Newspaper Page Text
• .. ~Vol. VI. —No. 35 A BROKEN WING. STORY OK A I‘OK.M THAT INSPIRED A PEBPAIR- One day a convict at Joliet prison, Illinois, picked up a paper from tlie corridor, on which were these lines: 1 walked through the woodland meadows Where sweet the thrushes sing. And found on a bed of mosses A bird with a broken wing. 1 healed its wound, and each morning It sang its old sweet strain; But the bird with a broken pinion Never soared as high again. I found a young life broken By sin’s seductive art. And touched with a Clirist-like pity. 1 took him to my heart. He lived with a noble purpose. And struggled not in vain; But the life that sin had stricken Never soared as high again. But the bird with a broken pinion Kept another from the snare. And the life that sin had stricken liaised another from despair. Each loss has its compensation. There is healing for every pain: But the bird with a broken pinion Never soars as high again. In estimating the value of these verses to the Antler it must be understood that lie had reform ed in the early part of his imprisonment, but was at times greatly depressed over his past lift 1 . —Ad rth Wextem Former and Breeder. A Philosophic View A man who has been a criminal, anil followed a criminal existence for any length of time, must, in his different undertakings, exert more or less de termination or will-power, and it is this same force that must be brought into play to effect whatever reformation may take place in him. It is only through his own endeavor that his ref ormation can take place, although these endeavors can be materially assisted by the help of kindly hands. Opportunities to gain money or its equivalent by theft, are, by no means, placed within easy reach of those who make theft their means of livelihood. Far from it. Those whose position in life is apt to mark them as prey for thieves and robbers, do not hesitate to utilize every appliance, or take every precaution that could possibly guaran tee safety to themselves and property. To overcome these obstacles, the man of criminal proclivities must devise plans that will give promise of success, before undertaking any criminal intent he may have in mind. Take the man who commits a crime of any nature —from snatching a pocket-book to the highest grade of bank burglary he must exert some degree of determina tion. according to the magnitude of his undertaking. This determination, or will-power, as we have said, must constitute the foundation upon which all hopes of reformation are to be built. It is the one factor that is to keep him in the path of honesty, when once he starts upon it. No doubt there are many, at this day, inmates of prisons, who have started sometime during their lives to reform, but found the task harder than they bargained for. The sneers of their fellow-men. the whispers of “ Tie’s an ex-convict,” and many things of like nature, have all done their part to cause a relapse into criminal ways. But does one by giving up the struggle so easily utilize the will-power within him? T)oes he, when engaged in one of his criminal undertakings, give up his life of crime because his pians mis carried, and a certain “job’’ turned out unsuccessful? By no means; he looks upon such failures as natural happen ings of his profession, and straightway commences to devise other schemes, probably more intricate, and thus he is ready to try again. It takes more phys ical and mental energy to lead a crim inal existence, than it does an honest -one, so why not utilize these mental and physical powers to bring about one’s reformation; persevering in a path of honesty, as hitherto we have persevered in that of crime. At the be ginning, no doubt, the battle will be <£l)c fhmnt JMirror* in<; HEART , v IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, APRIL 6, 1893. hard, but once started, the balance of the way will be easier. We must make up our minds not to allow small disap pointments to deter us, but to over come them as we did those which pre sented themselves when leading a crim inal career. Determination is all that is required, and any man who has been a criminal possesses that. “He con quers who endures.’’ A. Torturing- Prisoners. There is a general but very erroneous belief that torturing prisoners, in order to make them confess before magis trates. has been long since banished from civilized lands, but it is practiced in this very time, and of all countries in the world, in civilized (?) Switzer land. M. Borel, member of the assembly of Lucerne, recently proposed that in formation should be asked from the federal council as to the torturing of a prisoner in the canton of Zug. The man in question was accused of theft. When brought before the court the prisoner acknowledged that he had taken the missing articles, but insisted that he had not stolen them but found them. Following this the court ordered fur ther inquiries to be made. By way of getting at the truth as to the prisoner’s guilt or innocence, the following course was pursued: From the 26th of October to the 10th of November the man was kept in sol itary confinement on a sparse diet of bread and water, but this treatment failed to induce him to vary his first statement. On the 11th and 12th of November thumb-screws were applied to the man’s hands, and his thumbs were pressed till the blood burst through the skin at the ends, still he persisted in his storv. On the three following days he was stripped every morning and beaten on the bare back with green withes till the skin was torn off. The poor fellow shrieked with agony, and after each beating an attendant would ask him: “Now will you tell the truth?’’ “I have told the truth,’’ persisted the prisoner. “That you found the things?’’ “Yes." "Then the torture will continue till you confess that you stole them,’’ was the attendant’s response. After each beating the man’s back was washed in cold brine, and he was thrown again into a dark cell: On learning of the prisoner's obstina cy, the judge had him brought before him again, and said: “Why do you not tell the truth?’’ “I have told the truth." was the reply. “Then the torture must proceed.’’ “Your honor can kill me, but he can not make me say I am a criminal when I am innocent,’’ said the prisoner. The judge ordered the prisoner back to his cell, and here, after three months of such torture as even the Inquisition never dreamed of, he was released one night—by death. And all this happened not in the AI id dle Ages, but last year in the heart of the free and independent Swiss repub lic. Fortunately the man's death promises to result in a repeal of the barbarous law of torture. — Ex. Cost of Prisons. The statement made by one of the or ators before the Prison Congress, that the cost of keeping criminals in this country amounts to $400,000,000 annu ally, ought to set people thinking. That is an enormous sum of money to be ex pended for any purpose. It would pro vide bread for a million homes, it would give substantial aid to all the charities of the world, it would soften the burden of taxation if it could be saved, it would give a mighty impetus to educational work of moral reform if it could be turned in that direction, or it would create new industries which would give honest employment to thousands of laborers. This tax upon the people of America is twice as great as the pension burden, and reaches up into the region of amounts derived from tariffs which have been called unreasonable and un just. It is a drain upon industry which has not been sufficiently considered. When it is added that this annual pay ment of 8400,000,000 is in the nature of waste, then it becomes a matter of seri ous importance. Prisons exist and ought to be managed for three distinct purposes. The first is just punishment for wrong doing. A criminal has vio lated law, besides having outraged pub lic decency and must be punished, and prison reform which does not concede that ground is essentially unsound. The second purpose is the protection of society from its enemies; hence thick walls iron doors and armed guards. The third purpose is to reform the criminal and restore him to freedom a self-sup porting and law-abiding citizen. In the pursuit of these purposes it is a serious question whether the present machinery of the courts does not need a very great amendment. The laws also appear to be working at the problem from the wrong end, and the result is a large and increasing criminal class is growing up in our country which the present penal arrangements help to develop rather than check. It costs 8400,000,000 to sup port this class now; what will it cost twenty-five years hence? Baltimore Herald. Capital Punishment. Mr. Andrew J. Palm, editor of the American Journal of Politic, contrib utes to his magazine an article on capi tal punishment. He maintains that the only sure protection to human life in any country, is to have it regarded with reverence by the whole people, and that, consequently, if the govern ment wishes to teach that human life is sacred, it must not set the example by deliberately destroying it: “ The favorite argument that to take away the fear of the death penalty would result in an increase of murders may or may not have any force in philosophy, but in practice it has been proven false repeatedly. In those of our own States where capital punishment has been abolished, the statistics furnished by the census reports show a smaller num ber of murders than in those States that still follow the law of ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' The same* is true of other countries. The Howard Association of London has made a careful study of the subject, and its investigation has shown beyond doubt that death as a punishment for murder has the only effect that might be expected, that it hardens instead of softens the emotions, and prepares men to commit murder by contemplating it. “The executioner has been steadily plying his gory trade in the United States ever since the foundation of the government, but instead of his being a terror to evil doers, murders have been constantly increasing. In 1888 there were 2184 homicides in the United States; in 1889,3567; in 1890, 4290; and in 1891, 5906. Is not this evidence enough to warrant a change in our method of dealing with the crime of murder ? When it comes before the legislators of the different States, I trust they will not act on their ideas of what they are afraid might occur if capital punishment were abolished, rather than on the actual facts as they have occurred where it has been abro gated. “ The death penalty defeats the ends of justice in allowing thousands of murderers to go at liberty. It is a fact beyond dispute that the average juror of to-day hesitates to assume the re sponsibility of being an instrument in sending a fellow to death, and often times when there is no other verdict possible except that of guilty of mur der in the first degree or not guilty of any crime, the convenient reasonable doubt comes in, and the prisoner is set :*•' <-• at liberty; when, if the punishment had not been death, he would have promptly been found guilty. “In Massachusetts from 1862 to 1882, a period of twenty years, there were 123 trials for murder in the first degree and but 29 of these, or less than 24 per cent., were convicted. In Connecticut during thirty years from 1850 to 1880, 97 per sons were tried for first degree murder, and of these but 13, or a little less than 13 per cent., were found guilty. “Capital punishment was abolished in Rhode Island—a State in ail respects very similar to the other two —in 1852. During the next thirty years there were 27 persons tried for first degree murder in that State, of whom 17, or 63 per cent., were found guilty as charged. The same truth is shown in Michigan. Wisconsin and Maine, the statute books of which are no longer disgraced by the law of death as a punishment for crime.” Mr. Palm gives statistics to show that relatively to population, murders are becoming less frequent in many States which have abolished capital punishment. Review of lie vie ms. What is success in life, and who is the successful man? Is it not he who sets out in life with the determination to accomplish a certain object, concen trates all his energies upon the attain ment, and attains it, no matter what else befalls him? If, then. I strive to be rich, like the late Jay Gould, and win riches, am I less successful because at last, like him I am afflicted with poor health which cuts short my days and prevents me from enjoying my riches ? Am I less successful as a lawyer or a banker because my wife is a vixen, or my children are spendthrifts? Most certainly not. Yet many persons would seem to think I am. Why, asks a great Roman satirist, do you wish for wealth, which ruined Seneca; or for eloquence, which caused Demosthenes and Cicero to be assassinated; or to be a great gen eral like Hannibal, who was defeated at last, and killed himself in exile? Rut did not each of these men win the very thing he aspired to win ? Why, then, judge of his career by its last days,as if its character depended mainly on its catastrophe? Why regard a man's life as successful if it ends triumphantly, and as a failure if it ends disastrously ? If a man lives seventy years, does the seventieth year contain more or less than one-seventieth part of his life, aud can it affect the success or failure of that life to more than just that extent ? If Hannibal and Napoleon sought to be great generals, and became such, were they less successful because they finally met with reverses in war and died in gloriously ? Was General Grant an un successful man because he died of a very painful disease? Was William Pitt, who aspired to be and became the leading statesman and parliamentary orator of Great Britain, unsuccessful because his efforts to crush'the hydra headed power of Napoleon were defeat ed by the victory of Austerlitz and he sunk under the'blow? If he won the highest station in the kingdom—was first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer—did he not obtain the object of his wishes, albeit he dies of a broken heart ? Because, again, the ob ject of a man's life pursuit does not satisfy him when gained, because “The lovely toy, so firecely sought. Hath lost its charm on being caught,” is the success less positive ? Is not suc cess one thing, and happiness another ? —William Matthews , in Harper's Young People. Magistrate O'Googhan: Hov’n’t you been befar me befar ? Astute Prisoner: No, y’r honor, I never saw but one face that looked like yours, an* that was a photograph of an Irish king. Magistrate O’Googhan: Discharged! Call th’ nixt case.— New York Weekly. -; v ■ ‘ -r cnlln . * SI.OO per year, in advance. I ERMS. j si x Months 50 Cents. Success in Life. Hit His Soft Spot.