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prisonment for life: let us suppose that there would be three murders in the former case, and five in the latter; we should then have to weigh the murder of three men, and the hanging of the three murderers, six deaths in all, against the five murders and the perpetual imprisonment of the five murderers: there is one death more in the first case, but then this is to be off-set by the incarceration of five men for life; it must be taken into the account too that three of the six deaths are inflicted by the hand of the law, and we must calculate whether three such deaths are a greater evil than the two surplus murders of the other alternative; in the latter case, too, the whole five are driven out of the world into eternity without a moment for preparation, while in the former, three of the six have timely notice to prepare for death, and we must estimate the value of this consideration: after settling these and many other like points which arise immediately out of the case, we must look a little farther and inquire into the effects of solitary imprisonment upon health of body and soundness of mind-into the probability that some one or more of these five culprits may be reduced to a state of insanity-into the alleged tendency of capital punishments to produce suicide, compared with the force of the temptation which the five men, imprisoned for life, will lie under to the commission of the same crime-into the temptation too under which these prisoners will lie, doomed as they already are too the heaviest punishment which can be laid upon them, to murder their keepers, and escape from prisoninto ten thousand other questions which no man can answer. The moment we attempt to reduce this problem of the calculation of general consequences, out of the vague form in which Mr. O'Sullivan states it, so as to get it in a condition for solution, we find that it is intricate and vast beyond the power of any human mind to comprehend. This is yet another illustration of the utter impotency of the utilitarian philosophy to discuss questions of guilt and innocence, death and life. What have these general consequences to do with our duty to prevent all the murders that we can? Out upon these calculations of profit and loss when the lives of innocent men are in question! We have no patience with this Iscariot arithmetic, which knows how to calculate so precisely the price of innocent blood. If one course being pursued, which it is right for us to take, there would be only three murders committed during the coming year, while five would occur under an altered course, then the blood of the

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two men whom the change fwould slay, calls upon us for protection, and we are blood-guilty if we refuse it.

There are two or three considerations, referable to this part of the discussion, upon which it may be expedient, in conclusion, to bestow a passing remark. The irremediable nature of capital punishment is much insisted upon by the advocates of the other side of the question. If a mistake has been committed, by the condemnation of an innocent man, it is beyond recal. And under this head we generally have an affecting narrative of cases in which men have been condemned and executed, who were afterwards found to have been innocent. An exaggerated impression is commonly produced in relation to the number of such cases. Many are given, and in such a manner as to leave the reader to infer that they are but selections from a vastly greater number which might be cited; whereas they are all, or nearly all, that the most diligent ransacking of the annals of criminal jurisprudence has been able to furnish. The most of them are given in Phillips' Treatise on Evidence, and they constitute the stock in trade of the prisoner's counsel in all murder trials. Whoever will examine these cases will find that in almost every instance, except those in which the corpus delicti was not found, and it appeared afterwards that no murder had been committed, the real culprit has taken away the life of the innocent prisoner by perjury, or which amounts to the same thing, by arranging and directing a set of circumstances so as to implicate him. The amount of it is that the murderer, in addition to the murder already committed, has made use of an institution of justice, instead of the assassin's knife, to perpetrate another. There is, in such cases an additional murder committed, not by the law nor by its ministers, nor yet by the state which gave them their authority, but by the wretch who has brought upon himself the guilt of a double murder to prevent the detection of one. Capital punishment may in this way occasionally add to the number of murders. This is a consideration which we feel bound to weigh, as it involves not "the well-being of society" but the life of an innocent man. What then is its true value in its bearing upon the general question? If capital punishment be the doom of murder, there may occur now and then, with extreme rarity, an instance in which a murderer will seize upon this law to commit another murder, for the purpose of screening the one already committed. But if capital punishment be abolished, and a milder substitute introduced, the diminished severity of the penalty will tend at

once to increase the number of murders. It will be observed that we do not undertake to weigh the consideration under discussion, by placing over against it, the imprisonment which, under the proposed change, would in like circumstances be inflicted upon the innocent prisoner, nor do we institute any inquiry into the value of the restitution that would be made when after years of incarceration, upon the discovery of his innocence, you release him broken it may be in health, and shattered in mind. We make no such comparisons. We weigh murder only with murder. And dreadful as is the thought, that guilty men may be able, in rare cases, to make use of the law, notwithstanding all the precautions which guard its exercise, to carry into effect a purpose of murder, we would still uphold the law, because we are certain that its abrogation would lead to tenfold more murders than can possibly be committed through this abuse of it.

Here too we may point out another mode in which the abrogation of capital punishment must certainly increase the number of murders. We have spoken already of the strong conviction which has always pervaded the hearts of the mass of mankind, that death is the fitting and the only fitting punishment for murder. This conviction is not the product of a passionate excitement of feeling :-it has its seat in the sense of justice and is deep and strong as the heart of man. Now just as surely as capital punishment is abolished, this conviction that the murderer ought to die will combine with the exasperated feelings of the near of kin to the murdered, and the avenger of blood will be abroad through the land. Men who would not under any other exigency trample upon the laws of the land, will take upon themselves the work of vengeance under the impulse of what they will consider a higher law written on their hearts; and murder will thus be added to murder.

"Passion then would plead

In angry spirits, for her old free range,

And the wild justice of Revenge prevail."

The only other objection to capital punishment that calls for notice, is that which is drawn from its cutting short the period of man's probation. This objection has but little. weight with us, for believing as we do that God has revealed to us His will, both through the laws of reason and conscience, and in his written word, that the murderer should be put to death, we consider the arrest of the term of his probation through the infliction of this sentence, as no less distinctly and properly the dispensation of Divine Provi

dence, than if the criminal had been cut off by a sudden diseasc. But independent of this view, let us beg those who urge this objection to remember the compassion which is due to those who are to be murdered as well as to the murderer. By the abolition of capital punishment we should increase the number of murders, and thus cut short the probation of those that are murdered, and with this additional aggravation, that they are sent, without notice, without a moment for thought, to their last account, while to the victim of the law we give time for repentance and preparation. This consideration meets the objection and disposes of it by presenting an evil of like kind but greater magnitude, which cannot but follow the repeal of the penalty of death. In addition to this, too, let it be borne in mind, that no man can tell whether imprisoning the culprit for life in the manner proposed, would not as effectually interfere with the ends of his probation, as to put him to death after timely notice. Consider the case of a man condemned to death, with several weeks intervening betweeen the sentence and its execution, perfectly certain that the hour is fixed in which he is to appear before his Judge, and placed under the strongest motives to induce him to repent and avail himself of the means of salvation, and then contrast with this the situation in which he would be placed, if immured within the penitentiary, with a life-time before him for the spirit of procrastination to range over, cut off from the influence of public opinion, and other manifold influences which are ordinarily at work upon men,-placed under circumstances so new and strange and trying, that many minds have given way entirely under them and become insane,-when all these things are taken into the account how shall we determine which of these dooms would most effectually, to all intents and purposes, interfere with the probation of the criminal. Happily it is not necessary for us to determine this question, in order to learn our duty. In executing the murderer we are but instruments in the hands of Providence to effect His purposes and we are preventing, so far as we can, other murderers from cutting short the lives of those whom it is our sacred duty to protect. They have claims upon us which the murderer has wilfully forfeited-they have rights which we cannot put in jeopardy, by an ill-judged lenity to the guilty, without incurring a heavy responsibility. It can be no part of our duty, through the weakness of a blind compassion, to clip the demands of justice upon the criminal, and thus let loose the bloody hand of violence upon the innocent.




A Visit to Northern Europe: or sketches Descriptive, Historical, Political, and Moral, of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and the free cities of Hamburg and Lubeck, containing notices of the manners and customs, commerce, manufactures, arts and sciences, education, literature, and religion of those countries and cities. By Robert Baird. With maps and numerous engravings. In two volumes. pp. 348 & 350. New York: Published by John S. Taylor & Co., Brick Church Chapel, 145 Nassau St. 1841. We are disappointed in not being able to furnish our readers with a review of these interesting volumes. The gentleman who had undertaken to prepare a review of them for the present number of our work, was unexpectedly prevented from devoting to it the time requisite for its preparation.

The author is extensively and favourably known, both at home and abroad, for his untiring and successful efforts in the cause of religion and benevolence : and from the excellent opportunities enjoyed by Mr. Baird for becoming well acquainted with the manners, customs, and countries of Northern Europe, while engaged in his tours of philanthropy, we were prepared to receive from his hands a work of more than ordinary interest. In this expectation we have not been disappointed, and we cordially reccommend these volumes as furnishing in a condensed form, much valuable information on the several points enumerated on the title page. These volumes are handsomely printed. Lectures on the Theology of the Old Testament. By Dr. J. C. F. Steudel. Berlin. 1840. 8vo.

Steudel was for many years a Professor in the University of Tübingen. He belonged to that class of German theologians, which sets itself in opposi tion to rationalism, without adhering strictly to old orthodoxy. This work contains a systematic view of the religious doctrines taught in the Old Testament. It includes of course a large amount of exegetical discussion. Some of the author's views are very questionable; but as he maintains the inspiraion and divine authority of scripture, the book is favourably distinguished from the mass of German writings on this subject. As a posthumous publication, made up from the notes of academical lectures, it under great disadvantages, and justly claims a lenient judgment as to literary merit.


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