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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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distinction to mark the difference between them; but
considering that, in order to graduate the punishment
as near as possible to the nature of the offence, much
must necessarily be left to the discretion of the court,
I would respectfully suggest the propriety of an alter-
vation in our penal code, so as that petty larceny,
should consist in stealing articles not exceeding the
value of one hundred dollars. If this were done, the
convict might be sentenced to a longer or shorter
confinement, according to his general character, and
other circumstances, and not according to the value of
the goods stolen. An old offender stealing goods to
the value of ten dollars, should certainly, in most
cases, be punished with more severity than a young
offender stealing to the value of fifty dollars. Unless
there be a careful and due discrimination of charac-
ter, in fixing duration of punishment, courts may
frequently commit extreme and barefaced injustice.
It is equally as sound a maxim in jurisprudence as
in morals, that he who punishes another for offend-
ing against justice, should himself be just.

The state prison in this city is so badly contrived,
that it never can be successfully used as a Penitenti-
ary ; it should be sold, and a new one erected a few
miles from the city, constructed on the same plan as
the state prison at Auburn

, to have separate cells, so
that the prisoners might lodge separately. Every cell
should be properly ventilated by means of a small
aperture next the ceiling, of three inches diameter.

The prisoners ought to be kept constantly employ-
ed at such work as the overseers of the prison should
think most suitable. To purchase raw materials to
be worked up in the prison, has frequently been at-
tended with loss, owing to want of skill in purchas-
ing, and bad management in disposing of manufac-
tured articles to the best advantage. The most
preferable plan would be, to make contracts for
the labour of the convicts, with shoe makers, stone-cut-
ters, &c. &c. the contractors furnishing the raw ma-