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Opening Speech to the Jury; On the Part of the Defence, on the Trial of Daniel E. Sickles, in the Criminal Court of the District of Columbia, April 9th and 11th, 1859
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1859. Excerpt: ... criminal responsibility, was built upon a very narrow foundation. In tbe 1st Hale's Pleas of the Crown, page 30, be says: " It is very difficult...
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1859. Excerpt: ... criminal responsibility, was built upon a very narrow foundation. In tbe 1st Hale's Pleas of the Crown, page 30, be says: " It is very difficult to define the indivisible line that divides perfect and partial insanity; but it 44 must rest upon circumstances duly to be weighed and considered, both by the judge and jury, lest, " on the one side, there should be a kind of inhumanity towards the defects of human nature, " or, on the other side, too great an indulgence given to great crimes" Although the term insanity is the same as unsoundness of mind, and considered as equivalent to it--in this case I prefer to use the latter terms. It is as difficult to define the causes that may throw the mind into a state of unsoundness, as it is to define the particular state of unsoundness into which it may thus be thrown. The jury are to carefully weigh its condition at the time of the commission of an act. You are not to be too savage on the one hand, nor too feeling upon the other. You are to avoid extremes either way. You are not to pardon the passion which has been unduly excited by an inadequate cause; nor are you to refuse indulgence to a passion which has been provoked by an adequate one, and which, when once aroused, defies all human restraint. We deny that this case presents an instance of ungovernable passion, as those words are legally understood. An ungovernable passion implies a passion disproportionate to the provocation; one, if not wantonly excited, at least, wantonly indulged--such as over-sensitiveness, severe retaliations for slight affronts, and the like. The following instances of "inadequate provocation," are given by Lord Holt, in " Mawgridge's case," (17th State Trials, pages 66-69): 44 Therefore, I am of opinion that if two are in company toget...
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