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Judicial CP - September 1910

Corpun file 19692


The New York Times, 25 September 1910

Special Correspondence

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PARIS, Sept. 16. -- All Paris is discussing the Apache problem, and many suggestions are forthcoming for the punishment of the street criminals who are committing crimes now merely for the sake of killing and to count another victim of their daggers or revolvers. M. Raynaud's measure for the institution of Corporal Punishment for Apaches has the support of many citizens and the press.

Le Temps says that "the adhesion of so many people to a proposal which would have caused scandal ten years ago is a fact worthy of great attention. The public has had enough of this want of protection, and it will not content itself with the explanations that are given in newspapers generally unfavorable to the police and advocates of the status quo."

While Le Figaro, also favorable to corporal punishment, regrets the attitude of the "humanitarians" in Parliament:

"Alas! between the Apaches and their victims there lies a parliament, that is to say, an assembly of sensitive Democrats who would not care to admit that after forty years of Republican reign a human creature should be struck or thrashed, at all events in the name of the law. The British have not such scruples, and yet it is known that in no country, not even in our own, is respect for the dignity and independence of the individual carried so far. But our neighbors make a distinction between the human creature who accepts the state of society and the human creature who does not accept it. The first is held sacred, and is protected; the second is whipped. It is considered that any one who has wilfully placed himself outside the bounds of society cannot be treated in the same way and in accordance with the same principles as if he remained a member of that society. The point of view may be disputed but there can be no dispute concerning the fact, which should make us reflect somewhat that before the institution of the whip there were 'Apaches' in London, and that since the institution there are no more."

M. Barthou, Minister of Justice, has also come in for a certain amount of criticism since announcing his intention to amend various clauses in regard to the punishment of Apaches, for, as certain persons in authority, including M. Lepine, the Prefect of Police, assert, the law as it stands is explicit and clear enough, although some change might be made in its interpretation and application.

For example, the question of carrying firearms, &c. It is suggested that law-abiding, well-reputed citizens should be permitted to carry some weapon of defense, while, on the other hand, criminals known to be such should be punished according to their offenses.

Statistics just published show that within the limits of Paris and its suburbs there were during August 47 attacks with revolvers and 53 with the knife, while in July there were 52 with revolvers and 59 with the knife. Shooting caused 11 deaths and stabs 4 in August, as against 6 each by revolver and knife in July.

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