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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 11, 1913, Image 20

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-03-11/ed-1/seq-20/

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judge, and driven insane by brooding
on"1 th "overwhelming injustice of it.
"Six years ago Welch, a young inan
of 25, was wandering through south
ern Ohio, looking for work. He found
neither job ,nor generosity. Penni
less, lonely, hungry he lost his rever
ence for the great god Property-
And so, one dark, bitter night, in
Greenville, Darke county, he opened
the door of.avdwelling house, altered
and took' a; few pounds of bacon to
keep hint alive in his quest for work.
He lifted his hand against no man.
He attacked'nq" woman. He frighten
ed no child. He-destroyed nothing.
,He HAD to have food, and he took a
dollar's worth of bacon that was all.
He was seen, caught and haled into
court. And being at heart an honest
man, Welch admitted stealing the
bacon. He would .steal to live, but he
would not lie to avoid punishment.
The Law, however, was not so
square as the thief.
Welch was guilty of "breaking and
entering an inhabited dwelling at
night," with intent to steal property.
And that, in Ohio, is an offense pun
ishable with life imprisonment, un
less the juryrecommends'mercy.
Welch' was destroyed by his own
honesty. By pleading 'guilty ," ':he
surrendered his right "4o;a trial by
jury. :And -so there'vas. 'no--jury- to
"recommend ' mercy.'Wherefore in
exdable.LAVyi'ih tne pers'oh.of Judge
Allreatt,,.serit him to the" penitentiary
for lifeit . '-.''
It is not likely that any, jury-would
have done that. And the lack of a
jury was merely technical. The judge
might haveihsistedon ajury triaHor
the prisoner, refusing to enter" his
pleaof "guilty." .Judges have often
done: so. "
This judge merely said, "There-is
'no alternative?' So speaking as a
statute boolr,'and;n6t,as a maii deal
ing with flesh and blood and the pas
siqns of life, with a legal phrase he
took, away ,this.young 'man's lifelong
freedom, his human. - ties, even, his
secret hope for stealing a piece of
bacon ,
The door of the penitentiary closed
on William Welch, his name became
a number, and he was forgotten.
Just the other day somebody hap
pened to recall the case, and inquired
wfiat had become of William Welch.
And', this is what he found:
fThe body of William Welch still
lives.' But the soul of him is dead.
A few months of prison life
brought him face to face with his ap
palling fate. Brooding over it in bit
terness, and longing for "that little
tent of blue which prisoners call the
sky," his mind broke.
LAW has murdered the only part of
him that raises man above brutes;
.And now he is no more than an ape
in a cage. t.
"It is a very good law,!' says War
den Jones.
THE. LETTER OF THE LAW
"Whoever-in ;the;night season .ma
liciously and, forcibly breaks and en
ters an inhabited dwelling house with
intent to commit a felony, or with in-. "
tent to steal property1 of 'any value,
shall be imprisoned ,in' "the -'penitentiary
during life; but upph-the.recom-mendatioh'of
mercy- by the. jury shall
be -imprisoned not less than .5 years
nor 'more than. '30 years;-3ectidn
12437, of fthe. General' Code .of- the
'State of Ohio. . ,
' l -; rO 0
SEED CAKES -
.These are inexpensive to make'.and.
always; acceptable to v eat. The in
gredients include butter the sizeof
an egg, two" cups of sugar and- four
of flour,: half a teaspoonful of salera--"
tus, and miilk to wet it so that it will
roU.easilyjTseeds tq taste. Roll about
half an inch. .
North; Island military aviator, just"
married has broken the record for
sustained flight. Beats all how they
can. stay up inthe-air during the
hqjyniopni

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