THE UTILISATION OF FLOGGING
A PARLIAMENTARY return just issued affords us the gratifying information that the Garotters' Act of 1863, punishing attempts at robbery, accompanied by violence, with flogging, has not been allowed to remain a dead letter. In the first year of the operation of this salutary measure, under its beneficent provisions, according to the document above referred to, 19 prisoners were flogged in England. Three of those ruffians underwent the unpleasant application of the cat-o'-nine-tails in Coldbath-fields Prison, one at Horsemonger-lane Gaol, three at Kirkdale (Liverpool), one at Salford New Bailey, four in Birmingham Borough Prison, four in Leeds Gaol, one in the County Gaol at Reading, and two at Durham. Out of the three rascals who experienced the ecstasies of deserved flagellation at Kirkdale, there was one, a young villain of 19, who, in addition to four years' penal servitude, had been sentenced to fifty lashes. These appeals to the only tender feeling which a Garotter has, were addressed thereto with such vigour that the subject of them was completely subdued, and became so deeply affected that the surgeon in attendance was obliged to order him to be taken down from the whipping-post by the time that he had writhed under thirty-six.
The infliction of useless pain, however, is to be deprecated, and the pain inflicted on the nineteen villains flogged in 1863 under the Garotters' Act was not so useful as it might have been rendered. It has had little publicity beyond that given to it by respectable papers, and its exemplary effect, which constitutes its use, has been proportionally limited. Yells and shrieks have, indeed, not been wasted on the prison air, wherein they have doubtless made a desirable impression on many ears; but their vibrations, arrested by walls, have not extended to the atmosphere of thieves' houses of call, and other haunts of the felonry iii the slums. There are objections to public flogging similar to those which would apply to surgical operations. But one thing might be done to give the roughs, who are inclined to be Garotters, some idea of what the flogging inflicted on a Garotter is. An elaborate photograph of the face of every such criminal condemned to be flogged taken whilst he is experiencing the sensations excited by the scourge, at the moment when his features are contorted with their strongest expression. What a pretty portrait-gallery might thus have been derived from rthe nineteen Garotters who were flogged in 1863! The police might distribute copies of these sun-pictures amongst those whom they would be calculated to edify; and engravings from them might be published in the low illustrated papers which are principally devoted to reports and narratives of crime.
The utilisation of flogging, thus effected, would soon reduce the statistics, so painful to many an amiable mind, of the infliction of that cruel punishment on the poor offender who, for the sake of a little money, or a watch and chain, has only crushed somebody's windpipe or knocked his front teeth down his throat, or cracked his skull without
Punch, April 8, 1865
It certainly beats `Community Service,` and is a good cure for anti social behaviour.
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