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person doomed to die,) for the interference of Royal mercy, by pardons (a).
The next stated in the class of evils is, that which arises from the laws as they now stand, relative to punishments. Their extreme severity, in rendering such a multitude of crimes capital, which juries can never be made to believe are of that nature, in point of actual atrocity, bas proved a very serious misfortunc to the country, in the administration of criminal justice.Because the punishment is too severe, it frequently happens that the delinquent is sent back upon society, encouraged to renew bis depredations upon the public by his having escaped (although guilty) without any chastisement at all.
It is unquestionably true, and little doubt will be entertained by any who attentively examine this work, that the dread of severe punishment, in the manner the law is executed at present, has not the least effect in deterring hardened offenders from the commission of crimes.
An opinion seems to have been formed, that crimes were to be prevented by the severity of the punishment. That this opinion has been erroneous seems to be proved by incontestible evidence, adduced in various parts of this work ; and elucidated by a variety of reasoning, which it is hoped cannot fail to bring conviction to the mind of every reader, who will bestow time in the investigation of a subject of so much im portance to society (b).
(a) Chap. xvi. p. 448 to 450.
A List OF CAPITAL OFFENCES IN FRANCE, IN THE
Behold a list of the crimes punishable by death, and even this does not comprehend the whole.
1. Enormous blasphemy. 2. Composing works against religion. 3. Or causing them to be written. 4. Or printing them. 5. Sacrilege joined to superstition and impiety. 6. Sacrilege with the profanation of sacred things. 7. Pulling down or destroying crosses and images. 8. Every act of scandal and impious scdition. 9. Heretics assembling with arms. 10. Heretical preaching. 11. Witchcraft and magic. 12. Regicide. 13. Outrage against the persons of the king's children. 14. Leagues and associations. 15. Enlisting Soldiers unlawfully. 16. Plots. 17. Not disclosing a plot. 18. To parley with an enemy, without the consent of the commanders of the
army. 19. Omitting to inform the commanders of a letter or mes
sage received from a prince, or nobleman belonging
to the enemy. 20. To levy troops without permission from the king. 2). Unlicensed assemblies under any pretence whatever.
22. To wear armour, carry arms, arquebuses, &c. not being
ordered into garrison, or on the king's service. 23. Screening or favoring those who have carried arms un
lawfully. 24. Desertion. 25. Collecting arms for horse or foot soldiers. 26. Buying without permission, more powder, shot or
matches, than is wanted for the necessary defence of
one's house. 27. Casting ordnance, or having it in possession withont 28. To fortify castles, or to seize on those already fortified. 29. Counterfeiting the current coin. 30. Circulating counterfeit coin, or introducing it into the
kingilom. 31. Clipping of coin. 32. Buying the clippings 33. Coiners delivering Coin below the standard ; too light,
or imperfect in other respects. 34. Receivers and paymasters, who knowingly distribute
counterfeit money. 35. Bankers who fail to cut in the presence of the seller, the
picces of gold and silver coin which they have bought. 36. To carry more gold or silver out of the kingdom, ihan
is necessary for the voyage. 37. Foreigners, or even natives, who deal in coin at a price
above its value, if they buy it to export, or for the
use of forgers. 38. Locksiniths, blacksmiths, and other workers in iron,
who shall have made utensils or tools for coining,
even when the intention is unknown to them. 39. Those who shall have engraved dies, and other instru.
ments used in the fabrication of specie, without per
mission of the officers of the mint. 40. Carriers who knowingly convey the instruments used in
coining, without informing the solicitors-general of
surveyors. 41. Clerks of the general and particular receivers offices,
having the managemeut of public affairs, who embez
zle more than three thousand livres. 12. Treasurers, receivers and other overseers, embezzling the
public money. 13. Extortion, under certain circumstances. 41. To abuse and insult magistrates, officers, door-keepers of
bailiffs in the execution of justice.
43. Receiving or concealing a person condemned to death. 46. Breaking prison, in certain cases. 47. Wilful murder. 48. To associate with murderers, under any pretence what
49. The plotting to kill, injure or abuse any one, although
it be not carried into effect. 50. Highway robbery. 51. Theft with burglary. 52. House breaking. 53. Theft in the king's palaces, without any regard to the
value of the goods stolen. 54. Robbery in the Banks. 55. Robbers of a church and their accomplices, according
to the exigence of the case. 56. Those who associate with thieves. 57. Those wbo conceal or receive stolen goods, when the
theft deserves death. 58. Nightly robbery with arms. 59. Sometimes nightly robbery with ladders. 60. Robbery by pick-locks. 61. The crime of improperly detaining a person according
to circumstances. 62. A galley slave mutilating himself. 63. Taking poison whether it prove mortal or not. 64. To make or distribute poisonous compositions. 65. To know that they have been asked for or given, and
not to inform the solicitor general, or his deputy, ac
cording to circumstances and the exigences of the case. 66. Duelling 67. Arson. 68. Parricide. 69. Incest in a direct line. 70. Incest, by ecclesiastical law. 71. Rape. 72. Forcible abduction. 73. Seduction, according to circumstancos. 74. Confining young women by means of Letres de catchet,
in order to marry or cause them to be married without
consent of parents or guardians. 75. Noblemen who force their subjects, or others, to give
their daughters or wards in marriage. 76. Concealment of pregnancy. 77. Procuring abortion. 78. Unnatural crime.
79. A person taking the law into his own hands. 80. Fraudulent bankruptcy. 81. Monopoly of corn. 82. Breach of public trust. 83. Forging letters and seals of chancery. 84. Forging the signature of secretaries of state. 85. Counterfeiting, forging, or altering edicts, toyal records,
or other royal or public papers. 86. Counterfeiting, or altering papers relating to receivers
treasurers, &c. royal or public. 87. Farmers of the revenge of whatever condition, who forge
receipts, discharges, accounts, and inventories. 88. Forging a duplicate of a decd. 89. To cast, copy, or counterfeit the marks of the towns, in
which there is a magistrate, or of the revenue of
farmers. 90. Applying the counter mark in any manner to gold, or silver goods, which have not been taken to be
assayed, and marked at the public office. 91. Bcaring false witness, which shall endanger the life of the
accused. 92. Smuggling tobacco, printed clothes, &c. by five or
more armed persons in company. 93. Officers holding correspondence with smugglers. 94. Smugglers forcing doors, and guard houses of revende
officers. 95. Revenue oflicers convicted of having been unlicenced
salt merchants, or of having participated in the trade. 96. D-aling in salt by the officers of the warehouses or depots. 97. Smuggling salt by five armed persons in company. 98. To print, sell, or circulate books, or new compositions,
without permission granted in the manner prescribed. 99. The master convicted of having delivered up his ship to
the enemy 100. The master convicted of having maliciously wrecked
or destroyed his vessel. 101. Mariners or passengers in vessels who cause any dith
culty in the exercise of the catholie religion. 102. A ship writer who makes false entries in his register. 103. A pilot who inaliciously causes the destruction of a ves.
sel. 104. A coast pilot guilty of the same crime. 105. Wasting a ship's liquors, or destroying bread by sea
men or others. 106. Causing a leak in a ship. 107. To excite sedition, in order to frustrate the voyage. 108. Striking the master under arms.