What Should Be Done with Czolgosz?
There is very little
question of what will be done with the assassin of President McKinley,
but that does not dispose of the question of what should be done.
Society must protect itself against
those who do violence, although we fully realize the fact that we
are what we are on account of the natural laws and conditions which
The anarchistic doctrines are made
because people have been imposed upon for so many generations and
for this greatest imposition the church has to answer. Not true
religion—but the church—theology.
But now that the crime has been committed
and something must be done with the criminal, it should be looked
at in a practical manner and disposed of in the same way. It is
not to get revenge upon the individual who is now awaiting the electric
chair, but it is to so act that the world will be protected in the
future—so that we will not have to mourn again for a successor to
Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley.
Will death do this? No! for [sic]
we have tried it and it has proven a failure. The anarchist who
commits a crime is looked upon as a hero and there are a certain
class of people who always allow their sentiments to run away with
them, especially when death penalty is attached. Fear of the results
is all that kept such sentimentalism being used in the case of Czolgosz.
What must be done is to arrange some
method of punishment that will carry terror to the evil doer [sic]
who is not yet in jail. The anarchist dislikes labor and confinement
more than anything else and we believe that more good would be accomplished
if the Governor would commute his sentence to imprisonment at hard
labor for life. Death is too easy for it is soon over. Then the
hero-worshiper, soon begins to praise the “victim” and weak men
and women are influenced to commit crime for the purpose of being
looked upon as heroes by their associates.
It is the dime novel hero over again.
The boys secure rusty guns and start out to bag a few Indians or
outlaws, totally ignorant of the fact that the Indians and outlaws
are better prepared to carry on the war of offense and soon they
come to grief. The anarchist strikes at the heart of some ruler
to crush the government, but the strong arm of the law secures him,
before he is aware of it a new leader is sworn in, and the penalty
of his crime is before him.
We do not believe in capital punishment.
It should be abolished. Take away the pardoning power, place it
in the hands of the same courts as now condemn the prisoner, thus
making the case entirely hopeless and in time more good will be
done in preventing crime than has been done by ages of “an eye for
an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a nail for a nail.” Nothing could
be more hopeless than imprisonment for life at hard labor without
the hope of a pardon.