The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Mittermaier, Karl Joseph Anton

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MITTERMAIER, Karl Joseph Anton, a German jurist, born in Munich, Aug. 5, 1787, died in Heidelberg, Aug. 28, 1867. He studied at Landshut and Heidelberg, was for many years professor in the former university, and in 1819 removed to Bonn. In 1821 he accepted the chair of jurisprudence at Heidelberg, which he retained until his death. He defended trial by jury in Germany, and sustained (theoretically) the codification of the French civil law against the attacks of Hugo, Savigny, and others. His Lehrbuch des deutschen Privatrechts (Landshut, 1821) was subsequently merged in his Grundsätze des gemeinen deutschen Privatrechts, mit Einschluss des Handel-, Wechsel- und Seerechts (2 vols., Ratisbon, 1837-'8). His first work on criminal law, Handbuch des peinlichen Prozesses (2 vols., Heidelberg, 1810-'12), was republished, enlarged and modified, under the title of Das deutsche Strafverfahren in der Fortbildung durch Gerichtsgebrauch und Particulargesetzgebung (2 vols., 1832), and has passed through many editions. The principles relating to the examination of witnesses in criminal law are expounded in his Theorie des Beweises im peinlichen Prozesse (2 vols., Darmstadt, 1821), in Die Lehre vom Beweise im deutschen Strafprozesse (1834; French translation, 1848; Spanish, 1851), and in his Anleitung zur Vertheidigungskunst im Criminalprozesse (translated into Italian by Garba, 1858). His manual of criminal law (Lehrbuch des Criminalprozesses) has passed through numerous editions. A comprehensive exposition of the principles upon which civil trials should be conducted is contained in his Der gemeine deutsche bürgerliche Prozess (1820-'26). His Die Mündlichkeit, das Anklageprincip, die Oeffentlichkeit und das Geschworenengericht (Stuttgart, 1845), brings the investigation and the enactments relating to trial by jury down to the period of its publication; and his Das englische, schottische und nordamerikanische Strafverfahren (Erlangen, 1851), treats of the administration of justice in England, Scotland, and the United States. His subsequent works include Die Gefängnissverbesserung (1858); Der gegenwärtige Zustand der Gefängnissfrage (1860); Die Todesstrafe, &c. (Heidelberg, 1862); and Erfahrungen über die Wirksamkeit der Schwurgerichte in Europa und Amerika (1865). Mittermaier was a member of the Baden legislature for nearly 20 years previous to 1841, when his grief at the death of his son caused him to withdraw; during that time he had been three times president of the legislature; and having resumed his seat in 1846, he was again president during the session of 1847-'8. In 1848 he was first called upon to preside over the provisional parliament at Frankfort; and he was a member of the German parliament, where he advocated confederation, but opposed all extreme measures. He frequently visited Italy, and embodied the result of his observations in Italienische Zustände (Heidelberg, 1844).