Publication information
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Source: Canada Law Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 15 October 1901
Volume number: 37
Issue number: 19
Pagination: 717-18

[untitled]. Canada Law Journal 15 Oct. 1901 v37n19: pp. 717-18.
full text
anarchism (international response); anarchism (dealing with); criminals (study of); criminals (treatment).
Named persons
Arthur MacDonald [misspelled below].
Click here to view the editorial from Central Law Journal referenced below.



     The recent development of anarchy has been sufficiently discussed. Legal journals are now taking up the question of its suppression. It may be said in passing that neither England nor the United States can boast of having done in the past all that they might have done in that direction. Being free countries, they are naturally the resorts of political refugees, and have become too much hiding places for desperate criminals of the anarchist type. The rest of the world may well call upon them to be diligent in the duty they owe to other nations in connection with this matter. The United States especially, having now felt the sting of the reptile fraternity, may be expected to take strenuous measures to cope with the evil, especially in view of the part played by American anarchists in the Italian regicide of last year. A consideration of the subject naturally draws attention to the repression of crime from a wider point of view, and suggestions appropriate thereto are now in order. The Central Law Journal, in a recent issue, published a summary of the views expressed on this subject by Prof. Arthur McDonald, of the United States Bureau of Education, who has made a special study of the criminal, pauper, and defective classes. The conclusions he has arrived at are, as our contemporary remarks, very pertinent at this crisis, and are commended to law makers [sic] as a basis for a practical advance in the treatment of criminals. These conclusions are as follows: 1. The prison should be a reformatory and the reformatory a school. The principal object of both should be to teach good, mental, moral, and physical habits. Both should be distinctly educational. 2. It is detrimental financially, as well as socially and morally, to release prisoners when there is a probability of their returning to crime; for in this case the convict is much less expensive than the ex-convict. 3. The determinate sentence permits many prisoners to be released who are morally certain to return to crime. The indeterminate sentence is the best method of affording the prisoner an opportunity to reform without exposing society to unnecessary dangers. 4. The ground for the imprisonment of the criminal is, first of all, because he is dangerous to society. This principle avoids [717][718] the uncertainty that may rest upon the decision as to the degree of freedom of will; for upon this last principle some of the most brutal crimes would receive a light punishment. If a tiger is in the street the main question is not the degree of his freedom of will or guilt. Every man who is dangerous to property or life, whether insane, criminal, or feeble-minded, should be confined, but not necessarily punished. 5. The publication in the newspapers of criminal details and photographs is a positive evil to society, on account of the law of imitation. In addition, it makes the criminal proud of his record, and develops the morbid curiosity of the people; and it is especially the mentally and morally weak who are affected.



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