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New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.--Nine Criminal Law Bills. 441 in like manner paid or transferred into or de. the said Court of Chancery of the said County posited in the Bank of England, to the joint Palatine. account of the clerk of the Council of the 15. Whenever it shall be necessary to cite Duchy of Lancaster and of the registrar and or refer to the said first-recited Act or this Act, comptroller of the said County Palatine Court, it shall be sufficient to cite or refer to the same in the matter in respect whereof such payment, respectively as the “ Court of Chancery of transfer, or deposit should be made, and that Lancaster Act, 1850,” and as the “ Court of the receipt of one of the cashiers of the said Chancery of Lancaster Act, 1854.” bank should be a full discharge to the person paying or transferring or depositing the same, and that such monies and securities, and all NINE CRIMINAL LAW BILLS. costs of application in respect thereof, should be dealt with by the said Court of Chancery of the County Palatine in the same manner as the REPORT OF THE same might be dealt with by the High Court
THE HOUSE OF LORDS. of Chancery, or by the Lord High Chancellor, or any of the Judges of the said High Court, if The Select Committee of the House of such monies or securities had been paid or Lords appointed to consider the Nine Criminal transferred into or deposited in the Bank of Law Bills, with the Letters of the Judges to the England to the credit of the accountant-gene, Lord Chancellor, reported on the 11th August, ral of that Court, and the lands in respect of which such payment, transfer, or deposit as follows :should be made might be dealt with in the * That the Committee have met, and consame manner as if it had been made in manner sidered the several Bills and other matters represcribed by the Lands' Clauses' Consolidation Act: and whereas since the passing of the said ferred to them, and have not thought it necesrecited Act the said County Palatine has been sary to enter into the discussion of the addivided into districts, and registrars and comp. vantages and disadvantages of attempting to trollers have been appointed for such districts reduce the whole Criminal Law into one Code, respectively: be it enacted, that any monies and securities to be paid or transferred or de- nor to enter into a detailed examination of the posited under the said recited provision may particular merits of the Bills now before them, be so paid or transferred into or deposited with because, after mature consideration, they are some one or other of the branches of the Bank of opinion that it is inexpedient at present to of England within the said County Palatine, to the joint account of the clerk of the Council of press forward any Digest, except that of Stathe Duchy of Lancaster and the registrar and tute Law, as on every account the step first to comptroller of the district within which such be made. branch bank is so situate, and the receipt of the manager, or agent, or cashier of such
“ The Committee, however, are of opinion, branch bank shall be a full discharge to the that great advantage may be derived from the person paying or transferring or depositing the very important and elaborate reports of the same, and such payment, transfer, or deposit Criminal Law Commissioners, and from the shall have the same force and effect as Bills already prepared, and from the introducang payment, transfer, or deposit made under the said recited provision would have tion of others relating to as many of the rehad: provided always, that no moneys shall maining branches of the Criminal Law as are be so paid or deposited under or by virtue of not affected by the present Bills, in which the or any local or special Act as aforesaid, in case Criminal Law, as defined by statutory enactthe party who would have been entitled to the ments, should be consolidated; and in such rents and profits of the lands in respect of Bills the Committee recommend that advanwhich such monies shall be payable, or his or tage should be taken of the valuable recomher guardian or committee in case of infancy mendations of the Criminal Law Commissionor lunacy, shall at any time before such pay- ers for the improvement and simplification of ment or deposit serve or cause to be served a notice in writing at the office of the company the existing law, and that such further imtaking the lands, requesting them not to make provements as may appear necessary should the payment or deposit.
also be added. 14. In all proceedings under and by virtue of this Act the said Court of Chancery of the
“And the Committee therefore recommend, County Palatine and the Court of Appeal hereby that the present Bills should be revised, and constituted respectively shall have full jurisdic-others prepared, for the purpose of carrying into tion to deal with the costs thereof and occa- effect the above objects, whereby the whole sioned thereby, and all orders made by the said Courts respectively, in pursuance of this
Statute Law relating to Crime shall be comAct, shall be subject to appeal in the same pletely consolidated, together with such amendmanner in all respects as any other orders of ments and additions as may be considered
SUIT TO RECOVER FUND.
ORDER TO AMEND
Points in Equity Practice.--Medico-Legal Evidence. expedient, and from which the Committee ing matters of science upon which the Judge, are satisfied great advantage may be ex- jury, and counsel are incompetent, from pected.
actual want of knowledge, to form a sound “And the Committee further think that it and accurate judgment. will be advisable, after such Bills may have “With a view to their elucidation, men of been passed, to take into consideration the re- repute, termed in France experts, and in Italy port of the Commissioners on Procedure, and periti, who have made the matter at issue a
special object of study, are called upon for so to revise and amend the same, that the their testimony, and their evidence is generally whole course of Criminal Procedure may be considered as final and conclusive. In a case embodied in one or more Statutes."
in which it is necessary, in order to satisfy the ends of justice, to submit certain portions of
food, or the contents of the stomach, to careful POINTS IN EQUITY PRACTICE. chemical analysis, in order to ascertain, by the
aid of delicate tests, whether a person had
come to his death by fair means, professional INCUMBRANCER PENDENTE LITE, PARTY To gentlemen who have a reputation for having
paid particular attention to such investigations,
and who are practical and experienced chemists Held, that an incumbrancer pendente lite is and toxicologists, are called upon for their not an indispensable party to a suit to recover opinion, and upon the result of their investigathe fund. Macleod v. Annesley, 16 Beav. tions the life or death of a fellow-creature often
depends. No reasonable man disputes the 600.
value of such testimony. A similar course is pursued when any difficult and complicated question arises connected with navigation, mechanics, or civil engineering. The most
able men of the day are summoned to solve When a demurrer has been overruled, and knotty points, and to settle questions of disan appeal from the order is pending, held, that puted science, which sagacious and experian exparte order to amend is irregular.
enced minds are only able satisfactorily to
determine. For what' objects are matters of Where a plaintiff had obtained such an great difficulty and doubt submitted to the order, after notice that the appeal had been set adjudication of the Judges assembled in the down, it was discharged with costs, and the bighest Courts in the kingdom, if it were amendments were expunged. Ainslie v. Sims, not to obtain from men, presumed by their
elevated station to 17 Beav. 174.
amount of legal lore, a safe and satisfactory
opinion?" MEDICO-LEGAL EVIDENCE. Dr. Winslow complains, that medical
witnesses are often treated unjustly and
harshly during their examination by counSCARCELY any Assizes or Sittings pass sel.without the trial of some case in which the testimony of medical men is required, re-, which he is subpænaed a lucid statement of
“In attempting to give the Court before garding the cause of death, or the state of his opinion, based upon actual experience, mind of the party before the Court; and long-continued observation, reflection, and pain such cases the evidence is often con- tient study, the views thus expounded are flicting, and it is difficult for the Court and too often considered either as the offspring of jury to arrive at the right conclusion. In a false philosophy-a mawkish sensibility the Journal of Psychological Medicine and distorted science-the affectation of a learned Mental Pathology for July last, we find an sordid result of the paltry honorarium awarded
and metaphysical subtlety-or, alas! as the able lecture on "Medico-legal Evidence in to him for the expression of his professional cases of Insanity,” delivered before the opinion! The medical witness has to encounMedical Society of London, by Dr. Forbes ter the sarcastic doubts, the special pleading, Winslow, from which we propose to make the suspicious inuendoes, the legal finesse, of some extracts, which we trust will be in the acute and accomplished advocate, always teresting to our readers.
on the alert to perplex and confound him; he Dr. Winslow, in treating of the circum- has also arrayed against him the unbending stances in which a medical witness appears jury, easily misled by the plausible appeals,
dicta of the Judge, and inexperience of the to give evidence, observes, that questions the persuasive eloquence, and ad-captandum of great perplexity often arise in the course arguments of the counsel, who, occasionally, of important judicial investigations, involv. in the discharge of his duty as an advocate,
possess the maximum
Medico-Legal Evidence. considers himself justified, whilst defending escape punishment, as the result of his opinion the interests of his client, to combat truth by l-if, in consequence of the medical evidence, sophistry—to dumb-found, confuse, and en his life be saved—I do not see by what right trap the witness-dazzle and bewilder the be can be held up to public odium and censure. Judge-hoodwink the jury, and, by a combi- The witness is not to be considered responnation of qualities which the accomplished nisi sible for the operation of the laws (be they prius advocate and practised disputant is so good or bad), neither is he accountable for the competent to call into successful operation, escape of the prisoner, if acquitted on the plea make the 'worse appear the better reason.' of insanity, and thereby exempted from the
extreme penalty awarded for his crime. The The lecturer admits, however, in justice witness is sworn to state the truth according to the Legal Profession, that occasionally to his honest convictions, regardless of the the evidence of medical men is extremely legal results of his evidence.” unsatisfactory. He says,
The well-known Bainbrigge Will-Case, .“ It is too often the practice to place in the which was tried at the Stafford Assizes, is witness-boš professional men wholly incompe- thus noticed by the lecturer :tent to give testimony in cases of disputed insanity ;-incompetent, from ignorance of the
“ This remarkable and celebrated trial was meaning of the ordinary medical terms used to one of the most important disputed will cases designate the recognised forms of diseased which has been made the subject of litigation, mind, as well as from inexperience in the pre
in this country, for a considerable period; cise bearing of medico-legal evidence. I have, upon its issue depended property to a vast in my time, seen men manifesting great self- amount; the investigation of the facts of the assurance and unbounded confidence in their case occupied more than a week; and some of own knowledge and sagacity, step flippantly the most illustrious advocates and distinand eagerly into the witness-box, only to re- guished common and equity lawyers were retire sadly mortified. It has been my duty to tained as counsel. The question at issue rested see some melancholy exhibitions of painful entirely upon the sanity or insanity of the tesprofessional humiliation, and must admit, that tator. Evidence of a very conflicting character in most cases they have arisen from an actual was adduced; the facts in relation to the alwant of information on the subjects upon which leged insanity were strangely contradictory; the witnesses have been examined! If I were
and it was therefore deemed necessary to bring not indisposed to descend to particulars, I could specially from London, three physicians, who refer to several recent trials for illustrations of were, I presume, considered to be men of exwhat I have said. It is too commonly ima- perience, sagacity, and science, to hear the gined that a knowledge of insanity comes by best of their judgment, basing their conclusions
sworn testimony; and, as experts, to state, to the, intuition, and that, without special and parti. cular investigations of this class of affections, upon the evidence adduced in Court relating to any well-informed and regularly educated me.
the testator's condition of mind, whether he, dical man is qualified to give evidence in courts when the will was executed, was of a healthy, of justice upon these matters. This is a sad sound, and disposing intellect. Can we conmistake; but, unfortunately, the discovery is
ceive a more important and relevant question rarely made until the medical man has recorded for the medical witnesses to decide, and one his testimony."
coming more legitimately and strictly within
their jurisdiction ?' The imperative duty of witnesses on these occasions is then pointed out by Dr. slow further comments on the important
In another part of the lecture, Dr. WinWinslow:
duties of medical witnesses. “When a medical man” (he says),"is sum- “I cannot conceive a position of graver remoned to record his testimony in a Court of Law, upon a case in which it is important to sponsibility than that assumed by the medical
witness when called upon in a Court of justice ascertain the degree of sanity that existed at
to give evidence in criminal cases. any stated period, he gives his opinion to the best of his knowledge and ability, upon an ab- solemn duties, to make himself master of all
earnestly entreat him, before discharging these stract point, without any reference to ulterior the facts of the case. results. He has not to regard the legal con. for granted the representations of those anxi
He should not assume sequences of his evidence; it is not for the witness to consider whether life is to be prolonged to an indefinite period, or whether a "In this case the jury returned an unanifellow-being shall be immediately launched mous verdict against the will, on the ground into eternity. To the questions - 'Do you of insanity. Owing to some informality, the consider the party insane ?-was he so, ac- case was to be tried a second time at Stafford, cording to the best of your judgment, at such and two of the former medical witnesses were a period ?' the medical gentleman experienced subpænaed to give evidence; but, by mutual in the characteristics of insanity answers, ne- consent, the will was declared invalid, aud congatively or affirmatively. If the accused party sequently the question did not go to trial.
Medico-Legal Evidence. ous to establish the insanity of the criminal; that such knowledge is beyond the circuit of were he to do so, he would occasionally be our attainment. It is sufficient for the medical sadly deceived. He should never forget that practitioner to know that the person's mind is he has a public as well as a professional duty deranged, and that such a state of insanity will to discharge ; and he is bound, as a citizen of be sufficient to account for the irregularity of the state, as well as a member of an important his actions; and that in a sound mind the and learned section of society, to protect him- same conduct would be deemed criminal. If self from the possibility of being deceived as violence be inflicted by such a person during to the facts of any given case presented to him a paroxysm of rage, there is no acuteness of for his opinion. He must not permit his feel- metaphysical investigation which can trace the ings to overpower and interfere with the free succession of thoughts, and the impulses by and unclouded operations of his judgment. which he is goaded. for the accomplishment of
“ Under these circumstances, every possible his purpose. influence will occassionally be exercised to induce the witness to adopt an opinion favour
In the course of the lecture, several reable to the prisoner. He will perceive the ne
markable instances of insanity are stated, cessity of patiently investigating the case itself, from which we select the following:-A and will not be satisfied with one or two inter- patient had been subjected to the most views with the alleged lunatic. He must ob- cruel treatment by the persou who had the tain from the criminal an account of the act care of him, and the murder of the keeper with which he may be charged, and his reasons is thus narrated by the lunatic himself :for committing it; he will also acquire from his relatives, friends, ard companions, an in
" «The man (he said) whom I stabbed richly sight into his former mode of life-his habits deserved it. He behaved to me with great vioof thought-his prior state- the peculiarities of lence and cruelty; he degraded my nature as a his disposition-whether there exists in the human being; he tied me down, handcuffed case an hereditary predisposition to insanity; me, and confined my hands much higher than and other circumstances likely to elucidate the my head with a leathern thong; he stretched actual state of the mind at the time when the me on the bed of torture; after some days he alleged offence was perpetrated. Great
released me. I gave him warning, for I told
perseverence and ingenuity are often required be- his wife I would have justice of him. On her fore the truth can be elicited."
communicating this to him, he came to me in
à furious passion, threw me down, dragged me We shall conclude this part of the sub-through the court-yard, thumped me on the .ject, by Dr. Winslow's advice to his Profes- breast, and confined me in a dark and damp sional brethren :
cell. Not liking this situation, I was induced
to play the hypocrite. I pretended extreme “In criminal cases, should the witness be sorrow for having threatened him, and by, an interrogated as to the alleged lunatic's con- affectation of repentance, prevailed on him sciousness of right and wrong, or as to his to release me. For several days I paid him knowledge that he was violating the law of great attention, and lent him every assistance
, God and man at the moment when the crime He seemed much pleased with the flattery, and was committed, I would strongly suggest that became very friendly in his behaviour towards he should, unless the case be one of obvious me. Going one day into the kitchen, where lunacy, decline answering the question. The his wife was busied, 'I saw a knife; this was witness may have a clear and positive opinion too great a temptation to be resisted; I conas to the existence of insanity; but how can cealed it about my person, and carried it with he, in every case, solve the question as to the me. For some time afterwards the same lunatic's ability to distinguish accurately be friendly intercourse was maintained between tween good and evil, right and wrong, lawful us; but as he was one day unlocking his gar, and unlawful? Dr. Haslam says, when allud- den-door, I seized the opportunity, and planged ing to this point, that 'It is not the province the knife up to the hilt in his back. He alof the medical witness to pronounce an opinion ways mentioned this circumstance with pecu. as to the prisoner's capability of distinguishing liar triumph, and his countenance, a most cunright from wrong. It is the duty of the me. ning and malignant one, became highly ani. dical man, when called upon to give evidence mated at the conclusion of the story." in a Court of Law, to state whether he considers insanity to be present in any given case, for the murder of his daughter—the follow
On the trial of a prisoner in Philadelphia not to ascertain the quantity of reason which the person imputed to be insane, may or may ing facts were disclosed : not possess. If it should be presumed that “ Eighteen years previously to the commisany medical practitioner is able to penetrate sion of the crime, a confectioner of the name of into the recesses of a lunatic's mind at the Wood had come from England; had carried moment he committed the outrage; to view on his trade first in New York, and then in the internal play of obtruding thoughts and Philadelphia; had realised money, and acquired contending motives ; and to depose that he a respectable character. He had an only knew the good and evil, right and wrong, he daughter, whom he was desirous of advancing was about to commit,-it must be confessed, into a higher station by marriage. But he him.
445 self was not in genteel society; yet he re- drowned.' It was maintained that the suicide strained her from associating with persons of was the result of certain mental impressions her own condition; and she therefore had no conjured up in the mind during a dream. Dr. freedom in any circle. She assisted him in Pagan refers to the following interesting case, keeping his shop, one of the first of its kind to prove that murder may be committed by a in Philadelphia. A young man of inferior person when under the effects of a frightful habits and station made love to her, and per- vision. suaded her to leave her father's roof and marry “Bernard Schedmaizig suddenly awoke at him. She was absent only one night, when she midnight; at the moment he saw a frightful returned home, and confessed she was a mar- phantom, or what his imagination represented ried woman. Her father became violently and as such-a fearful spectacle. He twice called passionately excited; he drank a large quan- out, Who is that!' He received no answer, tity of rum; and, under the combined influ- Imagining that the phantom was advancing ence of disappointed ambition, rage, and in- upon him, and having altogether lost his selftoxication, he shot his daughter with a pistol. possession, he raised a hatchet which was beHe did not not attempt to escape. When he side him, and attacked the spectre : it was became sober and free from excitement, he had found that he had murdered his wife ! no knowledge of his crime. He was tried for “A pedler, who was in the habit of walkthe murder. His counsel pleaded insanity, ing about the country armed with a swordand proved previous mental aberration ; but, stick was awakened one evening, while laying in his defence, he mainly relied on the shock asleep on the high road, by a man suddenly given to his feelings by his daughter's conduct seizing him, and shaking him by the shoulders. having produced a real insanity preceding the The man, who was walking by with some comhomicide. A verdict of lunacy was recorded. panions, had done this out of a joke. The If this case had occurred in England, it is pedler suddenly woke, drew his sword, and questionable whether he would have been ac- stabbed the man, who soon afterwards died. quitted.”
He was tried for manslaughter. His irresponWe next notice some of the instances in the ground that he could not have been con
sibility was strongly urged by his counsel, on which crime has been committed during scious of his act in the half-waking state. partial insanity, or in a state of somnam- This was strengthened by the opinions of mebulism, or whilst imperfectly conscious of dical witnesses. He was, however, found
guilty. The murder, in this instance, may have “A lunatic has been known to commit dence to the contrary.”
been the result of passion. We have no evimurder in a fit of frenzy, his sudden arrest and committal to prison temporarily restoring the In conclusion, we may cite the following mind to its healthy balance. A man has been judicial criteria of insanity, which were guilty of a capital crime; has been seized and propounded on the trial of Bellingham for sent to prison, and has, from remorse, or a the murder of Mr. Perceval. Lord Chief sense of horror at his position, suddenly become insane; his derangement only exhibiting
Justice Mansfield said, itself after his arrest. Persons have been known “ The law is extremely clear. If a man was to commit the crime of murder whilst in a deprived of all power of reasoning, so as not to state of somnambulism, and also during that be able to distinguish whether it was right or half-unconscious condition between sleeping wrong to commit the most wicked or the most and waking. Cases of this description are ex- innocent transaction, he could not certainly tremely perplexing to medical jurists. If it can commit an act against the law. Such a man, be satisfactorily proved that the person per- so destitute of all power of judgment, could petrated the murder whilst in this state-if the have no intention at all. In order to support fact be unequivocally established—then, I con- this defence, however, it ought to be proved by ceive, it ought to be considered as a good ex. the most distinct and unquestionable evidence culpating plea. It should never, however, be that the criminal was incapable of judging beforgotten, that these cases are easily simulated. tween right or wrong. It must in fact be Examples of this character are recorded by proved, beyond all doubt, that at the time he medical writers. A person has been suddenly committed the atrocious act with which he roused by a frightful dream, and, whilst under stood charged, he did not consider murder was its influence, has been known to take away a crime against the laws of God and nature. human life. Suicide has been committed There was no other proof of insanity which under analogous circumstances. A person, ap- could excuse murder or any other crime. parently well, has gone to bed without mani- There were various species of insanity. Some festing the slightest tendency to self-destruc- human creatures were void of all power of reation; he was awoke suddenly and destroyed soning from their birth; such could not be himself. A case, illustrative of this fact, is on guilty of any crime. There was another sperecord. It is as follows :-* An old lady resid-, cies of madness, in which persons were subject ing in London awoke in the middle of the to temporary paroxysms, in which they were night, went down stairs, and threw herself guilty of acts of extravagance; this was called into a cistern of water, where she was found lunacy. If these persons committed a crime