Publication information

Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “What Should Be Done with Czolgosz?”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Lily Dale, New York
Date of publication: 15 October 1901
Volume number: 7
Issue number: 63
Pagination: 6

“What Should Be Done with Czolgosz?” Sunflower 15 Oct. 1901 v7n63: p. 6.
full text
McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (dealing with); Leon Czolgosz (execution: personal response); death penalty; anarchism (legal penalties); Leon Czolgosz (commutation of death sentence).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.

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 surround us.
     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.