Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 09, 1871[The Administration of Justice]
Republican writers have had to say terrible things about "Cabinettsjustiz" (justice dealt out arbitrarily by a king) in despotic countries. That a prince, according to his whim and pleasure, may stop all persecution of a criminal, or may persecute an innocent man, is justly regarded as the blackest blemish of the absolute monarchy. "Cabinettsjustiz" in this sense, however, has completely disappeared from the civilized nations of Europe, that is to say, from all except Russia and Turkey. The privilege of pardoning a criminal is also much less abused than in the United States. In Europe, of ten sentences at least nine are executed; in the United States hardly three...
Here in our democracy we have the exact counterpart to "Cabinettsjustiz". Through the juries the people indulge their most arbitrary whims in the administration of justice. Every year sees hundreds, yes thousands of sentences that are a complete travesty of justice....But if the customary jury acquittals are already a blot on American judicial procedure - what expression would be strong enough to characterize the boundless impudence that the Chicago Grand Jury has just exhibited? After a short, secret session this Grand Jury has decided not to indict the young Leonard who slew his brother-in-law Scanland a few weeks ago, and the State-Attorney has been forced to set Leonard free.........2
If in this case the Grand Jury had consisted of bums and ne'er-do-wells of the type that makes a dollar and a half in civil suits, the conclusions one would have to draw would not be so embarrassing. But the list shows that the jurors almost without exception were respectable, some of them wealthy business men belonging to the best circles of society. If such men are capable of condoning so unprovocated a killing as that of Scanland - because they did not like the nose, or the complexion of the victim, then that indicates so complete a degeneration of ethics and morality that the worst has to be feared for the development of our society. In that case people may shout themselves hoarse with enthusiasm about our"free political institutions" - freedom is only a euphemistic name for anarchy. The first condition for right prevailing in a country is the living consciousness of right in the people. Where that is lacking, the whole freedom is not worth a phony nickel.
("ist fur die Katz")
II E 3, I F 3, I H
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Politics > Programs and Purposes (I F 3) ?
German // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Your search criteria returned no results.