Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/134

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120

TRANSPORTATION

ment at all in the great majority of instances, or to expect that under such a system the criminal propensities of the convict should be repressed, or his reformation effected. Again, the benefits that would result from the Colonial Executive's having an absolute powder over the persons of all convicts, so as to be able to reduce them at any time to the condition of penal servitude, without the formality of a trial, on their being found guilty, before one or more magistrates, of any crime or misdemeanour, after having attained conditional freedom, or to confine them, notwithstanding that freedom, to a particular district,—are self-evident: indeed, nothing could possibly operate more powerfully, as a restraint on the criminal propensities of the liberated convict, than such a power on the part of the administrators of the law.

To invest the Colonial Executives with such a power over the persons of all convicts, as transportation for life should imply, it would be expedient, moreover, that that sentence should in future be passed only on one or other of the two following classes of criminals; viz. 1. criminals guilty of atrocious crimes; and, 2. criminals who had already undergone a milder punishment for a first offence, and been afterwards convicted of a second. It would surely be no unreasonable stretch of severity to subject criminals of the first