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Senate Journal 1823 (30-41272-P150A.pdf)

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288

[Governors Message]

legislator is required to perform: but from which he cannot shrink, unless regardless of the obligations he owes to those for whom he legislates. If we have laws, there will be violations; - if there be crimes there must be punishments. - The honest and industrious portion of society have a claim for protection against the depredations of the lawless - This was the great object for which government was instituted - for this it is supported; for this taxes are levied, and to this the constitution directs our first attention.

The maxim that mercy to the criminal is cruelty to the State, has been said by some never to have been more fully illustrated than in this country within a few of the past years.

Although this assertion is unquestionably too strong, yet it is beyond a doubt that imprisonment in some of the state penitentiaries has become altogether ineffectual either for the purposes of prevention or reform. And what better effect could have been expected from the crowded state of the prisons; from an indiscriminate intercourse among all classes of offenders, constituting a society suited to their dispositions; supplied by the government with better food and more comfortable clothing than they had ever provided for themselves. and living in very respect better, and performing less labour than a great proportion of the virtuous and industrious poor. - And that this has been the case in some of the States, we have abundant evidence from the highest authority. What salutary effect could be expected from such punishment, either in producing a reformation of character or deterring from the commission of crime? Sanguinary laws and

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.

Link to document in Digital Maine

Language: English

Date: 1823

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