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1st. It proceeds on the principle of justice, in regulating its scale of punishments; so that, unlike other codes, it does not threaten severe punishments in order to deter from the commission of crime, but, seeking to establish a harmony between the magnitude of the offence and the punishment, visits different crimes with their proportionate inflictions.
2d. It recognizes the truth, that the legislator cannot foresee all possible cases and provide before hand for their just punishment. On this account, it allows the judge to award the proper punishment due to the crime of the accused, giving him a large discretion in the selection from among different punishments.
3d. But, that the bare will of the judge may not predominate, the code fixes several gradations in different crimes, and awards to each a proportionate punishment.
4th. With the exception of capital punishment, which is only provided for certain of the highest crimes, there' is none which is absolute and invariable. The judge is allowed to choose between severe punishments; and, in most cases, where there are attenuating circumstances, he may award even a sinaller one than that fixed by the law.
5th. The Badish project proposes to change a system common in Europe and particularly in Germany, according to which certain punishments carried with them a loss of honor, the effect of which was to prevent a person, who had been subjected to them, as, for instance, to the house of correction, from ever afterwards holding any public office, and from exercising political rights as an elector. This is an unjust system. Since the result of it is, that crimes, the most different from each other, draw after them this severe loss, provided, only, that the condemned persons be sent to the house of correction, although their offences, according to the ideas of the world and the motives of the parties, may have nothing dishonorable. Thus, for instance,
manslaughter is punished by imprisonment in the house of correction from eight to sixteen years, and, therefore, attended with a loss of honor; while, on the other hand, there are many petty offences, which are not punished with a long imprisonment, and in the house of correction; so that the persons who have committed them do not suffer this loss, although their conduct is vile, and, according to the sense of the public, dishonorable, as, in cases of stealing and fraud. Further, this loss of honor continues for life, after the period of imprisonment has expired, and, therefore, operates as a perpetual brand, which hinders the amendment of the criminal. These considerations determined the Badish commissioners to depart from the old system. They propose to leave to the court the inquiry in each case, as to the circumstances imparting dishonor, which accompany the criminality, and to enable it to sentence to the house of correction, without this of itself working a loss of honor, if the court has found alleviating circumstances, and so declares in its judgment. Also, the court is enabled, in cases where a party is sentenced for only a short period, to couple with this judgment a loss of honor, is the offence be one involving gross turpitude. But, if the party behaves himself well for five years after the expiration of the punishment, the court may restore him to his former condition, and rehabilitate him.
In another article we intend to speak of the further progress of criminal legislation in Germany.
ART. V.-OF THE CAUSES OF PAUPERISM AND CRIMINAL
[The following article consists of Lectures xii. and xiii., which, by the permission of Mr. Combe's publishers, are reprinted entire from his lectures on moral philosophy, recently published in Boston, a short notice of which ap
peared in our last number. In our next, we shall probably republish lecture xiv., which treats of the duty of society in regard to criminal legislation and prison discipline.]
In the immediately preceding lecture, I entered upon the consideration of the social duty of providing for the poor. The removal of the causes of pauperism, it was observed, ought to be attended to, as well as the alleviation of the misery attending it. One great cause of pauperism is bodily and mental defect; and it was held that those so afflicted should be maintained by society.
Another cause of pauperism is, the habit of indulging in the use of intoxicating liquors. This practice undermines the health of the whole nervous system, through which it operates most injuriously on the mind. The organs of the animal propensities are the largest in the brain, and the influence of intoxicating liquors is the following. They increase the action of the heart, and cause an increased flow of blood to the head. T'he blood circulates most freely in the largest organs, for they have the largest blood vessels. It stimulates them to unwonted activity, while by overcharging the vessels, it oppresses the smaller organs of the moral sentiments, and intellectual faculties. It thus produces a temporary suspension of the functions of the latter powers, and the human being, in a state of inebriety, resembles an intoxicated inferior animal; his reason is suspended, while his animal powers are stimulated to unwonted activity. The intoxicating fluid also stimulates the nervous system directly, by its influence on the nervous coat of the stomach, and excites the whole organs of sensation, for the time, into more vivid action. Hence the drunkard enjoys a momentary happiness; but when the stimulus is withdrawn, the tone of the system sinks as far below the healthy state, as during intoxication it had been raised above it. He then feels a painful prostration of strength and vivacity, a sensation of deprivation, and a strong craving for a renewed
supply of alcohol to recruit his exhausted vigor. During intoxication, the moral and intellectual faculties, owing to the congestion in these organs, are incapable of making any useful effort, while in the intervals between different debauches, the brain is so exhausted and enfeebled, that it is equally unfit to execute any vigorous purpose. The habitual drunkard thus sinks into the condition of a complete imbecile, and may become a burden on the industrious portion of the community for his maintenance.
The causes of individuals falling into these habits are various. One is a hereditary predisposition. If the parents, or one of them, have been habitually addicted to the same vice, its consequences affect their physical constitution, and they transmit a weakened organization to their children. This doctrine has been ridiculed, as if we taught that children are born drunk. They are no more born drunk than they are born in a passion; but they certainly are born with conditions of brain that tend ultimately to produce in them a love for intoxicating fluids.
Another cause of the tendency to drunkenness appears to be excessive labor with low diet. The nervous energy is exhausted through the medium of the muscles, and the stimulus of alcohol is felt to be extremely grateful, in restoring sensations of life, vigor and enjoyment. This cause may be removed by moderating the extent of labor, and improving the quality of the food. If alcohol were withheld, and a nourishing diet supplied to such men, they would, after a few weeks, be surprised at the pleasurable feelings which they would experience from this better means of supplying the waste of their systems.
An additional cause of intoxication is found in ignorance. When an individual enjoys high health and a tolerably welldeveloped brain, he feels a craving for enjoyment; a desire to be happy, and to be surrounded by happy friends. If he be uneducated and ignorant, his faculties want objects on VOL. XXIV.NO. XLVII.
which they may expand themselves, and he discovers that intoxicating liquors will excite all his faculties into action, and give him a vivid experience, for the time, of the pleasures of which he is in quest. The bottle, for the sake of this artificial stimulus, is then resorted to, instead of the objects in nature related to the faculties, the study of which was intended by the creator as the natural excitement of the mind, calculated at once to render us happy, and to do us good. This was the real source of the drunkenness which disgraced the aristocracy of Britain in the last generation. I am old enough to have seen the last dying disgraces of that age. They were imperfectly educated, had few or no mental resources, and betook themselves to drinking for the sake of mental stimulus, almost as a last resource. This view affords also an explanation of the fact that many professional men in the law and medicine, who reside in the provinces, fall into these pernicious habits. They do not find, in their limited sphere of duties, constant stimulus for their minds, and they apply to the bottle to eke out their enjoyments.
A more extensive and scientific education is the most valuable remedy for these evils. We have seen higher cultivation banish drunkenness from all the classes pretending to any rank or respectability in society, and the same effect may be expected to follow from the extension of education downwards.
The last causes of pauperism to which I advert, are the great convulsions which occur every few years
in our manufacturing and commercial systems, which by deranging trade, throw many individuals out of employment, give them the habit of relying on charity, and sink them so low in their habits, and in their own self-estimation, that they never recover their independence.
If, then, I am correct in the opinion, that the chief causes of pauperism are, first, a low temperament, and imperfect