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Judicial CP - February 1905

Corpun file 19681


The New York Times, 3 February 1905

Would Lash Wife Beaters.

Representative Adams Pleads for His Corporal Punishment Bill.

Special to The New York Times.

Click to enlarge

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2. -- Representative Adams of Pennsylvania made a strong argument to-day before the House Committee on District of Columbia in favor of his bill for the punishment of wife-beaters by the lash. The bill provides that in the case of any male person in this District who shall beat, bruise, or mutilate his wife the court before whom the offender is tried and convicted shall direct the infliction of a whipping on his bare back.

The punishment, which is not to exceed thirty lashes, is to be inflicted by the Marshal of the District or one of his deputies, within the prison inclosure, and in the presence of a physician.

Mr. Adams explained that he lately studied this problem thoroughly, and he was convinced that the establishment of the whipping post for wife-beaters would go far to prevent that crime. The charge of wife-beating often resulted in the sending of the man's wife to the almshouse. Very often the wife hesitated to make the charge that her husband had maltreated her, because when the brute got out of jail he usually beat her again worse than before. The wife-beater, Mr. Adams continued, was usually a drunken, lazy loafer. The terror of the lash was the only thing that would serve to stay his hand.

In concluding Mr. Adams said:

"Every married man in the House who does not vote for this bill when it comes up lays himself open to suspicion."

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