Supplementary Report: Filling Blanks, Supplying Ommissions and Making Corrections in the Penal Code of Massachusetts, Reported to the Legislature, January 27, 1844

1845 - 51 Seiten
Supplement to the 1844 report of the Penal Code of Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Commissioners on Criminal Law.

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Seite 14 - But even in such cases the subsequent judges do not pretend to make a new law, but to vindicate the old one from misrepresentation. For if it be found that the former decision is manifestly absurd or unjust, it is declared, not that such a sentence was bad law, but that it was not law; that is, that it is not the established custom of the realm, as has been erroneously determined.
Seite 10 - All the laws, which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the province, colony or state of Massachusetts Bay, and usually practised on in the courts of law, shall still remain and be in full force until altered or repealed by the legislature ; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this constitution.
Seite 13 - But, with us at present, the monuments and evidences of our legal customs are contained in the records, of the several courts of justice in books of *reports and judicial decisions, and in the treatises of learned sages of the profession, preserved and handed down to us from the times of highest antiquity.
Seite 13 - ... and the like. But I take these to be one and the same thing. For the authority of these maxims rests entirely upon general reception and usage: and the only method of proving, that this or that maxim is a rule of the common law, is by showing that it hath been always the custom to observe it.
Seite 8 - The resolve, under which the commission is constituted, directs the commissioners " to reduce so much of the common law of Massachusetts, as relates to crimes and punishments and the incidents thereof, to a written and systematic code, specifying separately such alterations and amendments therein as they may deem expedient.
Seite 47 - No punishment or forfeiture shall be incurred by any person who shall kill another by misfortune, or in his own defence, or in any other manner without felony.
Seite 41 - ... great offence ; but it has never occurred to one of them, nor would it occur to any rational man, that they are guilty of an offence which endangers life. Unhappily one of these hundreds attempts to take the purse of a gentleman who has a loaded pistol in his pocket. The thief touches the trigger, the pistol goes off, the gentleman is shot dead. To treat the case of this pickpocket differently from that of the numerous pickpockets who steal under exactly the same circumstances, with exactly the...
Seite 46 - When a person of sound memory and discretion unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in being, and under the king's peace, with malice aforethought, either express or implied.
Seite 46 - Every person who shall commit the crime of murder shall suffer the punishment of death for the same," yet it nowhere defines the crimes of murder or manslaughter, with all their minute and carefullyconsidered distinctions and qualifications. For these, we resort to that great repository of rules, principles, and forms, the common law. This we commonly designate as the common law of England...
Seite 51 - ... no words would produce. Still it seems to us that both these points might be made out by overwhelming evidence ; and, supposing them to be so' made out, we are unable to perceive any distinction between the case of him who voluntarily causes death in this manner, and the case of him who voluntarily causes death by means of a pistol, or a sword.

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