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“ A punishment to be just, should have only that degree of severity
PRINTED BY ISAAC COLLINS AND SON.
.“ LIBERTY is in its highest perfection, when criminal laws derive each punishment from the particular nature of the crime. The knowledge acquired in some countries, or that may hereafter be obtained in others, in regard to the surest rules that can be observed in criminal judgments, is more interesting to mankind than any other thing in the universe. Liberty can only be founded on the practice of this knowledge.”
“ The Christian Religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would without doubt have every nation blest with the best civil and political laws; because these are, next to this religion, the greatest good that men can give and receive.”
“ In moderate governments, a good legislator is less bent upon punishing than preventing crimes : he is more attentive to inspire good morals, than to inflict punishments."
THAT branch of jurisprudence which treats of crimes and their punishment, is the most interesting and momentous in the whole code of laws. The peace, security and happiness of society depend on the wisdom and justice of the means devised for the prevention of crimes. In no nation have legislators bestowed that profound attention on this subject which its importance demands.
While civilization and refinement were changing the condition and manners of focial life, the criminal codes of the nations of Europe retained a vindictive and sanguinary spirit, the growth of a rude and barbarous age. Benevolent and virtuous men saw and deplored the evils produced and perpetuated by unequal and cruel punishments ; but the mild voice of reason and humanity reached not the thrones of princes or the halls of legisla
While the STATE was aggrandized by conquest, enriched by commerce, or ornamented by the productions of art, they thought not of the unhappy beings who suffered under the numerous oppressions of tyrannical laws.--While every ob- . ject which encompassed them wore the aspect of fplendour and felicity, their dazzled eyes were not