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Senate Journal 1823 (30-41272-P149B.pdf)

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287

[Governors Message]

corrupted, he ought not by compulsion to become an inmate with the hardened felon, whose influence, under such circumstances, would be demoralizing to the purest mind. If he be an inebiate [?] in vice, the instructions of an abandoned companion would prepare for still greater crime. Yet this cannot be avoided in County gaols with few apartments, all crowded, and without the necessary means of classification. Our constitution guarantees to the accused a "speedy, public and impartial trial:" but in consequence of the present state of our prisons, and the arrangement of the courts in some of the counties, the accused, previous to the trial, if unable to furnish bail, may, for more than eleven months be subjected to the highest punishments not capital, more inflicted upon the most abandoned offenders, and, moreover, after having suffered this punishment, more severe perhaps than the law denounces against the offence with which he is charged, may be proved and adjudged to be innocent. The possibility of such an occurrence calls for legislative attention. It is necessary for the security of society that the guilty be visited with that punishment, however severe, which will be effectual to deter, correct and reform, but is a violation of natural right for punishment to precede trial. The accused must unavoidably submit to such restraint as will ensure his answering the accusation and abiding the issue; but this restraint should never, either in discipline or diet, unnecessarily partake of the nature of punishment, and its continuance ought to be limited, or its character changed by a speedy trial. - To provide for the punishment of offences is the most unpleasant duty which the humane

Description: The journal of the Senate documents the proceedings in the chamber, including actions taken on bills, petitions and reports from committees read, and votes taken. The journals are not transcripts and therefore do not include floor speeches that are found in the modern Legislative Records.

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Language: English

Date: 1823

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