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cated in the hearts and minds of a nation, will enable it to triumph over every adversity with courage and determination. Truth admits of no shading, no qualification, no degree. A thing is either true or it is false, and once let a deliberate false statement be proven, it merits but one condemnation and one punishment. In this particular the French Criminal Judicial System is wrong, because it is founded on a mistaken idea of a great fundamental principle. As there can be but one right and one wrong, so a thing can only be true or false, and he who seeks to take away or destroy life, liberty or property, by falsehood, should be punished for the crime itself—purely and simply for the wrong done—and irrespective of consequences of the perjured testimony, A severe, and what might be considered harsh law is that against vagabondage or vagrancy. It may account for the absence to a large extent of the tramp class, for in France, once a vagabond falls into the clutches of the law it is likely to go very hard with him, for the Legislature has left very little discretion with those before whom an individual so unfortunate as to be charged as a vagabond may be brought. Wagabondage is a misdemeanour. Vagabonds and vagrants are those who have neither a fixed domicile or the means of support, and who do not regularly exercise any profession or 0c. cupation. Vagabonds and vagrants over sixteen years of age who have legally been declared such, are liable for this fact alone to from three to six months' imprisonment, and after having served their term, they remain under the surveillance of the police for a period of not less than five or more than ten years. An alien declared by a judgment to be a vagabond can be conducted to the frontier by order of the Government and put out of the country. No account of the French Criminal Judicial System would be complete without referring to the semi-theatrical aspect it sometimes assumes, and which, from long custom and habit, it seems almost impossible to avoid. The reconstitution of a crime is an almost every-day occurrence, and yet, it is terribly dramatic and spectacular—it is re-enacting the tragedy with living persons–frequently with the dead body lying as originally found—and in the presence of and before the eyes of the alleged criminal. Sometimes it is too much for the nerves even of a hardened desperate murderer, and before this mise en scene of his crime he weakens, breaks down, and confesses. Courts have taken occasion, however, not only to criticize, but even condemn, this time-honoured custom, and it is doubtful whether it will long survive modern and more liberal ideas of criminal procedure. Besides the reconstitution of a crime is the dramatic spectacle of confrontation, or bringing an accused person before his victim, or a witness, for the purpose of identification, and as this often occurs when one of the parties is in ertremis, the scene becomes a theatrical and terrible ordeal. An amusing as well as tragic scene, illustrating the natural theatrical tendency of those connected with the administration of criminal justice, occurred when the desperado Lacombe, momentarily escaping the vigilance of his warders, scrambled up a wall, and finally, perched like a bird on the ridge of the prison building in temporary security, not only defied all orders to descend, but hurled vile language and investive back at the officials gathered below in the prison yard. Such an escaped prisoner is no more than a wild beast, and under the circumstances, it would not only have been proper, but fitting, that he should have been shot down by the guard in the same way that any criminal seeking to escape should be shot. This, however, was the thing furthest from the mind of the officials who not only did not shoot him down, but on his demand, sent for his lawyer, and then calmly awaited his arrival. When he came the lawyer was assisted to approach his client, the criminal, on his perch on the roof, by means of a ladder, and permitted to have an interview with him. Imagine such an exhibition—what a theatrical picture for a drama. When this scene, which occupied an hour or two, had been played, and the avocat had descended from the ladder, his client proceeded to dash his brains out by plunging headlong into the stone courtyard below ! With all that is admirable in the French Judicial Criminal System there is that one great bulwark of personal liberty lacking that is essential to the liberty of the citizen—the writ of habeas corpus. In France this does not exist: in France there is no writ that secures the liberty of the individual from illegal restraint. With few exceptions, no matter how wrong and illegal his arrest may be, the accused when once taken into custody and confined in prison incurs the risk of awaiting the outcome of the investigation that the Juge d’Instruction makes into the charge, which may be a matter of days or weeks or months according to circumstances; and even if discharged and entirely exonerated from the charge, the accused may have had to linger in a common prison for months without the possibility of seeking release. One sees on every hand the words: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and France is called a Free Republic; but the history of the world has demonstrated that no country can be so called where the sacred writ of habeas corpus is unknown. In England and in the United States the writ of habeas corpus is now regarded as the greatest and most important remedy known to the law. From the assent of King John at Runnymede (June 15th, 1215) until the famous Habeas Corpus Act of 31 Charles II., c. 2 (1680), followed by the Statute 56 George III, c. 100 (1816), the life and existence of this right passed through many trying vicissitudes only eventually to be saved and secured to future generations by the statutes above referred to.
C. A. HERESHOFF BARTLETT.
A PROTEST AGAINST LAWS AUTHORIZING THE STERILIZATION OF CRIMINALS AND IMBECILES.
('HARLEs A. BosTON."
Good and wholesome lau's. Some one's idea of the public weal is the excuse for every abuse ever committed by power! For example: By the Act of 22 Henry VIII., ch. 9, passed in the year 1530, after reciting that
“The King's Royal Majesty calling to his most blessed remembrance that the making of good and wholesome laws and due execution of the same against the offenders thereof is the only cause that good obedience and order hath preserved in this realm.”
* The author of this article was educated at Baltimore City College and Johns Hopkins University. He is now a member of the law firm of Hornblower, Miller & Potter, New York City; VicePresident for New York of the American Bar Association, Chairman of its Committee on Publicity: Vice-President Society of Medical Jurisprudence, and Chairman of its Committee on the Law of Insanity; Chairman, Committee on Judicial Statistics, New York State Par Association ; member Committee on Efficiency in the Adminis. tration of Justice of The , National Foconomic League, etc., etc. Author of articles on Privileged Communications between Patient and Physician, and Laws Regulating the Practice of Medicine, and joint, author of “Mental Unsoundness in its Legal Relations" in Witthaus and Becker's Medical Jurisprudence. Forensic Medicine and
It was enacted by authority of Parliament that Richard Rouse, otherwise called Richard Cook, “ of his most wicked and damnable disposition, did cast a certain venom of poison into a vessel replenished with yeast or barm, standing in the kitchen of the reverend father of God, John, Bishop of Rochester, at his place in Lambeth Marsh; with which yeast or barm, and other things convenient, porridge or gruel was forthwith made for his family there being; whereby not only the number of seventeen persons of his said family did eat of that porridge, were mortally infected or poisoned, [but] one of them, that is to say, Bennet Curwan, gentleman, is thereof deceased, * * *” ->
And therefore, “our said sovereign lord the king, of his blessed disposition inwardly abhorring all such abominable offences * * * *
Ordained and enacted that the said Richard should stand and be attainted of high treason; and because the detestable offence required condign punishment, it was enacted that the said Richard Rouse should be boiled to death, (which was accordingly done"), and that similar offenders in the future should be “committed to execution of death by boiling for the same.”
The case of Richard Rouse, selected for illustration (and there may be hundreds of others chosen in which diabolical punishments were meted out, dictated by the same sentiment of supposedly good and wholesome laws), suggests now to the man reflecting upon it in the light of present day knowledge and intervening history, that both the King's Royal Majesty and his lords and commons in Parliament assembled, were ignorant of a scientific fact; that they knew nothing of the possibility of “ptomaine poisoning,” and that Richard Rouse was or may have been unjustly condemned by ignorant Judges without a fair hearing, even though they were the King's Royal Majesty and the assembled political wisdom of England.
Toxicology. IHe has recently contributed articles upon the following subjects to legal periodicals : A Code of Legal Ethics (Green Bag, May, 1908); The Spirit Behind the Sherman Anti-Trust Law (Yale Law Review, March. 1912) : Some Practical Remedies for Existing Defects in the Administration of Justice (University of Pennsylvania Law Review, November, 1912); Disbarment for Questioning the Integrity of the Court (Central Law Journal, April, 1913); Work of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York County Lawyers' Association (Bench and Bar, December, 1912). * Froude's Henry viii, C. iv.
The 1 ndiana Sterilization Law. The Legislature of Indiana, by C. 215 Laws 1907, approved by the Governor of that State, enacted that “Whereas heredity plays a most important part in the transmission of crime, idiocy and imbecility.” Therefore every institution entrusted with the care of confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists, and imbeciles, should appoint two skilled surgeons, in conjunction with its chief physician, to examine the mental and physical condition of such inmates as may be recommended by the institutional physician and board of managers; and if in the judgment of this committee of experts and the board of managers, procreation is inadvisable, and there is no probability of improvement in the mental condition of the inmate, it shall be lawful for the surgeons to perform an operation for the prevention of procreation, but not unless the case shall have been pronounced unimprovable, provided that in no case shall the consultation fee be more than $3.”
Thus, after nearly four centuries of human experience, political and scientific, since Richard Rouse was boiled to death under a “good and wholesome law,” for an offence of which he may not have been guilty, and for which he was not tried, we find the legislative wiseacres of Indiana, declaring that two skilled surgeons and a chief physician, after forming a $3 opinion, may, upon the recommendation of a board of lay managers sterilize a human being, if they think his case is beyond improvement and if he happens to be in their power, because forsooth, “heredity plays a most important part in the transmission of crime, idiocy and imbecility.” That is to say, heredity is reduced by the Indiana Legislature to such exactitude that they know that if a “rapist.” shows signs of improvement, his tendencies are not so far transmissible to his offspring as to make them a danger to the community; but if a board of managers, two surgeons, and a physician, conclude that there is no probability of improvement in the mental condition of a “rapist,” then they may conclude that procreation is inadvisable because
* It is interesting to note that the next law of this State, upproved the same day. March 9, 1907. is for the absolute protection of quail, grouse and prairie chicken, during 10 1/3 months in every year, and of geese, ducks and other water fowl during 5 months, finder penalty of $10.00, and requiring a license to shoot them at any time.