Зображення сторінки

On motion of Mr. Hampton, The following resolution was adopted : Rezolred, That the Secretary of State is berehy authorized and required to furnish the Secretary of the Senate, upon his written order, such stationery and other supplies as are necessary for conducting the business of his departinent.

On motion of Mr. Baldwin, The following resolution was adopted : Rexolred. That the sessions of this body be opened each morning with prayer to Almighty God, and that the officiating clergy of this city be respectfully invited, by the President, to perform the service in such order as may suit their convenience.

On motion of Mr. Waite : The following resolution was adopted : Resolred. That the Senate now proceed to assign seats to the Senators. That in making such assign. ment, the Secretary place in a box the number of each senatorial district, and that when such number shall be drawn by a page, the Senators of such district shall select their seats. That previous to such drawing all the seats shall be vacated, the Senators withdrawing from the bar of the Senate.

On motion of Mr. Castle,
The following resolution was adopted :
Resolred, That Hon. E. Canfield be permitted to select his seat in advance.

The Senate proceeded, accordingly, to draw seats by lot, and at 10 o'clock P. M. the President announced the Senate ready to resume public business.

Mr. Hampton, from the committee appointed to wait on the Governor, made the following report:

Mr. President: Your committee appointed to wait on the Governor, and inform him that the Senate was organized and ready to receive any communication from him, report that they have performed that duty, and that the Governor will communicate with the Senate to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

B. R, HAMPTON, JAN. 8, 1873.

Chairman. On motion of Mr. Archer, The following resolution was adopted : Whereas, it becomes a free people, in the enjoyment of civil and religions liberty under a govern. ment of their own choice, to recur with feelings of pride and gratitude to the distinguished and patriotic services in the part of the great and good men of the Republic, who, on the field of battle and in the councils of the nation, have largely contributed to such blessings; and whereas, on this day, the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans, we are reminded of the character and eminent public ser. vices of General Andrew Jackson in the field, in defense of his country's soil and her honor and prosperity: therefore,

Resolred, That on this eighth day of January, in honor of the soldier, statesman and patriot, who marle the day ever memorable and illustrious in the annals of American history, the Senate do now adjourn until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

In accordance with the foregoing resolution, at 1:30 P. M. the Senate adjourned.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 1873–10 O Clock A. M.

Senate met, pursuant to adjournment.
Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Hale.

On motion of Mr. Hampton,
The following resolution was a lopted :
Resolred, That the order of business adopted by the Senate of last session, be the order of businone
of this session until otherwise ordered.
The journal of yesterday was being read, when,

On motion of Mr. Voris,
The further reading of the same was dispensed with.

On motion of Mr. Whiting, The following resolution was adopted : Resolved, That the Secretary of State be instructed to furnish the Sergeant-at-arms of the Senato with such supplies as may be necessary to conduct his departinent-ouch supplies to be furnished upon the written oriler of the Sergeant-at-arms, and approved by the President of the Senate, until the committee on contingent expenses shall be appointeil, and then said order shall first be approved by said committee.

On motion of Mr. Williamson, The following resolution was adopted : Resolved, That the standing hour of the assembling of the Senate be 10 o'clock A. M.. until otherwise ordered.

Mr. Burke introduced Senate bill, No. 1, for "An act to repeal an act entitled “an act to exempt homesteads from forced sale, and to provide for setting off the same, and to exempt certain personal property from attachment and sale on execution, and from distress for rent."

Which was read at large a first time, and ordered to a second reading.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Magie.

Mr. President: I am directed to inform the Senate that the House of Representatives has met, and organized by the election of Shelby M. Cullom as Speaker; Daniel Shepard, Clerk; J. F. Allison, First Assistant Clerk; J. D. Hamilton, Second Assistant Clerk; G. W. Johns, Third Assistant Clerk; Andrew B. Kerkbridge, Doorkeeper; Thomas Rountree, First Assistant Doorkeeper; J. R. Roberts, Second Assistant Doorkeeper; W. F. Wilton, Postmaster; Thomas E. Woods, Assistant Postmaster; W. I. Allen, Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk; V. W. Dashiel, First Assistant Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk; Edmund Roch, Second Assistant Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk.

A message from the Governor, by E. B. Harlan, Private Secretary.

Mr. President: I am instructed by the Governor to lay before the Senate the following communication, viz:


SPRINGFIELD, January 8, 1873. To the Senate and House of Representatives :

By the Constitution, it is made the duty of the Governor, at the commencement of each session, and at the close of his term of office to give to the General Assembly information, by message, of the condition of the State, and also to recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient.

It is an easy and pleasant task for a retiring Governor of the Sta of Illinois to invite the attention of the General Assembly 10 the evidences of development and progress that mark the condition of the State.

The cities and towns that adorn the shores of the rivers and lakes and dot the prairies are increasing in population and wealth, railroads are in process of construction that will, when completed, connect the remotest and most isolated districts with the centres of commerce. The manufacturing interests have been extended and increased, the farms and orchardsand vineyards were, during the past year, productive, and the means for the supply of the actual wants of the population are more than usually abundant. In all the material elements essential to its future growth and prosperity, the State of Illinois has nothing more to desire.

Nor can it be asserted that the people of the State have been unmindful of their social duties, for public provision for the education of all the children of the State is already made, and will hereafter keep pace with the advancing publie wants, while institutions intended for the purposes of advanced education and higher culture are increasing in num

bers, and are widening their fields of usefulness; and although our general system for the care of the poor and permanently helpless classes is not complete, nor yet entirely satisfactory in its methods or results, the people of the State have cheerfully submitted to all taxes imposed upon them for that class of objects, and have gone beyond their representatives in demanding that nothing required by the most enlightened humanity for the relief or maintenance of the objects of public charity shall be left undone.

It is with the most profound satisfaction that I am able to say, that notwithstanding my extensive intercourse with the people of the State during my official term, I have never heard from any person a murmur against any tax actually levied or proposed for the benefit of the afflicted or helpless; and the representatives of the people in the General Assembly, true to the spirit of their constituents, have been always willing to appropriate as much money for the same objects as they could be satisfied would be wisely expended. And with qualifications and exceptions to whica I will hereafter again refer, the criminal and penal laws are enforced, and peace and order prevails thoughout the State.

In my message to the General Assembly of January 4, 1871, I had occasion to specify a number of instances of violence by mobs, and I regret to be compelled to say, that since that time others, though fewer, outrages, of a similar character, have occurred at different points in the State. In some of the cases that have been reported to me, the acts of the mob were done openly and publicly, and in one case, a band of armed and disguised men assassinated a peaceful citizen at his home. In each of the cases reported to me I offered a reward of one thousand dollars for the apprehension and conviction of the guilty parties.

Perhaps we are not permitted to hope that the State will hereafter be entirely exempted from outbursts of popular passion that will override reason, and justice, and law; nor can it be expected that designing or malignant men will not be found who will be able to avail themselves of some pretext for organizing and directing the passions of mobs, or who will seize upon occasions of passing frenzy of the public mind and precipitate the commission of crimes; but from evidences afforded me, I am persuaded that the people of all parts of the State are impressed with the conviction, supported by the experience of some localities, that mobs demoralize and deprave the public conscience and promote the commission of crimes. We may therefore hope that examples of mob outrages will be hereafter rare in the history of the State.

From the language of the newspaper press and the reported expressions of citizens in public meetings, the people of the State have been led to apprehend that crime and disorder has increased in the city of Chicago and other large cities of the State. After having given much attention to the facts of the more aggravated offences reported to have been perpetrated in Chicago, as well as to the general condition of the city, I am satisfied that many of the reports that have influenced the public belief are exaggerated, and that considering the extraordinary circumstance of the almost total destruction of the city within little more than a year past, and the great influx of population from every quarter, the laws are enforced and order is as well maintained in Chicago as in other great cities in the country. It is true that some startling examples of fraud in commercial circles have occurred in Chicago that are in their influence more disastrous to the morals, the business and the character of the people of the State, than is the aggregate effect of many minor offenses, and the parties implicated in them are still unpunished. And much opposition has been made to the enforcement of the laws relating to the sale of intoxicating liquors, and to keeping open public drinking establishments on the Sabbath, but the commercial frauds referred to seem to be but characteristic of the period, and the controversies in respect to the liquor and Sunday laws can produce no mischief while confined to the use of legal ineans for the maintenance of real or supposed rights, or for influencing public opinion.

The extensive acceptance of the belief that crimes, especially those of a homicidal character, have increased in frequency, has led to the suggestion of many changes in the law, with a view to a remedy.

The charges most frequently insisted upon may be stated to be: 1st. The abolition of the grand jury system, and the substitution for an indictment of an accusation to be preferred by the law officers of the State. 2d. To take from parties charged with crimes the right to a change of venue. 3d. To disallow challenges to persons upon the ground of an opinion formed upon information obtained from printed publications, or, as some propose, without regard to the source from whence the information is acquired, if the proposed juror will swear that, notwithstanding any opinion he may eutertain, he can try the case impartially. 4th. To establish additional restrictions upon the right of accused persons to demand continuances. 5th. To make death the penalty for murder; and, 6tb. Abolish or greatly restrict the executive authority to grant pardons, and wholly take from that department the power to commute the death penalty to imprisonment for the life of the person convicted, or for any other term.

To those who have such confidence in mere legislation, that they assume that every abuse may be corrected and every evil repressed by laws, and to that other class, ignorant of the origin, history and reason of the institutions and rules and methods of procedure proposed to be abrogated or changed, and who welcome every change in the existing laws as an improvement, all the alterations proposed will be acceptable; but others will remember that the grand jury, one of the institutions” of our free spirited fathers, and most of the formal and carefully guarded rules of criminal procedure that are now the subject of complaint, were devised to protect the lives and liberties of the people against the aggressions and encroachments of power, and others, like that of confiding the measure of punishment upon convictions for murder to the jury, are the results of the observations of men of the most profound knowledge and the largest experience in the administration of criminal laws. They are parts of a judicious and well settled system, not perfect, but that combines greater advantages for the prompt administration of justice, with the proper guards for the safety of the rights of the citizen, than any that exists in any country or under any form of government.

In view of the necessity that has always been admitted to exist for careful regulations for the protection of individuals, it is painful to witness the mistaken zeal that prompts a portion of the public press and influential public bodies to urge fundamental changes, simply that citizens may be made more defenceless when pursued by the authorities of the law upon accusations of crime. Every change in the criminal laws that deprives parties accused of a means for obtaining an impartial trial, or that proposes to substitute the discretion of a judge or of a State's attorney for tixed and well defined rules of law or settled modes of procedure, is a sacrifice of the safety of the citizen. Happily, except on


occasions when the public mind is excited by appeals to popular fears or prejudices, the passions of the American people are not cruel; but who is prepared to say, that when a citizen may be put upon his trial upon a charge that involves his life, in the midst of a community filled with prejudice agains him, without the power to demand of right the removal of his trial to an impartial vicinage, with no right of continuance to await a better state of public sentiment or to obtain evidence, no challenge to his triers upon the ground of opinions formed against him, death the inevitable consequence of conviction, and the Governor without power, even upon the clearest facts, to arrest the bloody sentence, the vindictive prejudices of some community may not demand a victim, and that then a State's attorney may not be found who will consent to accuse, and the judge, upon whose discretion the rights of the citizen depends, yield to public clamor and consent to the sacrifice ?

The "institution" of grand and petit juries is an essential part of the judicial system of a free State. Theorists who can demonstrate that the rules of a single wise man is better than that of the multitude, and law reformers who would substitute the discretion of a State's attorney or a judge for the deliberations of a grand jury or fixed rules of procedure, alike forget that no method of election has been yet devised that will insure the choice of the wisest for rulers or State's attorneys or judges, nor do they attach enough importance to the fact, that in a republic no system of laws can be devised that will, without endangering the public liberties, be effective for the prevention and punishment of crimes, unless the laws themselves provide for the participation of the people in their administration, and that neither public nor private rights can be secured when they are in any important sense subject to the discretion of any ruler or magistrate.

It seems to me, then, that, while the attention of the General Assembly should be directed to the present state of the criminal laws, and the rules of criminal procedure, with a view to their improvement, nothing should be done to enlarge the discretion of the courts in criminal cases, nor delude the people with the belief that any change that can be made will relieve them from the necessity of giving their own attention to the proper execution of the laws.

It is at once the vice and weakness of wealthy and prosperous communities, that a majority of those who should be the most capable and useful citizens, froin purely selfish reasons, prefer to delegate the discharge of their most important public duties to others, and experience has demonstrated that whether the mercenaries who undertake the protection of the public interests, or who are by the indifference of the people allowed to seize control of public affairs, are the hired soldiers of a standing army or the traders in offices, who cajole, neglect and plunder the people, or those who make jury duty a trade, the result is the same: the degradation of the laws, contempt for public justice, and in the end all the securities for the safety of life, liberty and property are destroyed.

I do not feel at liberty to consume much space in the discussion of the change in the law, insisted upon by many, to take from the jury on trials for murder the right to determine whether the party found guilty shall suffer death or be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for any term exceeding fourteen years, and that may extend to the whole of his life, and make the judgment of death the absolute legal consequence of a conviction for murder.

« НазадПродовжити »