogether inconsistent with our principles of government and expressly prohibited in our declaration of rights. Indeed there is little reason for believing that severe laws would have any tendency to diminish crime. In the country whose criminal code numbers upwards of two hundred capital offences violations and convictions are not less numerous in proportion to population, than in others where capital punishment is rarely inflicted. The revival of corporal punishment for offences not capital will not probably be again generally resorted to in this country.  Rather should we hope the necessity for capital punishment may be diminished, if not wholly obviated by some other equally promotive of the public safety.
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It is not more the duty of the Legislature to enact laws for the security of society, than to provide the necessary means of enforcing those laws. Their violation must be followed by certain punishment graduated by the character of the offence, with and unnecessary severity to the offenders. Experience has shown that punishment to be the most effectual in arresting the moral disease and producing reformation - which separates the convict from all intercourse with others; deprives him of every objects which attracts the attention and leave him uninterruptedly to the reflection of his conduct and the accusation of his conscience. Thus secluded, with the sacred volume for his companion, if the criminal be not reformed, he will at least be convinced that "the way of the transgressor is hard."

Revision as of Jul 2, 2020, 3:20:20 PM

289 [Governors Message] punishments are altogether inconsistent with our principles of government and expressly prohibited in our declaration of rights. Indeed there is little reason for believing that severe laws would have any tendency to diminish crime. In the country whose criminal code numbers upwards of two hundred capital offences violations and convictions are not less numerous in proportion to population, than in others where capital punishment is rarely inflicted. The revival of corporal punishment for offences not capital will not probably be again generally resorted to in this country. Rather should we hope the necessity for capital punishment may be diminished, if not wholly obviated by some other equally promotive of the public safety. It is not more the duty of the Legislature to enact laws for the security of society, than to provide the necessary means of enforcing those laws. Their violation must be followed by certain punishment graduated by the character of the offence, with and unnecessary severity to the offenders. Experience has shown that punishment to be the most effectual in arresting the moral disease and producing reformation - which separates the convict from all intercourse with others; deprives him of every objects which attracts the attention and leave him uninterruptedly to the reflection of his conduct and the accusation of his conscience. Thus secluded, with the sacred volume for his companion, if the criminal be not reformed, he will at least be convinced that "the way of the transgressor is hard."