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cent be protected against ummerited severitics, and that the guilty be conducted with certainty, to punishments proportionate to their crimes.
These ends can be attained only when the penal system is good. Under such a system they who offend against the laws, and they only, have reason to fear; whilst those happier members of society, who deserve security, enjoy it in the full perfection to which the rectitude of their conduct hath entitled them.
KELYNGE'S REPORTS, 28,
Vip. 9–9, 4, 28.—One demands his clergy, and the court took the book and turned him to a verse, and he could not read well, but read one word in one place, and another word in another place. And the judges asked the ordinary if he would have him; and he answered yea. The judges bid him consider, and told him the court was judge of his reading, and if the court should judge he did not read, the ordinary should be fined, and the prisoner hanged, notwithstanding his demanding of him, and he was hanged.
THE PARLIAMENTARY REGISTER,
HISTORY OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AT THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE SEVENTEENTH PARLIAMENT.--Vol. XLIV.
Lond. J. DEBRETT, 1796.–Page 288.
Friday, 11th. of March. MR. JODDRELL rose, to move for leave to bring in a bill for giving for anatomization the bodies of persons executed for burglaries and felonies. Mr. Buxton seconded the motion.
Serjeant Adair said, he now rose to oppose the bill in the present stage, as he would in every subsequent one, should it be allowed to proceed any farther; and he hoped he would be able to show that it was essential to the dignity of parliainent, and to the advantage of the public, not to encourage for a moment a measure from which so much evil would result. It had been an observation made by all versant with the criminal justice of this country, that the great defect of our criminal code consisted in confounding the gradations of crimes, removing the distinction of enormity, and the proportion of their punishment. He could not think of adding, as the proposed bill would do, to the severity of the punishe ment of death, in cases where the punishment of death ought not to be inflicted at all. In the various cases of burglary the same punishment was provided by the law. A ragged boy on the 21st of December last, cutting a hole in a pane
of glass, and drawing out a pair of garters to the value of twopence would be found guilty of burglary, and by the law punished with death. Was the person who took only a few shillings, without committing any violence, to be compared to the nocturnal, way-laying murderer ? Were the obvious moral distinctions of these crimes to be confounded and held forth to the people, as meriting the same severity of punishment ? He thought that the distinction which the bill meant to extend to other crimes, should be reserved as the peculiar attendant of the punishment of murder, with regard to which it was wise to maintain a greater degree of horror and dread. The dis graceful multiplicity of crimes already punished with death, was no reason for affixing an additional mark of severity. He was not such an enthusiast for the promotion of the science of anatomy, as to advance it at such a price, and by such means. The other object might be a good one; but he could not, to promote it, consent to break down that barrier, which God and nature had established between murder and other crimes. This bill might contribute to increase murder, by removing one great motive to deter criminals from committing it, when they committed the crime of robbery. Upon the whole, the proposed bill appeared so exceptionable, that he could not think the bouse would be disposed at all to entertain it. He had now only said a few words against it; but, if necessary, he would afterwards state his objections at greater length.
The motion was rejected without a division.
INSERTED TO EXPLAIN THE EFFECT PRODUCED BY THE
PUNISHMENT OF DEATII FOR DIFFERENT CRIMES.
x Hurle, lately convicted of a forgery on the Bank. About ten minutes after eight o'clock, this unfortunate young woman, and Methusalah Spalding, were conveyed in a cart, from the felon's door, at Newgate, to the place of execution. She was dressed in black, appeared pale, and incapable of regarding with attention the horrors of her situation; her appearance on the whole was very interesting. When the halter was fixed, she seemed inclined to speak, but her strength evidently failed, and she was incapable. The other prisoner assumed an aspect, that excited the disgust of the populace; his hat remained on, and his behaviour was such as did not accord with the dreadful state in which he then stood. The Ordinary of Newgate accompanied the prisoners, and was attended to with earnest devotion by Ann Hurle, whose appearance, upon the whole, excited emotion of compassion among the spectators, who became at last so clamorous, that the sheriff, in a loud voice, described to them the impropriety of their behaviour, after which they were more silent. The caps having been pulled over the faces of the sufferers, the cart drew away.--As it was going, she gave a scream, and for two or three minutes after she was suspended, appeared to be in great agony, moving her hands up
and down frequently. For eight days she had taken but little nourishment, and her feelings, while attending the condemned sermon, preached on Sunday, were so great, that she was several times deprived of sensation, and supposed to be dead. Her father, mother, and other relations, were with her, during the gloomy hours of sadness that preceded her fate, the whole of whom she embraced for the last time. tion was presented to his majesty in her behalf; and an answer was returned, that she need not entertain hope of mercy, her crime being of that magnitude that admitted of no other alter. native than the execution of the law. After the bodies had hung the usual time, they were taken down, placed in shells, and delivered to their friends. The gallows, upon this occasion, was erected upon a new construction, at the upper end of the Old Bailey, near St. Sepulchre's Church. It is in the form of a triangle, and is to be used instead of the old drop. The numerous spectators commisserated the sad fate of Ann Hurle ; while that of Methusalah Spalding, executed at the same time for an unnatural crime, excited sentiments of a very different description.