Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Executive Board.

For the term expiring 1914:

HENRY M. BATES, Dean of the School of Law, State University, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

WILLIAM E. MIKELL, Professor of Law in the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

ALEXANDER H. REID, Judge of the Circuit Court, Wausau, Wis.
E. RAY STEVENS, Judge of the Circuit Court, Madison, Wis.

For the term expiring 1915:

EDWIN M. ABBOTT, of the Philadelphia Bar, 819 Land Title Bldg., Philadelphia, Pa.

WILLIAM N. GEMMILL, Judge of the Municipal Court, Chicago, Ill. GEORGE W. KIRCHWEY, Professor of Law, Columbia University, New York City.

EDWARD J. MCDERMOTT, of the Kentucky Bar, Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky.

For the term expiring 1916:

ARTHUR J. TODD, Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.

WILLIAM HEALY, Director of the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute, Winnetka, Ill.

EMMETT N. PARKER, Justice of the Supreme Court of Washington, Olympia, Washington.

EDWIN MULREADY, Commissioner of Probation, Court House, Boston, Mass.

Ex-Officio.

JOHN H. WIGMORE, Professor of Law in Northwestern University, 31 W. Lake St., Chicago, Ill..

NATHAN WILLIAM MACCHESNEY, of the Chicago Bar; Commissioner

on Uniform State Laws, 30 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, Ill.

JOHN B. WINSLOW, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin,

Madison, Wis.

FREDERIC B. CROSSLEY, Managing Director of the Journal of the Institute, Librarian of the Elbert H. Gary Collection of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University, 31 W. Lake St., Chicago, Ill.

ROBERT H. GAULT, Managing Editor of the Journal of the Institute, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

ORRIN N. CARTER, Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois, Chicago. EUGENE A. GILMORE, Professor of Law, State University, Madison, Wis.

FIRST SESSION.

The meeting was called to order at 4 P. M., Wednesday. September 3, 1913, by the President, Justice Orrin N. Carter, of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Frank B. Kellogg, President of the American Bar Association, made a brief address of welcome. J. C. Walsh, one of the Park Commissioners of Montreal and a member of the press, also made an address of welcome on behalf of the citizens of Montreal. The President then read his annual address, as follows:

THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS.

We meet in this fifth annual conference to report progress, hopeful that the work of this organization has vindicated the wisdom of its creation. Never more than now has there been a greater need for "scientific study" and investigation of the problems of criminal law and criminology. The spirit of unrest is everywhere. Criticism of all forms of government, of every system of law, civil and criminal, is prevalent. The critics, both of substantive and procedural law, have too frequently assumed that Pope's philosophy, "Whatever is, is right," should be changed on these questions to "Whatever is, is wrong." One can hardly pick up a legal periodical without finding some article or editorial on "The Law's Delay," "Failure of Justice in the Courts," "Technicalities of the Law," "The Criminal Law Has Broken Down as an Unworkable Machine," "Criminal Procedure a Disgrace to Civilization," "The Incapacity of the Judiciary" and similar topics. Even the daily press teems with like criticisms and the religious journals are not entirely free from similar articles.

Much of this criticism is made without investigation, and changes are often suggested by those who are without experience or knowledge of the particular subjects. These criticisms of the laws and courts are not alone in the United States. Our citizens are frequently referred to the laws of Great Britain as a model, yet the legal periodicals of that country indicate that the courts

and laws are not accepted there as perfect. During the present year the Law Times and Law Journal, published in London, contain numerous suggestions as to changes in the laws in order to bring about speedy and certain justice. The Law Times of May 24, 1913, gives a table showing the condition of the dockets of the Courts of Appeal, the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench and others, stating that they are all far behind in their work. An editorial in the Law Journal of May 17, 1913, comments vigorously on the same subject. In the Law Times of June 21, 1913, is a statement that many of the cases in the King's Bench division in Ireland, which on account of the public interests should have been heard months before, cannot then be heard and decided but must be postponed over the long vacation. I have seen in recent articles on Law Reform in the United States a suggestion that we would do well to study and pattern after the India Criminal Code; yet I notice in the Law Times of June 28, 1913, an account of a murder trial in India where five months after an acquittal before a responsible judge, who heard the witnesses and saw the accused, the defendants were rearrested and condemned and ordered hanged by an appellate court. That sentence was executed. The editor of the Law Times says that such a proceeding "is repugnant to the first principles of justice, and any code that permits such procedure should be amended forthwith." The court of criminal appeals in England in many cases has no power to remand a criminal cause for new trial. If it reverses the case, that is the end of the prosecution. This weakness has more than once been noted by that court with regret in reversing cases. In that respect English Criminal Law can hardly be considered ideal. Even in Canada, where the criminal law and procedure is often, I think with much reason, held up as an example to emulate, the Canadian Law Journal of January, 1913, sharply calls "to book" a trial judge for his rulings in criminal cases.

Some argue that our criminal procedure is chiefly at fault, while others insist that our whole treatment of crime has been based on a wrong theory; that punishment does not deter the prisoner from again committing crime and that its value in

deterring others from committing crimes has been greatly overestimated. Without question, the prevention of crime, especially with the young, is more important than its punishment. Because of these views juvenile courts have been established and laws are being enacted on parole and probation.

Even a cursory examination and comparison of the laws of the various countries prove that no nation has a monopoly on what is best; that laws may be effective in one country or one age which may not be practical in another country and another age. Human nature, after all, in this as in all other governmental matters, is the main factor, and one which often overturns our preconceived theories. Lowell was not only a poet but a philosopher as well when in Bigelow papers he wrote:

"The moral question's ollus plain enough,
It's jes' the human natur' side thet's tough;
Wut's best to think mayn't puzzle me nor you,-
The pinch comes in decidin' wut to du;

Ef you read History, all runs smooth as grease,
Coz there the men ain't nothin' more'n idees,-
But come to make it ez we must to-day,
Th' idees hev arms an' legs an' stop the way."

One of the chief objects of this association is to bring together the teacher, the theorist, the writer, the philosopher and the man of practical affairs-whether a judge, the warden of a penitentiary or any other public official connected with the enforcement of criminal law-so that all may co-operate in helping to bring about the necessary changes in criminal law and procedure and in the treatment of criminals, to the end that criminal law may be properly enforced; ever having in mind, however, justice to the accused as well as protection to society. Whatever success the institute has had in the past has come quite largely from the fact that it has in some measure been able to bring about a co.operation of many of those interested in these various subjects.

What we need as a basis for all our work is the facts gathered from experience in this and other countries. Some one has said

13 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, p. 376, Spaulding. 220 Yale Law Journal, p. 599.

that " a pound of facts is worth a ton of theories." This may be too strong a statement, but we certainly need, first of all, facts sifted from experience of officials in penitentiaries, reformatories and courts and in the light of this experience we want to adopt the admonition of Paul, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." To do this we must have the best thought of the men actually" in the harness" and of teachers, writers, criminologists and all others interested in these great problems. The institute has been and ought to be particularly helpful along that line. The report of its standing committees are filled with information -such information as no one studying or drafting either a substantive or procedural law can afford to ignore. To enforce this thought I call attention to only two of a number of valuable reports made last year; one is that made by the committee on indeterminate sentences and parole. There is given the substance of all the laws in each of the states of the Union on that topic, with a summary covering the whole field of experience. The other, that of the committee on criminal procedure wherein were considered the grand jury and indictments; the number and causes of reversals in courts of review; the right of appeal in criminal cases; methods of review in appellate courts; the question whether when an accused asks to have his case reviewed in a court of review he should be compelled to be examined under oath, and lastly, procedure in habeas corpus matters. The majority and minority reports on these questions furnish practically a complete index of the facts and arguments that have been urged for or against present methods in those matters.

What impresses one in the study of the various subjects as to the enactment and enforcement of the criminal law is that the problems he meets in the jurisdiction where he resides have been, or are being faced in other jurisdictions; that the remedies often proposed have been or are being tried; furthermore, that no remedy has been found a panacea. As an illustration, the question whether the failure of the accused to testify shall be permitted to be considered by the court and jury or commented on by counsel is frequently discussed. In an amendment proposed by the Ohio Constitutional Convention, afterwards adopted

« ForrigeFortsett »