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Bankrupts not surrendering, or concealing their Effects:
be lost, (Black Act.)*. Burglary, or House Breaking in the night time. Challenging Jurors above 20, in capital Felonies ; or standing
mute. Concealing the death of a Bastard Child.
Cottons, selling with forged Stamps.
Cutting down River, or Sea Banks.
manufacturing thereof; or destroying Woollen Goods,
Racks or Tools, or entering a house for that purpose. Deer-Stealing, second offence; or even first offence, under
Black Act, not usually enforced. Destroying Turnpikes or Bridges, Gates, Weighing Engines,
Locks, Sluices, Engines for draining Marshes, &c. Escape by breaking Prison in certain cases. Forgery of Deeds, Bonds, Bills, Notes, Public Securities, &c.
&c. Clerks of the Bank embezzling Notes, altering Dividend Warrants; Paper Makers, unauthorized, using
moulds for Notes, &c. Government Stores, embezzling, burning or destroying in
Dock-Yards ; in certain cases.
* The unwillingness which it must be expected a Jury would have to convict a man capitally for this offence, might be adduced,
among many other instances, to show to what extent public justice } is defeated, merely from the severity of the laws, and the want of
a scale of punishments proportioned to the offences.
9 Geo. I. cap. 22. Maliciously maiming or disfiguring any person, &c. lying
in wait for the purpose. Mutiny, Desertion, &c. by the Martial and Statute law. Murder. Personating Bail, or acknowledging fines, or judgments in
another's name. Piracy, or robbing ships and vessels at sea ; under which is
included, the offences of sailors forcibly hindering their
captains from fighting. Prisoners under Insolvent Acts, guilty of perjury. Privately Stealing or Picking Pockets, above one Shilling. Pulling down Houses, Churches, &c. Rape, or the forcible violation of chastity. Returning from Transportation ; or being at large in the
Kingdom after Sentence. Riots by twelve or more, and not dispersing in an hour after
proclamation. Robbery of the Mail. Sacrilege. Setting fire to coal mines. Servants purloining their Master's Goods, value 40s. Sending Threatening letters (Black Act). Shooting at a Revenue Officer: or at any other Person, See
the Black Act. Shop Lifting above Five Shillings. Smuggling by persons armed; or assembling armed for that
purpose. Sodomy, a crime against nature, committed either with man
or beast. Soldiers or Sailors enlisting into Foreign Service.
Stealing an Heiress, See page 48.
ing Linen therein. Stealing Horses, Cattle, or Sheep. Stabbing a Person unarmed, or not having a weapon drawn,
if he die in six months. Stealing Woollen Cloths from 'Tenter Grounds. Stealing from a Ship in Distress. Taking a Reward for helping another to Stolen Goods, in
certain cases, See page 295. Treason, and petty treason, see page 38, &c.
Under the former of these is included the offence of counterfeiting the
gold and silver coin, see page 191---211. Uttering counterfeit Money, third offence (a).
(a) Chap. xvi. p. 435 to 440.
A TABLE, shewing the Prisoners tried at the Old Builey, from April 1793, lo March 1794, inclusive.
* The acquittals will generally be found to attach mostly to small offences which are punishable with death : where Juries do not consider the crime deserving so severe a punishment, the delinquent receives no punishment at all. If all were convicted who were really guilty of these small offences, the number of victims to the severity of the law would be greatly increased.
Thus it appears, that in London only, of 1060 prisoners, tried in the course of a year, only 493 were punished ; of whom 197, after a temporary confinement, would return upon the public, with little prospect of being better disposed to be useful to society, than before. It may be estimated that in all England, including those offenders who are tried at the county sessions, upwards of five thousand individuals, charged with criminal offences, are thrown back upon society every year.
But this is not all,-for according to the present system, out of about two hundred and upwards, who are, upon an average every year, doomed to suffer the punishment of death, four-fifths or more are generally pardoned * either on condition of being transported, or of going into his Majesty's service, and not seldom, without any condition at all.
Hence it is, that, calculating on all the different chances, encouragements to commit crimes actually arise out of the system intended for their prevention ;---first, from the hope of avoiding detection and apprehension; secondly of escaping conviction, from the means used to vitiate and suborn the evidence ; thirdly, from the mercy of the Jury, in considering the punishment too severe; and fourthly, from the interest of persons of rank or consideration, applying (under circumstances where humanity becomes the friend of every
* As punishments became more mild, clemency and pardons became less necessary...Clemency is a virtue that ought to shine in the code, and not in the private judgment. The Prince in pardoning gives up the public security in favor of an individual; and by the exercise of this species of benevolence, proclaims a public act of impunity. Let the executors of the laws be inexorable, but let the legislature be tender, indulgent, and humane.-BECCARIA,