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The attention now paid to the administration of cri- minal hw is a strong symptom of the growing tendency to govern in all things for and not against the people It augurs j11 for the criminal jurisprudence of a country, and still worse for its executive, when the efforts made to secure life and property, and to repress crime, bear the impress of cruelty and tyranny. That all laws intended as safeguards to life and property should be humane as well as stringent, and judicious as well as sternly just, is now generally admitted; and not one of the least pleasing features of the present time is the deep interest which the public takes in the treatment of those who, by the commission of crime, have subjected themselves to penal inflictions. So decidedly unpopular has capital punishment become in all parts of the realm, and with all grades of society, that'the office of Jack Ketch bids fair to be soon entirely abolished; and so many and such well- founded complaints have been made of the manner in which the punishment of transportation was carried into effect, of the evils which resulted to the virtuous population of the penal colonies, and of the little that was effected in reforming the characters and morals of the convicts, that at last government have come to the determination to discontinue transportation altogether. All intelligent and reflecting persons are, or ought to be aware, that all criminal laws aim, or are supposed to aim, at the accomplishment oi three important purposes, namely, the due punishment of crime, the security of property, and the reformation of offenders. That the prompt and rigorous* puiiishmer t of criminal offences has a salutary effect in restraining many from the perpetration of crime cannot be doubted, and though for nearly three centuries our criminal code has been less sanguinary and less severe than that of nearly all civilized nations, the staunchest advocates for the terrors of the law will hardly venture, at the present day, to complain of the over-leniency of that. portion of our statute book which apportions punishment to guilt. What Briton has not heard of NO/folk island, and of the pitliess rigour with which what was deemed retributive justice was there meted out to the hapless violators of criminal law Captain Maconochie, who for many years has ably filled the unenviable situation of governor of that penal settlement, has lately favoured the public with what may be very properly called a living portraiture of the treatment and condition of the convicts who are sentenced to expiate their crimes in that place of terrors. Well and ably, and humanely does the gallant and very intelligent officer reason on the manner in which punishment is there carried out; and soul-harrowing is the life-like picture which he draws of the effects which penal inflictions that, for years, and often for many years-in some cases for lifeâknew of no mitigation, produced on the minds and dispositions of the unfortunate children of crime. No goal of hope opened its portals to the penitent and sincerely repentant. Friends, kindred, country the ideas asso- ciated with these, no longer imparted a glow of glad expectation for the future, to those between whom and all that renders life desirable law had interposed an impassable gulf. The humane-hearted officer saw meet to request the permission of the Governor of New South Wales to try what effect would be produced upon the minds and con- duct of the convicts by proposing certain rewards to those who should, by fulfilling the conditions, entitle themselves to them. This request the governor acceded to; and the result was most gratifying to Captain Maconochie. A reward a reward for good conduct f then" though: many a seemingly hopelessly-hardened felon, there still lireg one ofha takes art interest' in me. Shall I not make an effort to win an approving smile from that man ? Shall I not do my utmost to please him ?" A gleam of that sunshine of the heart which, before he became an outcast from society, had often diffused gladness o'er his mind, once more irradiated his sun-burnt features. Hope once more inspired his breast. His pulse once more throbbed to the gushing affection which he still cherished for his father-land; and the manner in which he exerted him- self to earn the approval of the chief functionary of the establishment, gave a living attestation to the fact that the kind and degree of punishments which are not intended to reform the criminal cannot be held to be either politic or wise. But no where, either at home or in the colonies, can it be said that that great and difficult problemâthe discovery of the best mode of treating legal offenders, with a view at once to the prevention of crime and the reformation of the criminal-has yet received A, com- plete and satisfactory solution. The present Bishop of Oxford is OLe of the few public men who ha\e shown that they have well studied and fully comprehend the recklessness, the ignorance, the want of prudence, and, we had almost said the wickedness, of the whole system of our penal colonies. So vitiated has the state of society become in Van Dicman's Land, and so rife is every description of crime among its widely scattered population, that many of the most respectable inhabitants have already quitted it, and but few emigrants now think of going thither; and all this has arisen from its having the misfortune to be a penal colony, in which the worst evils of our present system of transporting felons, have produced their worst results. But these evils are now to be amended. Earl Grey, on Friday last, in a long and very able speech, took a review of the policy which, under the designation of secondary punishment, we have, for many years pursued. The noble lord, with graphic power, pointed out the abuses, the cruelty, and the I impolicy of the whole system; and be dwelt empha- tically on the importance which every well constituted mind must attach to such a mode of treating con- victed malefactors, as shall not merely vindicate the majesty of the law, but also tend to operate a salutary change in the mind and disposition of him who trans- gresses it. As regards males transportation is for ever to cease for a time that of females will be continued. The reformatory prisons of Penshurst, Pentonville, and the Millbank Penitentiary are to be enlarged and re- modelled, and a similar institution, on a very extensive â scale, where the prisoners are to be employed in quar- rying and hewing stone, is to be erected in the island of Portland. This is a measure which really reflects credit on Go- vernment, and most fervently do we wi;h that its results may be all that they and every friend of humanity would desire to see realised.

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