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certain, deters crime far more than any fear of extreme severity perhaps after many months of legal battle in the courts.

The Connecticut rule both statutory and as construed by the courts in regard to arrests without warrant is conducive to the prompt administration of justice. It is in line with the wide flexibility of our criminal law which in most cases leaves to the judges a great latitude of discretion in dealing with the trial and punishment of offenders. We are saved by this rule from any uncertainty in cases of high crimes and misdemeanors at common law which may be punished here by confinement in the State Prison. It saves us much of the preliminary wrangling in cases that occurs in some of the other States. And it hastens actual trial upon the merits of any case. In practice it has worked out. It has lessened the number of offenses, and in a heterogeneous population has acted for the public interest. It has been a protection to the officer in the performance of his duty, and anything that does protect him is an advantage.

Therefore, the law generally should authorize arrests by officers in cases of misdemeanors when committed in their presence or upon speedy information. There may be extreme cases of such trivial misdemeanors in which an arrest would be not wrongful but foolish. With these the reasonable discretion of the officer or the court would deal adequately. An officer should be able to arrest, then, without warrant, in addition to cases of felony either committed in his presence or where he has reasonable cause to suspect the arrested person, in cases of misdemeanors including breaches of the peace occurring in his presence, or upon speedy information, which practically means immediate communication. It would be reasonable to require warrants for all past misdemeanors and all present misdemeanors not occurring in the presence of the officer. The only objection thereto is that the officer does not usually arrive until after the commission of many offenses. In such cases the arrest should be made at once, and, if arrests on speedy information are authorized, they could be so made. The cases involving speedy information are covered

by the more permissive rule. Warrants would then be required in cases of felony where no reasonable cause of suspicion on the part of the officer exists and in all other cases of misdemeanors including all past misdemeanors and present misdemeanors of which the officer is not speedily informed. The rights of the individual would be preserved sufficiently, and the administration of the law could and would be furthered.


One hundred and eighteen years ago another Trumbull-Jonathan-was Governor of Connecticut. The United States was still in its infancy. The bond among the States had not yet become very strong. State rights and State sovereignty were not mere phrases, but live, debatable issues, with a distinct leaning in the direction of a construction which dimmed the future of the Union. Secession had not yet become entirely synonymous with treason, but was a course quite seriously considered and discussed whenever a section of the young republic, denied its own interests, had come in conflict with the common weal.

For some years, England and France had been waging a bitter war. Spain and Holland had become involved. Despite England's revival and attempted enforcement of the "Rule of 1756", (which declared, in substance, that no European country which, in peace, prohibited free trade with its colonies should be allowed, in war, to open its ports to neutral commerce), American shipping had been enjoying increasing prosperity. In fact, our vessels had practically monopolized the world's carrying trade, and on most advantageous terms. For the increased cost of transportation, by the circuitous routes made necessary to evade England's restrictions, was charged back to our customers, not forgetting the usual margin of profit. So that the attempt to invoke the "Rule of 1756" proved only to be a blessing in disguise.

Angered by our flouting of the Rule, England had issued the Orders in Council, Napoleon had countered with his Berlin and Milan decrees (1806-7), all of which tended to hamper our fast-growing and profitable foreign commerce.

*Mr. Persky is a member of the New Haven bar.

Blockading our ports, searching American vessels, and impressing our seamen made matters no pleasanter. Our national dignity was touched. The final straw was the removal, from the American frigate, Chesapeake, of four sailors, one of whom was hanged as a deserter from the English navy, and the other three made prisoners.

Events then marched in close array. President Jefferson followed his annual message of October 1807 with a special message, on December 18, 1807. Congress responded quickly. That same day the Senate passed a bill laying an embargo. The House of Representatives concurred in this action, with a few amendments and, the Senate having adopted the amendments, the Embargo bill became a law, receiving the President's approval on December 22, 1807. This law was strengthened and made more effective, by added provisions, on January 9th, March 12th, and April 25th, 1808.

Naturally, the shipping interests of New England did not take kindly to these measures. It hit them harder than England's restrictive steps. In fact, the blow was felt not alone in New England. These acts practically destroyed our foreign markets and, through their severe provisions, seriously hampered even inter-state trade, causing prices of wheat, rice, cotton and tobacco to tumble.

But President Jefferson, determined to put a stop even to the trickle of trade that seeped through these barriers, and heartened by the overwhelming majorities that these measures had received, Congress, procured the passage of the Embargo Force Act of January 9, 1809.

It soon became evident, however, despite the approval by members of Congress of the entire series of Embargo Acts (including the last one which passed in the Senate by a vote of 20 to 7, and in the House by 71 to 32), that the people, particularly in New England, were so opposed to this course of the Federal Government that they had almost reached the point of open rebellion.

In this crisis Connecticut took a determined stand. Governor Trumbull addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, flatly refusing to permit the employment of the military forces of the

State to enforce the law, as was provided therein. He promptly followed this action by calling a special session of the General Assembly, which convened in Hartford on the 23rd day of February, 1809.

First the legislators adopted a resolution warmly approving the action of the Governor, in convening the special session, “in this great national emergency."

Then they issued "An Address of the General Assembly, to the People of Connecticut," which was in the nature of an explanation of, and argument for, the principal Resolution passed

at that session.

Preceded by a statement that "the Congress of the United States, have established a system of measures in regard to foreign commerce, which contains provisions, oppressive, arbitrary, and unconstitutional", the Address propounded these significant rhetorical questions:

"Ask yourselves, if we should have been worthy to represent a free people; if we should not have basely abandoned your rights, if we had done less? and if a prudent regard to all those considerations which influence you, ought not to have restrained us from doing more?"

Then followed a categorial indictment of specific provisions of the Congressional Act in the following words:

"Do you revere the constitution of the United States, and wish to preserve it inviolate? Read this act, and ask yourselves, if many of the provisions contained in the sacred charter of your rights, have not been violated? We forbear to enumerate abuses of power, which on a full view of this act, become of minor importance. Does your Constitution secure to you the right of having your conduct regulated and judged by known laws? Read the second section of that act, and ask yourselves, if presidential instructions are not substituted in their place?

"Does the Constitution secure to you the operation of equal, uniform, and general laws? Ask yourselves, if the same section does not authorize the exercise of power, in a partial manner-if the suspicions, real or pretended, of a jealous collector, may not allow to one, what, under precisely similar circumstances, may

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