Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/138

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124

TRANSPORTATION

CHAPTER X.

THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM EXPEDIENT AND PRACTICABLE.

The moral effect of a punishment depends, in a very slight degree only, on its comparative severity. The laws of Draco may, indeed, be written in blood; but as human nature revolts at the execution of sanguinary statutes, the chances are, that, under such a system of legislation, the sympathies of the public will oftener be with the criminal than with the law; that the latter will, consequently, be but rarely enforced, and that the really guilty will too frequently escape with impunity. The legislator should therefore incline rather to mildness than to severity, and depend, for the moral effect of the punishment he denounces, on its being uniform in its operation,