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House. Comm. on Capital Punishment. Report, 1831
House No. 15 On March 18, 1831, a five man Committee was formed to consider amendments to the death penalty statute. On June 9, 1831, the Committee
presented a report. The Commonwealth had six crimes for which death was allowed: treason, rape, murder, highway robbery, burglary, and arson. The
Committee observed that many modes of punishment were no longer used in civilized society. Family members or friends may thirst for revenge against
specific wrong-doers, but the state was not interested in revenge. The Committee decided that property crimes did not deserve the death penalty.
Rapists and murderers were to be kept in solitary confinement for life. If society still demanded the death penalty, the death should be in private; some
criminals relish the attention and the public should not regard the event as a spectacle. The Committee did not address treason. It also did not
present a bill, but offered to do so if asked. (Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Whereas there are different opinions on the subject of punishing certain crimes by taking away human life, some persons maintain that such punishment is not justifiable in any case, others, that it is justifiable only in cases of murder, attended by the highest aggravations of malice and cruelty ...
OCLC Number:   1395399418
Available Volumes
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