Imágenes de páginas
PDF

when detected, conviction does not alWays follow.

Mr. Carey must be well aware that, in the American newspapers you continually meet with a paragraph like this :—“ A body of a white man, or of a negro, was found floating near such and such a wharf on Saturday last with evident marks of violence upon it, &c. 810., and the coroner’s inquest is returned either found drowned, or violence by person or persons unknown.” Now, let Mr. Carey take a list from the cdroner’s books of the number of bodies found in this manner at New York, and the number of instances in which the perpetrators have been discovered ; let him compare this list with a similar one made for England and Wales, and he will then ascertain the difference between the crimes committed in proportion to the convictions which take place through the activity of the police in our country, and, it may be said, the total want

of police in the United States.

As to the second point, namely, that when crimes are detected, conviction does not follow,* I have only to refer back to the cases of Robinson and Goodwin, two instances out of the many in which criminals in the United States are allowed to escape, who, if they had committed the same offence in England, would most certainly have been hanged. But there is another point which that he has no right to select one, two, or even three States out of twenty-six, and compare them all with England and Wales.

renders Mr. Carey’s statement unfair, which is,

* Miss Martineau, speaking of a trial for murder in the United States, says, “ I observed that no one seemed to have a doubt of his guilt. She replied that there never was a clearer case; but that he would be acquitted; the examination and trial were a mere form, of which every one knew the conclusion beforehand. The people did not choose to see any more hanging, and till the law was so altered as to allow an alternative of punishment, no conviction for a capital offence would be obtainable. I asked on what pretence the young man would be got ofi’, if the evidence against him was as clear as it was represented. She saidsome one would be found to swear an alibi. .

“ A tradesman swore an alibi ; the young man was acquitted, and the next morning he was on his way to the West.”

The question is, the comparative security of person and property in Great Britain and the United States. I acknowledge that, if Ireland were taken into the account, it would very much reduce our proportional numbers; but, then, there crime is fomented by traitors and demagogues—a circumstance which must not be overlooked.

Still, the whole of Ireland would offer nothing equal in atrocity to what I can prove relative to one small town in America: that of Augusta, in Georgia, containing only a population of 3,000, in which, in one year, there were jifty-m'ne assassinations committed in open day, without any notice being taken of them by the authorities.

This, alone, will exceed all Ireland, and I there

fore do not hesitate to assert, that if every crime committed in the United States were followed up by conviction, as it would be in Great Britain, the result would fully substantiate the fact that, in security of person and property, the advantage

is considerably in favour of my own country.

226

LYNCH LAW.

ENGLISHMEN express ' their surprise that in a moral community such a monstrosity as Lynch law should exist; but although the present system, which has been derived from the original Lynch law, cannot be too severely condemned, it must, in justice to the Americans, be considered that the original custom of Lynch law was forced upon them by circumstances. Why the term Lynch law has been made use of, I do not know; but in its origin the practice was no more blameable than were the laws established by the Pilgrim fathers on' their first landing at Plymouth, or any law enacted amongst a community left to themselves, their own resources, and their own guidance and government. Lynch law, as at first constituted, was

nothing more than punishment awarded to offend

« AnteriorContinuar »