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EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY THE INMATES OP THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISON, STILLWATER, MINNESOTA. Entered at the postoffice at Stillwater, Minnesota, as second-class mail matter. Contributions solicited from all sources. Rejected manuscripts will not be returned*- The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year - SI.OO Six Months - - - - $.50 Three Months ... .25 To inmates of all nenal institutions .50 Address all communications to per year. The Mirror, \ Stillwater, Minn. The Mirror is a weekly paper published in the Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and managed by them. It aims to be a home newspaper; to encourage moral and intellectual improvement among the prisoners; to acquaint the public with the true status of the prisoner; to disseminate penological information and to aid in dispelling that prejudice which has evef been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self-redemption. The paper is entirely dependent on the public for its financial support. If at any time there shall accrue a surplus of funds, the money will be expended in the interest of the prison library'. For the information of new arrivals and all others desiring to send The Mirror to friends, the privilege will be granted by complying with the following rules: Write your own name and register number and send same to this office with name and ad dress of person to whom paper is to be sent. Each paper must be kept clean and folded in the same manner in which it is received and placed in your doorwery Fri day night. All inmates are requested to comply with this order whether sending out a copy or not. Service in the Prison Chapel at nine o’clock every Sunday morning. Protestant and Catholic service every alternate Sunday. Rev. C. E. Benson and Rev. Ft. Corcoran, chaplains. A Blue X in the otherwise blank space to the right signifies that your subscription has expired. If you wish The Mirror sent to you after receiving a copy thus marked, it will be necessary to fill out the accompanying subscription blank and mail it to Henry Wolfer, Warden, wdth the price of subscription immedi ately. You surely cannot afford to miss an issue of The Mirror! So dfrn’t delay, but send in your renewal at once. You have our thanks and appreciation in ad vance. EDITORIAL The recent action of the State As sociation of County Attorneys’ iu declaring themselves in favor of cap ital punishment, and their resolve to work for its re-establishment, has met with severe criticism through out the State. It is indeed most pleas ing to note that there are so many who have sufficient intelligence to realize that capital punishment is nothing more than murder legalized, and the death penalty but a relic of barbarism. Iu time all the people will be brought to realize this, and it will be proven to their entire satis faction that adequate means of pun ishment can be obtained without the taking of life. Almost every exchange that has reached The Mirror table in the past two weeks has contained some edito rial comment regarding the associa tions action, most of them denounc ing it and from among these as many have been selected to reprint, as space in these columns will allow, and it is needless to say that the views set forth in the following ar ticles are heartily endorsed by r Mirror. “News and Comment” iu the Du luth Herald, speaking of the senti ments set forth in these columns two weeks ago, says: “The Prison Mirror eomes out with a u editorial against capital punishment. There are criminals enough without making murderers out of sheriffs, helpless under the law that commands them to take human life.” MESABE OKE: The county attorneys of the state, who met in St. Paul recently, are going to attempt to have capital punishment re-established in Minne sota. We have always considered county attorneys as being somewhat heartless, and this recent move seems to justify ourbelief. Why go back ward in legislation after we have made an advance. To go back to capital punishment would be the same as forsaking republican gov ernment for one o f monarchical form. TO INMATES. CHURCH NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS Wisps By Ralph M. Thomson “God must forget,” the doubter said — “It can not tie that lie is here; The roses and the trees are dead. And desolation’s everywhere.” As if, it seemed, in answer then, Aud ere the curse he could repeat, » A sunbeam kissed aud kissed again The violets about his feet. —Uncle Remus ’ Home Magazine. FEMARKS. LITTLE FALLS HERALD: The State Association ©f County Attorneys has gone on record as de- siring capital punishment and as op posing the indeterminate sentence. | Oil both .these propositions we be- j lieve them to be exceedingly mis- j taken. There has never been any j proof that the taking of life by .the state deters man from taking life. In the days when there was execu tion for petty offenses, the hanging did not stop petty offenseeor fright en prospective offenders. The man who kills in a moment of passion does not stop to think of the penal ty, .and the calculating murderer is not deterred, but lays his plane to escape if possible. An investigation by the French government showed a much greater fear of life imprison ment among criminals than of death. I f prevention is desired, and modern penology is founded on that theory, capital punishment fails. It has not prevented, does not prevent, aud will not prevent. The indetermin ate sentence is, in the judgement of the greatest students of crime aud criminals in every civilized land, the greatest step iu criminal juris prudence ever taken. It means that the persons sentenced are held until in the judgment of a competent board they may be safely returned to society. If the law is to be inter preted, as it once wag as a revenge that society takes upon the offender, then of course indeterminate sent ence acts are foolish, but the motives aud reasons which move men in the commission of crimes are not easy always to understand. The cases may be complex. Society itself may be particeps criminis. In order to save itself society must save what is worth saving in the offender. Under the operation of the indeterminate prisoner must depend on his efforts to become worthy of freedom. His conduct and the evid ence of his good will are determin ing fuelers. The advantages of the indeterminate seutence were thus clearly and succinctly stated in the report of Committee on Prisons to ’<• g:. j. » • ' • R ' ' 7?. '• - r ———— the California legislature as long ago as 1881: “It supplants the law of force by the law of It secures certainty of restraint and continued treatment which operate to prevent crime, as severity does not. If makes possible the arrest and ,right training of that whole brood of beginners, before great depravity is reached and char acter is irretrievably fixed. It utilizes for reformatory ends the motive that is always the strong est —the desire to be released, the love of liberty. It removes the occasion and so mollifies the feeling of animosity usually felt toward the law and its officers, puts the personal interest of the prisoner plainly in obedience to the rules of discipline and leads him to co-operate with those labor ing for his welfare.” Where these principles have had a fair trial, the results have been successful. In this state the law making sentences indeterminate for every crime except murder and high treason,*is not a year old. It cer tainly deserves a fair trial, and it would seem that the county attor neys are hasty in condemning it. It is endorsed by such representative judges as Orr of St. Paul and Waite of Minneapolis, of the chiefs of pol ice of our large cities, by the heads of the prison and refoimatory, by many close students of the problems involved. To condemn it is practi cally to condemn the possibility of reformation. And modern penolo gists will not make that admission. MINNEOTA MASCOT: We have seen it stated that at a recent meeting of the County Attor neys’ Association of Minnesota a res olution was unanimously passed de claring for the re-instatement of the death penalty in this state. It is difficult to believe that this is true. It surpasses the understanding of the average man that a body of men supposed to be cultured and educa ted would go on record in this man ner. The death penalty is one of the most revolting things that our stat utes have been burdened with and when last year the legislature abol ished it there was applause aud ap proval from all over. The people do not want the death penalty. The people will not stand for its re-instatement. If it is true that the county attor neys resolved for return to this bar baric practice they have disgraced themselves and their association. Shanie on such resolutions! The state has a right to protect its citizens but it has no right' to take life. There are cases in which life im prisoument seems justifiable but never is the taking of life, even by the state, anything except an act, of brutality. Capital punishment is a beastly thing. It is done in a spirit of revenge — a spirit that should have no place in any penal system. Civilization has been struggling to shake off this terrible thing for cen turies. Slowly this monster has relaxed its hold here and there, until today there is not a community of civil ized people anywhere that has not rid itself of this brutality or is strug gling to do so. But the county attorneys of Min nesota want capital punishment re establised in this state! They want the state to return to a practice that is beastly, brutal and barbaric! They are not satisfied to put a man behind prison bars for life. No. They want his blood! What a comment upon the Coun ty Attorneys’ Association! What a sentiment for representa tive men of the twentieth century to indorse! * But it is not strange that such things come to pass. Not strange, we say, when you consider the atti tude of the average prosecuting at torney towards an accused. Most of these men appear to go on the assumption that an accused man is guilty and that it is up to him to prove his innocence beyond a reas onable doubt. To them punishment is an end, the spirit of revenge dominates. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is all that they are after — forgetting that law was repealed nineteen centuries ago. The time will come when the term for crime” will be un known. When the man or woman who has left the path of righteous ness will be treated, not asenemy of all good men, but as a sick, diseased, unfortunate brother who needs phy sical, moral and mental treatment by specialists on the bodv the mind and the soul. The idea of punishment for crime comes from the early days of the race —from the barbaric infancy of man. The idea, the thought, the system, with all its ramifications is wrong. Punishment is wrong because punishment is built on revenge, par takes of the spirit of revenge, is re venge —and revenge is wrong. We know that these statements are somewhat ultra and will find favor in but a few minds. And yet the thought that crime — all crime, so called —is a disease, has long been entertained and is slowly gaining ground—and when we think what the last century has brought about who will dare to even guess at the progress ahead of us in the present. Science has already a treatment and found a remedy for some of the things that are called crimes —may not the wisdom of man under the direction and guid ance of God find a like remedy for many more? —for all? ' “Love j'our enemies said Jesus. “ Give us back the barbaric right to kill shout the Minnesota County Attorneys. t Indictings Of The Prison ImbeGile. Beau Esprita. Oft in the stilly night have poets burned the midnight oil in depreci ation of the melodramatic western novelette, the so-eallej dime-novel. Uncle Walt, the “poet philosopher,” is the latest to line up. Yet it is a fact that statistics will not show one case of juvenile perversion along the lines exploited by dime-novels, to one hundred along the lines heralded as moral in the goody-goody boy’s books-T-criticism of which has never come to ray notice. Horatio Alger, Jr., (a minister of the gospel) wrote stories for boys intended to counter act the influence of wild west stories, in which he depicted a poor boy leaving home to make his fortune that h e might help a struggling mother or sister. The boy goes to the “city,” turns up his nose at lodg ings costing less than five or six dol lars per week because they are apt to be none too clean, refuses to black boots or sell papers because it is be neath him, to run errands or tend offices or shops because the pay is not sufficient, grubs along some how, saving two or three dollars a week to send home, until the opportunity presents, when he steps in and saves the life or property of some rich person from a bold, bad man. Whereupon he is at once and with out question taken on as private secretary, tutor to minor children, or adopted into the family; eventu ally to marry the beautiful heiress and assume control of papa’s busi ness. The appeal in the first place is made to the noblest sentiment of the boy —his desire to help those dear to him, mother or sister. The conduct of “our hero” on reaching the city is drawn to appear noble, self-respect ing, manly. No word of it’s impos ibility —a scant paragraph about it’s difficulties, and always the supreme opportuness of the windfall in the shape of the rich man’s rescue and gratitude, and the sublime willing ness of the beautiful heiress to ac cept “our hero’s” matrimonial ad vances. That is the goody-goody boys book as it strikes the average boy. The dime-novel story is, on the face of it, absurd, remote, even to the most romantic boy, otherwise normal. The goody-goody story is stated as an example possible of em ulation'by every boy, and boys fall for it and the principle it holds up, in oh, such woeful numbers. Boys leave homes —p oo r usually, but homes, honest and pure —to try and help their loven ones. Honest lodg ings they can not get without re comendations-—and they could not pay for them did they get them. The news-boy’s homes are not for them. In the end the dive takes them in. As to work $1.50 to $3.00 a week is the best wages they can command at honest employment. Rather hard to send home two or three dollars per week out of one-fifty and pay expenses at the same time. His ideal was not drudgery. Question able employment or crime supplies the need. And the windfall —the rich man to rescue —how slow about turning up! No bold, bad man with dishonestly gotten securies for the manly young hero to dispose of; no madly careening carriage for him to avert from disaster —or if there is one, an officious “cop” to step in and interfere in his way to the pri vate secretaryship and the beautful young heiress. All too soon comes the time when he must beg, or starve —or steal. A life of ease dis honestly acquired has greater allure ment than two-fifty a week and lodging in an alley. The police court, the reform school! Where, oh where, are your poets to denounce the goody-goody boys book in rythmic and appealing me tre? Not on your life! The dime novel, being in it’s self a satire, may be satirized; but not the book writ ten by the minister. Save one men tal deficient who might climb into a box-car and fare forth in quest of Indians and adventures until he be came hungry or cold, when he usu ally is not so slow about getting back to mother! But spare the word that may giye some honest boy a clearer idea of what seeking a for tune in the city really means; “poet philosophers” are sufficiently philo sophical to see that this wouldn’t do at all. This is not meant in commendation of the Diamond Dick type of liteiure or in advocacy of it’s perusal by boys. The wild west story is bad reading Matter for any boy. But as I said before, where one boy reaches the reform school or does any harm by attempting to follow in the footsteps of Buffalo Bill one hundred inay be found who have reached that end by trying to emulate the Horatio Algers ‘hero.” The Standard Oil Co., has been dissolved. Midnight oil should now be at least as cheap as before. Come cn.you poets, let the mental deficient go to the nut facto ry where he will go anyway —and sing a song for the honest boy who ~ is being mislead. Health Department. W. C. Van D. Greosote. This substance, which is rapidly becoming part of the American diet, is distilled from wood-tar. In its chemical action it is very similar to carbolic acid, in that it is a powerful antiseptic and readily coagulates al buminous matter. In small doses it is useful as a medicine, being used, I believe, as a stomach sedative and also to allay the cough in tuber culosis. It is also used in preparing the so called creosoted block paving for streets; the creosote being forc ed into the cedar blocks, and in that way rendering them somewnat impervious to decay. Nearly all such foods as sausages and inferior hams are now prepared for sale in almost a similar way to the manner used in preparing cedar blocks and they are a remarkably good thing to let alone. Food that has been creosoted is not only near ly undigestible, but is a positive loss to the system, as it requires a cer tain amount of'energy to remove it and this energy can only be ob tained by eating some other food which has not been creosoted. Some day the man who steals an other man’s health by selling him creosoted foods will be dealt with almost as severely as the man who steals another man’s dollar; but until he is, watch out for yourself. Bread is a good safe diet; so are all the cereals such as rice, beans, peas, etc. Eat less meat and more, vegetables.