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Haman's Fate!

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The question of the rostoratlon of capital puniskment is attracting much attention just now, being bruught into prominence by the unparalleled reign of crime in this átate for the past two years. Believing that the opinión of some of Ana Arbor's citizens upon the subject would be valuable, as showing the tendency of thought upon the subject, a Courier represen tative has visited a number of them and secured an expression respecting the advisabillty of restoring capital punlahment to our statu te books. The question Is one that will bear much discussion, notwithstanding the present reign of crime has effected a general stampede to the side of the death penalty. Public opinión sometimes errs, and vox ]opuli is not always vox dei. Before any chango is made in our laws the questiun should be thoroughly discussed. It was our iutention in starting out with this article to conlinc each interview to simply an expression of views, giving the drift of public sentiment, but as we progrcssed interest became greater and argurnents more extended. Therc are others also whose opinions would be pnzed, but whom we were unable to reach Jjecause of both time and space. Not having received an expression from all the ministers, and believing that our readers would be pleascd to hcar from tliem in a more extended manner, wo have concluded to devote a couple of columns in next weck' paper to their use. Here are the views as given: W. W. Whedon:- think it will have to be restored. Whether right or wrong wa shall have to try it again. C. Mack: - I think the pardoning power is misnsed so oftcn that it would be better to restore capital punishment. Ben. N. Easiwood:-! am afraid we shall have to resort to it, there are so many murders, and so little regard for human life now. L. Gruner: - I believe it should be done. The sooner we get rld of men who commit murder the better for the community. Captain Manly; - It has got to be done as a case of necessity. With a gallows hanging over his head a man will not be so careless in the use of his side arms. Pottmaster üufy: - I flrmly believe in its restoratiou. I believe that there are people who are bom crimináis, and when a man commlts murder he should be put where he cannot repeat the crime. Mayor Kapp:-1 think the restoratlon of capital punishment would lessen crime. At any rate it would lessen the chances of the particular criminal who is hung front committiug any further crime. Joe T. Jacobs:- It we had had capital punishment there would not have been so many murders commltted in this state during the past year or so. I believe that capital punishment should be restored. Chauncey E. Milten :- At the time capital punishment wns repealed 1 signed a petition for iu repeal, but now I have changed my mind and believe its restoration would have a tendency in many cases to check crime. Ambrose Kearney: - I am in favor of capital punishment, sir. If a man takes the life of his fellow-man, he should forfeit his own life. I do not believe in mob law. Give the accused parties a fair and just trial, and if found guilty make them suffer for their crime. Auditor General Steoens: - I do not believe any good can be aceomplised by its restoration, while the past has proven that much evil may arise from its exeeution. The absolute certainty of punishment has more to do with the prevention of crime tlian the measure of punishment. Br. Arndt:-l have always been an an earnest advocate of capital punishment. Tn the onursp of a fovv j ears the people will find out that the only scientific method of dealing with crimináis is to cali in the aid of the surgeon's knife, and prevent that class from re-producing itself. Ex-Oov. Felch:-l am not yet prepared to say that it would be better to restore capital puniskment. Not that I doubt the right of the government to adopt it But it is hard to think of adopting the death penalty, when it is a known fact that onesixth of those convicted for crimes are innocent. Col. II. S. Dean: - I have changed my views on that subject, and now I believe in hanging for the crime of murder. The good of the public requires tbat a man who commits murder should be prived of committtng the act a seconc time, either by the pardon Ing power or escae from prison. Motes Seabolt: - Said tliat he belicvec In the resto rut ion of capital punislitnent. The offlcers of the law ihould be careful and not place too much confldence in circumstantial evidence, but when It is certain a man has committed the crime ol murder he should be hung, and so placee wuere ne could (lo no further injiiry to the human family. W. K. Childs:- Had there been capital puiiishment in thls state, such crimináis as Stevans, who murdered hi afflauced in Detroit recently would have been restrained from coaimitting the crime. In extreme cases I believe in capital pnnisliment. The law proposed at the last session of the lcgislature was riglit except the provisión about confessiou. President Angelí: - For the present I do not think the necessity has arisen for capital punishment ia this state. My objection to it in the maiu is the difflculty of getting convictions of guilty men. If I was satisfied we should really diminish iiuirders by its rcstoratlon, I should see no moral objection to it. It is simply a practical question of which way would give the people the most protection. Charle II. Worden: - I go for hanging. Tliat's the Christian view of the matter. [ am ready to vote on thut question at any time. Dr. A. L. Worden of hes Moines, Ia., was present while the reporter was talkug with bis father, C. EL Worden, and i took occasion to disagree with him, saying iu substanoe : Wc have capital uinishment in Iowa, but there never has been a conviction under the law. There have been rnaiiy people hung by mobs. Diere have been miny murdersand trials )ut the jury never will couvict of inwrder n the lirst degreu, they alwuys shirk the esponaibility ot taking human life by onvicting prisoners of murder in the second degree. So I believe in Michigan's aw as it is. J. J. EUis:-Yes, sir! I belleve in captal punishment, and in two or three rears at tha longest our legislature will e compelled to restore it iu thla stitc. The fear of losing their own lives, will n my estimation deter many of these wretches from killing others. Our laws are not properly enforced; officials are too lax, and tliere is coming a general revulsión in public sentiment that will oompel offlcers of the luw to enforce the law as they shoukl. E. D. Kinne: - The question of capt:il punishment is of the unost serious importance. The arguuients pro and con are so strong tbat the lield of doubt u ampie. The Bafeguards of personal iberty are such in this state, that the poesibllity of the convietlon of an innocent person is altnost intinitesimal. Thero are cases of murder in which I think capital punishment shonld bc administered. The [freat difflculty lies in the inethod to be adoptcd which shall justly classify this crime, and determine wheii the punishment shall be capital. It demands wise leglslation, and such legUlation mijrlit to be possible in this state. Prof. C. IL StoweU: - I am very much in favor of capital punishment. Kor wilful and delibérate murder I believe in hanging, and for murder with extenuating circumstances ïmprisonment for lifc. I think thut crime is greater in states where there is no capital punishment, and in states where it has been abolished it iacreases rapidly. Why, crimináis gay when seutenced that they are froing to a good home witU sure board and lodgings. Tliey don't look upon imprisonmeiit with dread. Stevang, the Detroit murderer recently sentcneed, thrcatened dire vengeanee when he got out, and boasted that he woukln't Itay there ten years. Judge Ilarriman : - The certainty o punishment la of more consequence tbao the exlcnt of the punishment. If we haci capital punUhment the certainty of conviotiou of crimináis would be greatly lcsgened, for thosc who compose our juries would br r,.li„t;tnl n takitij upon their shoulders the resp"nn?iviUur of deprtvtoj a human being of his Ufe. What i needed in our laws is speedy aud certain conviction. Not a murder has been committed iu Michigan which had the murderer been sure of couviction and entenced to iniprisoument for lii'e, wouk have been committed. The best argument in favor of capital puuishment ia the shutting ofl' of the possibility of the criminal pfOfMgftting his species. But even that is quile as ett'ective iu life impriüoomeiit. John J. Mobison : - The penalty for the commissiOQ of :i crime should be measurec by tlie magnitude of the offense cpinmit ted. The penalty of death is the severes known to the law. The murderer de serves the severest penalty. Therefore the murderer should die, and the sooner the ïnachinery of the law in this state Is adjusled n that the murderer can be speedily tried and executed, the safer place Michigan will be to live in. Too often fair hantls have brought flowers to the murderer's cel!, and too often have Reverend heads voiced words of pity and con dolenee to the red-haiided villain In or der that the balance of his days may wear a roseate hue and hls future happiness be aesured. The frequent murders all over the state will have the effect to remove this niawmish sentimentalism that seem to pogsess so many of our otherwlse goo( people, aud the next session of the legisla ture without doubt will re-establish the death peiinlt.v tor the crime of murder. Judge Uheever: - My impression woul be that the restoration of the death pen alty would deter a great many men from coramitting the crime of murder. I uset to think differently, but the evenls of the paet ten years have conviuced me tba the men who coinmit these crimes don' look upón imprUonment with the game dread they do the death penalty. Thei own statements show this. I think, how ever, executions should be private. Witl imprisonment there is always a chnnce The hope of pardon is great, and snel tender-hearced governors as Begole are nociKioiiuliy tiinit upon the people; then sickness, feigned or real, may open me prison gates. Then agaiu life is very dear to the men of the lower classes who are actuated by more animal passions anc instincts, and who possess little iutellec tual development. With them the matter of enting and drinking and living i the main thing; and instances can be cited where they voluntarily returncd to prison. With tliis cluss the deatli penalty would have great nreight. Philip Back: - I do not believe in captal punishment. I do not believe tliere would be one less mui der la our state if the murderers knewthey would lose their own lives if convicted : Look at the case of Phipps, who shot his wife on the Detroit ferry boat. He knew they hung for murder in Canada, yct he shot his wife on the Canadian side. When rnen have ïnurder in their heirts they never thiuk of the consequences. Why, I know of one or two men being hung for murder who were afterwards proven innocent, and I believe it better to let ten guilty men escape thun to take the life of one who is innocent. If these innocent ones had been incarcerated in a piiton they would have tin i libt-nj' ïvni Liit-cii wüen the truth was made known, but when a man is dead no repaiation can be made, and the stigma of death upon the gallews forever resta upon their family or f rlends. No, sir ! let the laws we already tmve be enforced, and crime will be properly punished. Better make laws to detect criminals before you hang them. JudgeJoslyn: - inose who say that the Bible dictates what shall be done with the murdererin the lanfiuage: " Hethatsheddth tun'l blooil by man shall his blood be shed," are simply on the wrong track. The same Mosaic law provided a death penalty fir tome 20 différent offenses. If capital punishment is to be based on the Bible, tlien carry it out, and give us capital punishment for all the offenses that law provided for. About 200 years ago England had capital punishmer.t for 160 different ofleaiet, trom murder down to tcalinr L5, and under such i enül'ies, crime increased for years. Finally gome Christians who beüeved the duty of man to crimináis was what Bishop Gillespie teaches, persuadcd parliament to abolisli t on quite a list of offenses, and the consequence was that those offenses decreased after the passage of the law. That exjerience lot to thu abolishment of the penalty for other offenses, until now I hink Kngland lias capital punishment only for treason, murder, arson, rape, and mrglary under certain circumstances. rite uncertainty of human laws, human udginents, aid human tesümony is so ;reat that the state should never put it jut of its own power to reverse the sonence against any crimina!. We know rom bistory, everywhere, even in tnis ounly, that a conTlctlon upon polnt jlank potitive testlmony may be false. A case in point is the conyiction of Clcveand for ttie murder of Depue, at Chelsea, ome year ago, which was proven to be false by more than 100 witnesse after be Cleveland) had been In state prlson for wo years on a Ufe sentence. I began the study of this queation in 1888, being & - lolnted in a debating society in Ypsllanti o favor capital punishment, which I then belleved was rlght, and the result of four week's study and eight debates, convinced me that I vu on the wrong side, and that the matter of Ufe and death was in the liands of a bigher power than the body politie. The poorest thing you can do with a man il to cut off his head or choke him to death. Judge Tkomat M. Cooley:-l have never íavored capital punishment. I never believed it had any consideraba tendency to restrain from the commission of high crimes, for these are not committed under any expectation of discovery, except when it is done under the influence of uncontrollable passion, in whicli case tlie more severe the punishment the greater is the probability that the excuse of passion would be accepted by a jury. The punisbment of life imprisoiuncnt is amply suffleient to deter from the commission of crime in nearly every case, if the criminally disposed person had any expectation he would receive it in case lie gave rein to lus vicious propensities. One strong objection to capital punishment used to be, that it familiarized the public mind with the idea of a forcible taking of life ; and thus tended to make lifechcap; and was demoralizing. This objection lor the time bas pretty much lost ito force; for the great civil war took away in great degree from men's minds for this generation the idea of the sacreduess of human life, and the astounding increase in crimes of violence whicli we have since due in the main to this cause. All great wars are greatly demoralizing; but we have a right to expeet that gradually we shall come back to a better state of things. I do not believe tnai murdorR are any more provalent where capital puuishment does not ex i-t than where it does. Tliey are frightfully abundant everywhere, because the causes are everywhere. In all consideration of the proper punishment for murder, we cannot overlook the morbid sentiment that is almost certain to manifest itaelf as soon as one is accused on reasonable grounds, and which is vas'.ly greater and more mlschievous wlien (he punishment is death than when it is not. We oftan find it shown by educated and refined people, UiMes in particular, who crowd with floral gifts to iiio cell of an atrocious criminal who stands in danger of the halter, and in every way do what they can toaid him. Some newspapers pander to this sentiment, and do what they can to créate doubts in the plainest cases. Jurors are effected by il, and the result is that the criminal soiuetimes goes off with flying color?, and the only party hurt by the prosecution is the party who sought to have juatice done. The suggestion of msanity always furnishes a ready excuse for the weak sentimentalists when none other is avatlable. I have no horror of the infliction of capital punishment in proper cases. It is often deserved. On the other hand I tiave not the ilightest respect for the notion which some people advance, that the Almighty in the Bible laid down the rule of capital punishment for all times and all circumstances. This running to the Bib!e for rules of governmental pollcy belittles and perverts its meaniug, and the mischief that has flowed from it in the past ought to be a warning suftlciently forcible to protect us from it for the future.


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