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Judicial Oaths: For The Signal Of Liberty

Judicial Oaths: For The Signal Of Liberty image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Letter to the Editor
OCR Text

Mr. Edito r, - I wish tosubmit to Legislative Refoñriers the queslion wliether tho mullipHcation of oatlis and affirnmtions as now rcquired by law, is not unrensonable, niprcssive and wicked. M' tney nrc, hey ought siirel)' lo be aboHshedf nnd ihai they are, cannot be doub.ed, f the fulloning ideas are corred There aro sonie wlio from conseiontious scruples object to swear or afíirm for nny officialnppoinfmenf, thos. subjecting themsehres to penalty or loss of an opportunity te be use;ul. This i.s oppressive. Thpre ore oihere whe öo not altogother refuse ta Mvearor aftirm. But thoy object to di it so often about one subject, consldei ing it unreasonable and profane. For instnncej the petty office of overseer oí higbwnys: he swearson nppointinent thai he will uphold the Constitulion of the United States, and of this State, that he willperform the duties of his office fjiithfully, &c., and when he gives up his warrant, he hns lo swear again that he hos done so. Again: the guardián to minor?, or insane persons, an appointment.swears of aflinns that he wil' perfurni the dulie.s of his office fnithfully, and gives bonds to doublé theamount of propertj? i;it:i!sted to his care: yel at nlmost everv turn in the performance of his duties, he is called upon to swear again. Tlius he swearson rendcring an account of services- he" swears to answer all questions that the Judge may propose; and in case oT the sale of real eslaíe, therearca nuinberofoiher oaths required. Heswears when he roakes application forlicense to sell, heswears when he makes his report of the sale, he swears that he has fixed notices of sale in thrce toivns. KoM', sir, if this is not oppressive and wicked, 1 know nut what is, Especially considered in a religiotis or moral point of view. The Lord says thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. The Saviour says swear not at all, &c. I have only instanced lwo offices. But the same violatiossof reason ana religión is apparentl in all the rest ánd what is the consequence in commuuity fronï all this? Why from the frequency of the repetition of oaths, many forget tiierr oSligition: and again, therc are oihers who think they are not bound to speak iruth generally, except on oath. These are someofthe cvi] consequences arising from the above mentioned praclices. - A remedy, I suppose, couü be found; and one of the best l conceive would bo, to abolish oaths andaffirmations aliogother, and Iet the pains and penaltics of 1 perjury be inflicted on those who were ' guihy of giving false lestimony in ! cial cases, andsome other adequate j ishment for breaches of official trust.