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Senate Journal 1823 (30-41272-P150B.pdf)

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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 no 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, without 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 object which attracts the attention and leaves 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."

The

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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