Crimes Against Criminals by Robert G. Ingersoll

By Robert G. Ingersoll

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Sample text

1 believe that this power should be exer· cised in another direction. It would be well as it seems to me, for tlie Legislature to fix the amount of land that a private citizen may own,' that will not be subject to be taken a way for the use of which I am ahout to speak. The amount to be thus 45 C:,IIn .. /~ainst stane"". aill itself. Let me suppose that the amount of land that may be held for a fanner for cultivation has been fixed at one hundred and sixty acres-and suppose that A has several thousand acres.

In the olden time-and it is not yet dead-that whoever was ed· 48 ucated ought not to work! that he should Itrfm .. use his head and not his hands. t were ashamed to be found engaged in ~rfmlnalll manual labor. in plowing fields. in sowing or gathering grain. To this manly kind of independence they preferred the garret and the precarious existence of an unappreciated poet, borrowing their money from their friends, and their ideas from the dead. The educated regard the useful as degra' ding-they weTe willing to stain their souls to keep their hands white.

And on the same day murdered his wife. , In the presence of death it is easy for a jury to find a doubt. Techillcalities become very important. :riminal5 Crillles absurdities. I1I_lut appearanc-e for a moment of being natural CrlmlnalJ and logical. Honest and conscientious men dread a final irrevocable step. If the pen· nlty were imprisonment for life, the jury would reel that if any mistake were made it could be Tectified; but wheTe the penalty is death a mistake is fatal. A conscientious man takes into consideration the defeds of human nature-the uncertainty of tes· timony.

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