Press enter after choosing selection

Have Drunkards Any Rights Which Sober Men Are Bound To Respect!

Have Drunkards Any Rights Which Sober Men Are Bound To Respect! image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The report on ' ' Inebríate Asyliims or Hosjjitals," by the Chairraan of theMassachusetts Board of Health, Henry I. Bowditch, M. D. , contains the f ollowing argument in favor of depriving dnuikards of their civil rights : Drunkards, if thcy be invetérate in their habits, should be deprived of all civil rights, in the same marnier that the idiot, tlie insanè, the high criminal, are deprived of their rights. I tliiuk that ' thé law should allow any one to complain j of the habitual drunkard, and on suffleient proof being given of tlie truth of the j allegatiorf bef ore the proper court, said I court shonld decree civil rights to be j held in abeyence until a radical cure be eftected. The best interest of the State seems to me, even in principie, not only to allow of this proceedure, but absolutely to reqnire it as a means of self defense, if tlie Eepublic is to continue in a state of purity. I believe the period will arrive when, to be druuk, even in private, will bü deemod a misdemeanor, and to appear in public in a stateof iiitoxieation will justly be considered one of the greatest of crimes against the good order of the State. Auy one public exhibition of this condition of jnind will then be considered satisfactory evidence (unless valid proof be procured to the contrary) of habitual di-uukenness, and as such will render the olfender amenable to those higheat penaltios wliich the State can in _ flict. For (xiimple, for one offense in jm'olic I thiiik that such a person shonld not be allowed to vote or exercise bis civil rights for at least six rnonths, and for a longer time on a repetition of the oftense. This punishment may seem absurd to some and be opposed by others iis wliollyunjnstforthe amount of injury done the State. Some earnest defenders of the rights of man will say that the error of once beiug intoxicated in public would not deservo so serious a deprivation as that of the riglit to act generally as a man in civil lif e. There may also be others who, f rom the way in wliich they use their ovni rights, will think tliat the deprivation of civil rights from a drunkard will have but Httle force towai-ds his cun. A maai who will lie in the glitter drunk is regardless of shame, and what cares lic for civil rights ? I admit this argument as of some weight as to the efficiency of the pnnishment, but deny the plea of its iiijustice.


Old News
Michigan Argus