April 11, 1924

HOME BANK DEPOSITORS

PRO

John Millar

Progressive

Mr. JOHN MILLAR (Qu'Appelle):

I desire to present a petition signed by 225 residents of the town and district of Welwyn, praying that the depositors of the Home Bank be indemnified.

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UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Hamilton):

I beg to

present the petition of the St. Paul's Presbyterian Church at Hamilton opposing the United Church of Canada Bill.

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PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. KENNEDY (Edmonton):

I beg to present the petition of David G. McQueen and 1324 others, of Edmonton and surrounding district, opposing the United Church of Canada Bill.

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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

BILLS PROPOSED TO AUTHORIZE THE CONSTRUCTION OF BRANCH LINES


Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved the second reading of Bill No. 48, respecting the construction of a Canadian National railway line from Turtleford to near Hafford in the province of Saskatchewan. Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and referred to the Select Standing Committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph lines.


CAPITAL PUNISHMENT


Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (East Calgary) moved the second reading of Bill No. 3 to amend the Criminal Code. He said: It is perhaps unnecessary to point out to the House that there are four crimes for which the death penalty may be imposed in Canada. These are treason, making war against His Majesty, rape and murder. I do not know whether it ever occurs that the death penalty is inflicted for the commission of the first three mentioned crimes. The bill now before the House deals with all of these crimes, and simply asks that capital punishment be abolished and life imprisonment substituted for the death penalty. The effect of the operation of the bill, if enacted, may be much more profound than that, but it is a very simple matter to understand the alterations in the law which this bill calls for. On numerous occasions this question has been discussed before the parliament of Canada, and I observe from reading these former debates that the ethical and religious arguments which have been put forward have been considered very thoroughly. I am going, therefore, to confine myself largely to the argument against capital punishment from the historical and scientific point of view. First of all, I desire briefly to point out the basis upon which the present criminal code rests, add that basis is not very difficult to define. It. goes back to the natural animal instinct of self-preservation and retaliation in order to preserve oneself. In the early days we had to kill or be killed; it was a crude, unintelligent struggle for existence. But as time went on the desire for retribution, for revenge, came into play, and there came into existence what was known as the "avenger of blood;" that is to say, one man of a tribe sought to avenge the death of another member of the tribe who had1 been killed. There was no thought of punishing the actual individual who had committed the crime, there was no thought of the circumstances; the only thought was revenge for what had been committed. This is known as the ancient lex talionis.-an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But by and by society took over the position of the avenger of blood, and that is the function which the Dominion of Capital Punishment



Canada fulfils to-day by carrying out our present criminal code. Now, I hold, very strongly, Mr. Speaker, that a criminal code that is based on savage impulses and keeps in view savage aims cannot be expected to produce civilized results. We shall try in vain to achieve the ends of civilization through institutions that were devised for barbaric purposes. As to the basis of our present criminal code, history does not leave us any room for doubt whatever. Primitive man had absolutely no thought of deterrence when he imposed this penalty; but as humanity developed intellectually and morally, we found it incumbent upon us to find some rational sanction for the practice of taking the lives of other people, and so we said: We will take life for life on the ground that this will deter other people from committing crimes. I do not think there is in Canada any person who would advocate the death penalty to-day on the ground of revenge, which is the basis of our criminal code. Why then, we may ask, should we continue to keep in force an institution for the purpose of revenge when we seek some other purpose for carrying it out? I believe we can find a better way of gaining our ends. Let us move to another point in the historic argument. Civilized man, as I have said, seeking a rational sanction for the imposition of the death penalty, decided that it must be considered as a deterrent. He thought it was less inhuman to kill a man when in doing so he reasoned that he was preventing other men from repeating the crime, than it was to kill on the basis of revenge. That is our civilized interpretation of the death penalty. So, when punishment was regarded as a deterrent from crime, in the early stages of that recognition we find that the death penalty was passed on all offenders, and it was carried out publicly and made as horrible as possible. This was the proper and logical thing to do, of course, for in order that the death penalty might be a deterrent, people would have to see the thing and know that it was carried out;-the more horrible it was made to appear, the more of a deterrent it would be, provided, of course, that it had a deterrent effect at all. So we find human ingenuity was exhausted in devising cruelties to impose on those who had committed crimes. But we have to say briefly that this method has proved a failure. Society has been forced to abandon all these cruelties; society has been forced to abandon the death penalty except in the case of homicide. In an article in the American Journal of Politics, in 1893, we are told that under the old Jewish law every crime save one was punishable by death. In England, in the eighteenth century, 160 offences were punishable by death, among those being that of stealing property. A man for stealing five shillings could legally be hanged, and very often in the early history of England people committing such crimes were hanged. Also, if a man held an opinion that was different from that of his church authorities, or different from that of the state authorities, as a heretic he was punishable by death. In the reign of Henry VIII alone, 72,000 people were hanged for crimes and offences of this character. The first relief that came to the people of Great Britain from this kind of punishment came through the colonies. That is to say, a man who had stolen five shillings had the option of going to Canada or some other colony or to be hanged, and sometimes he decided in favour of a new start in the colonies. That was the beginning of relief from this type of punishment in Great Britain.


LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Is the hon. member

serious in suggesting that convicts were ever sent out to Canada?

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

I am merely repeating what is an acknowledged historic fact, that at a certain period of English history, the people of England, who were convicted of petty crimes, were given the option of going to the English colonies.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I think the House is entitled to hear this little conversation with the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster).

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

I think it is our turn to have a little conversation in this end of the House, We have been trying to listen to a number that we have not heard throughout the session. The hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) asked me if I was serious in suggesting that Canada ever received any such immigrants. I replied that I did not know whether Canada ever did or not, but I was merely referring to a fact in English history that there was a time when people sentenced for petty crimes were given the option of going to the colonies or of suffering the penalty of death. To-day, however, we find that these tortures and stupid penalties are very largely things of the past. To-day, there is an idea, at least, of seeking to reform criminals rather than simply to kill them; the death penalty has been abolished except for cases of homicide. Therefore the question that I wish to put to the House is this: If tortures and executions failed in the past in deterring criminals from the commission of petty crimes, is it reasonable for us to suppose that, in the major crime of taking the life of another, where this is frequently done

Capital Punishment

in the heat of passion, the death penalty would be a deterrent? As a matter of fact, society has abandoned the death penalty in all these other crimes; but for some strange reason society holds on to this penalty in the case of the major crime.

I think you will agree with me that the time is sure to come, if it has not come already, when we shall lay aside this method of dealing with criminals, not so much in the interest of the criminals-indeed, I am not going to plead in the interest of the criminal classes at all,-but in our own interest we ought to abolish this thing because it is degrading and demoralizing to humanity; it is an outrage upon the finest sensibilities; and, in addition, it fails to do that thing for which we impose it, it fails to deter people from the commission of any crime. When the death penalty was in full force for all petty crimes, we found that such crimes were much more frequent than they are to-day when the death penalty has been removed. Of course, I am not going to argue that this result is due solely to the fact that we have removed the death penalty for petty crimes; but I think while much of the advance may be due to improvement in economic conditions and to the development of a moral consciousness, yet the fact remains that these crimes were not stamped out by the imposition of the death penalty. If crimes are fewer to-day than they were in the eighteenth century, that is because intellectually, morally and economically the race has outgrown them, they were not stamped out by the imposition of the death penalty. I am reasonably certain that the same thing will be true of the major crime of homicide if similarly treated.

To sum up my first point, I would say that history leaves no foothold for those who claim the necessity of continuing capital punishment. The motive underlying the Criminal Code, was based on revenge, and we cannot secure a civilized end on a basis of revenge. In seeking a rational sanction for the continuance of the death penalty we have assumed that it is a deterrent, whereas history has proved that it does not deter inasmuch as capital punishment has been abandoned as hopelessly ineffective in relation to all the petty crimes for which it was imposed in Great Britain in the eighteenth century. We find that notwithstanding the death penalty crime prospered and cruelty obtained; so that eventually the death penalty had to be abandoned. Capital punishment has been abandoned in regard to all the crimes for which it formerly was imposed, with the exception of homicide, for which we now contend that it should no longer be executed.

I suppose it was natural that the death penalty should be retained for the major crime a little longer than in the other cases, but it is destined to pass just as it has passed in relation to all other offences. In the minds of those who have not given very much thought to the subject capital punishment is [DOT] still believed to be to some extent a deterrent, and it is on this ground that we tolerate it at all. But keeping in mind the fact I have already pointed out, that history has repudiated it as a preventive of crime in all cases except murder, let us further pursue the argument from the scientific point of view. Let us consult those who have approached the subject from that standpoint. I think we ought in all fairness to call in the criminologists and penologists to help us to formulate our criminal code. I am sure that there are men in Canada who are closely in touch with all our criminal conditions who could give to this parliament some very interesting arguments against capital punishment, and it is a pity that we should not seek the best advice of those who are in contact with criminal life before we draw up any criminal law whatsoever. I believe that if we studied the work of criminologists a little more we should move towards the suppression of crime at its source instead of wreaking revenge upon the poor criminal after he has committed the offence. In order words, what we should be interested in is the prevention of murder and not the killing of some man for having committed murder. Our present method does not step in at all until the murder has been committed, when action is too late. We ought to look for some other way of dealing with the matter before the murder actually takes place, and I do not believe that this is an impossibility. The penal code of Canada, as of all other countries, should reflect knowledge rather than revenge. In this regard let me quote M. Boies, one of the modern criminologists. He says:

It is manifest that criminal law and codes are sporadic growths of past social circumstances and necessities, without any consistent theory or principle; devoid of order, harmony or system. When any particular crime became prevalent or annoying to society a penalty was offset against it in the hope, which has proved vain, of preventing its commission through fear of penalty. Criminal codes as they exist are in the light of the twentieth century intelligence a conglomeration of penalties of various degrees of atrocity, irrationality, absurdity and inutility. They are the relics of blind social struggle against social evils useful chiefly as antiquities, to be collected with thumbscrews, iron boots, racks, and torture wheels in museums.

The cause of crime should have a direct bearing upon our treatment of criminals. If crime is of the nature of disease, as it is held by many criminologists to be, then it

Capital Punishment

should surely appear to hon. members an unpardonably stupid thing to punish a man for being diseased. If modern criminologists are correct in their general agreement respecting the causes of crime, then I affirm that it would be just as rational for us to prepare a prospective cancer patient to the graveyard as a means of curing him as it is to point the prospective murderer to the gallows for the purpose of preventing murder. Let us look for a moment into the question as to the causes of crime. According to the best modern authorities, crimes are caused in two ways, through hereditary influences and through environmental influences. The first influence, that of heredity, is like the seed, while the environment is the seed-bed into which that seed is cast. If a man is born with a weakness, mental or moral, and we provide the surroundings that are calculated to develop the inherited tendency, we shall have a criminal. Crime, therefore, is as inevitable a result as any other consequence of natural law, certain conditions being given. Hereditary weakness will lead to crime and the environment that is calculated to develop that weakness will produce the criminal. If that is so, then we have a tremendous responsibility which does not end at the end of the hangman's rope but which goes much deeper and should move in a different direction from that of capital punishment. The general conclusion arrived at by the modern student of this question is the absolute necessity of a comprehensive treatment of the whole body of criminal disease. The opinion is that we should treat criminals as we treat our insane or our diseased. Let me quote in this regard, very briefly, two or three writers upon the subject: Boies says:

It is a penological law that pernicious heredity must be checked and corrupting environment corrected.

Marro, another eminent penologist, found that 52 per cent of all murders examined into by him were directly traceable to ancestors. Others say that from 50 to 72 per cent of crime is due to pre-natal causes, and the remainder to defective education and deleterious youthful environment. Garofolo says:

That hereditary transmission of crime is established by unimpeachable evidence. It is a theorem of penology that crime is a diseased condition.

Suppose we assume, for a moment at least, that these gentlemen know something of what they are talking about, do we not see that when we think that we are preventing crime by means of ;the death penalty we are really in a fool's paradise indeed? There is no connection whatsoever between the crime and the punishment, and there cannot be, because if crime is caused

by inherent weakness developed through environmental conditions, then no amount of so-called deterrence of this character will have any effect whatsoever, any more than it would have against physical disease. Let me give some practical examples which will tend to substantiate my claim from the theoretic standpoint. I would refer the House to the most famous investigation that has ever been made into this subject, that carried out in the case of Jonathan Edwards and of Max, the progenitor of the famous, or infamous, Jukes family.

There were examined 1,594 descendants of Jonathan Edwards. Of these 245 were college graduates, 13 presidents of universities, 65 professor's and principals of schools, 60 physicians, 100 clergymen, 75 officers of the army, 60 prominent authors, 100 lawyers, 30 judges, 80 held public offices, some being senators, governors and mayors. Now, let us examine the family of Max, the father of the notorious Jukes family. Of the descendants that were examined 1,200 occupied penal and charitable institutions, and not one of them contributed anything to the public welfare. They cost the state about $1000 each, or in all $1,250,000. There were 310 in poorhouses for an aggregate of 2,300 years; 300 died in childhood, 840 viciously diseased, 400 physically wrecked by their own wicked practices, 50 notorious prostitutes, 7 murderers, 60 habitual thieves and 130 convicted of various crimes.

Now, I do not contend, Mr. Speaker, that this case alone is sufficient to establish my point; but it should indicate to hon. members who may not have gone into the matter at all that this is the method by which our criminologists have arrived at their conclusion that crime is largely a matter of inheritance and of conditions of life. Let me substantiate this further by quoting from the Ottawa Journal of last night. In its report of the double hanging at London, Ontario, yesterday there appears the following:

The gaol physician gave the two condemned men a glass of whiskey and morphine early this morning -"to make them cool and collected," he said. He added his previous claim that Topping had the mentality of a four-year-old. Mentally, he said, Murrell was normal, but had the morals of a four-year-old.

If there were other people in London or Ottawa who were simply four years old mentally and morally do you suppose that the hanging of those two criminals would have any particular effect upon them? Not the slightest in the world, because it is the mentally and morally deficient who commit crime. I do not suppose hon. members will consider that the hanging of those two men

Capital Punishment

will be a deterrent to any of us, because of course we assume that we are not going to be criminals; we are hanging those men for the benefit of the other fellows. But the other fellows are mentally and morally incapable of being impressed by this retributive justice. Consequently we are perpetuating an institution which does not accomplish what we expect. The hangman with his rope is just like the medicine man of old times with his incantations. We need physicians and psychologists to handle our criminals, not the hangman; we need eugenics rather than the gallows. As I said at the outset, we ought to try to prevent murder, not to hang murderers; and if we are to prevent murder we must start somewhat earlier with our preventive measures.

It will be seen that the conclusions of criminologists are borne out by the facts of everyday life. If crime springs from heredity and environment, then punishment can have no deterrent effect. History has shown hanging to be ineffectual and our daily experience confirms history. We have seen that when capital punishment was abandoned with respect to other crimes, those crimes did not increase. Now, homicide does not differ as to its cause from any other crime- An execution would have the same deterrent effect on a prospective thief as it would on a prospective murderer; in other words, it would have none at all. 1 shall endeavour to prove this from other sources, but for the moment I think we might turn our attention to other countries where capital punishment has been abandoned. Take Holland for example, and I select it because its population is not much smaller than ours. Holland abolished capital punishment in 1870, and homicide has been gradually decreasing, until the latest figures I have show a very marked diminution of this crime. In 1894 twelve were convicted, in 1897 nine, and the figures continue to decrease, until in 1902 only three were convicted. I have figures for only a few years with respect to Canada. Our population of course is a little larger than that of Holland. In 1913 there were twenty-three convictions for murder, in 1914 twenty-seven and in 1915 thirty-four. You see, the death penalty does not diminish murder in this country. On the other hand, in Holland homicide is decreasing. I am not arguing that this decrease is due to the abolition of capital punishment, indeed I should spoil my argument if I drew any such conclusion from the figures. I am arguing that hanging has no deterrent effect whatever. At the same time I give these figures to show that it does not follow that with the abolition of capital

punishment everybody takes on homicidal tendencies. Holland is getting along very well indeed without the death penalty-better in fact than we are. I am seeking to prove that hanging does not deter the prospective murderer. In support of this I would quote from a volume on capital punishment which gives a very striking instance in favour of my argument

On the 21st June, 1877, ten men were hanged in Pennsylvania for murderous conspiracies. The New York Herald predicted the wholesome effect of the terrible lesson. " We may be certain," it proclaimed,

" that the pitiless severity of the law will deter the most wicked from anything like the imitation of these crimes."

Yet on the night following the execution two of the witnesses at the trial had been murdered, and before the 5th July, five of the prosecutors had met the same fate.

Now, however that may impress hon. members, it is very clear to me that capital punishment did not deter the commission of murder in that case. The people who had criminal instincts went ahead with their programme, regardless of capital punishment.

Let us regard for a moment the latest murderer, if you like, that we have in Canada. I do not know for the moment who he is, but let us consider his motives. Do you suppose that before he committed murder he stopped to think of the gallows? Well, if so, it did not deter him, because he committed the crime. Let us suppose he did not stop to think of the gallows. Well, in that case also capital punishment did not deter him, since he did not think of it, There is a fact that stares us in the face. Here is another singular instance. Rev. T. T. Roberts, an English clergyman, consoled 167 murderers, and 161 of these declared to him that they had witnessed executions. Let me give you a short quotation from another and more modern authority. I quote a short passage from the statement of the warden of Sing Sing prison, who has been engaged in that work for twenty years and who knows criminals and knows their psychology pretty thoroughly. In fact, I would like to refer members of this House to our own Superintendent of Penitentiaries, perhaps one of the ablest men we could have holding that position in Canada. I think you will find that he does not believe in capital punishment; he does not believe in it because he understands criminals and crime. It would have been well, perhaps, had we discussed the matter with him before the debate came on. But let me give you what the warden of Sing Sing says:

Social necessity is the only justification for capital punishment. Such social necessity does not exist be-

Capital Punishment

cause the figures show that capital punishment does not cut down the ratio of homicides to population.

Therefore, capital punishment should go because in the few cases in which it is carried out it is a futile and a cruel and a brutal thing to do. That term "few cases" is important so far as the U.8.A. is concerned. Warder Lawes shows that out of every eightly-five men who commit homicide in American states where capital punishment is in effect only one is actually executed. The murderer rarely considers-

Here is another thing for us to notice with regard to the psychology of the criminal:

The murderer rarely considers the penalty of his crime. In those rare cases where the future consequences do enter into his calculations he regards himself as almost certain to be one of the 84 who will escape death.

That is the word of the warden of Sing Sing. These facts all prove that the death penalty does not deter, and science shows us, as I have indicated, why it does not deter- because it does not touch the causes of crime at all. These facts suggest also that we are cruel and unscientific to maintain this method of dealing with criminals.

Some have tried to show that the abolition of capital punishment would decrease crime. They argue, of course, that crime flourishes where it is punished most vigorously, and they prove from comparative statistics that in countries where the death penalty has been abolished crime has decreased. They also mention the power of the suggestion on a weak man of taking life. They also emphasize the fact that even for the state to take the life of another destroys the sacredness of life, and some argue that when a certain type of criminal feels that he is fighting for his life, as he has to do when capital punishment is in vogue, he becomes a sort of hero and rather likes it. This is an interesting field of inquiry, but I am not going to follow it, because I am not interested in proving that capital punishment increases crime. As a matter of fact, I do not think it does; I do not think it has any effect at all. It has no more the effect of increasing crime than of decreasing it, and that is the point I am endeavouring to establish: it does not affect the criminal at all, but it does affect us. That, I think, is self-evident.

I want now, in order to prove this a little more clearly, to refer to statistics which I have here and which I collected from the United States. I wrote to the attorney general of every state in the union and to each of them I submitted certain questions.

I will not bother you with going over all this long file, but I will just read the questions to you:

What is the punishment provided by law in your state for murder with malice aforethought?

If the sentence is death, what is the means of execution? If the sentence is death, has this always been the law of your state? If not, when was the change made and do you consider the change made an improvement or otherwise? If the sentence is not death, how long has the present law been in force?

Do you believe that the effect of the present law has been to increase or decrease this crime in your state?

Do you believe that the effect of the present law has been to increase or decrease the probability of conviction in cases where this crime has been committed?

Where the penalty is not death, does the prisoner do sufficient work to earn the cost of his maintenance and detention ?

Is any provision made for the compensation of the injured family of the victim?

I want to quote just one or two replies to these questions, to prove my point that the mode of punishment does not affect the amount of crime. The attorney general of Nebraska says that in his opinion the punishment makes no difference whatsoever to crime, and from the state of Oregon also we are told that it has no effect, so far as the opinion of the attorney general goes. I will quote one more, that from the Secretary of State for Maine. He says:

My personal opinion is that the death penalty or life imprisonment has no material effect upon the increase or decrease of crime. I do not think the murderer takes the penalty for his crime into consideration when committing it. He also invariably plans to escape any penalty.

These are the opinions of people from the various states. Some of these states have capital punishment, some leave it to the option of the jury, some have abolished it, and from all of these the opinion has been given that it does not make any difference to the amount of crime whether you have capital punishment, whether it is left to the option of the jury to give life imprisonment, or whether you have life imprisonment. So I think it is reasonable, in view of the evidence at hand, to conclude that from the facts of history, from the scientific point of view and from the testimony of people living in our own age who have dealings with the criminal class, the mode of punishment has no effect on the criminal.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure):

May I be

allowed to ask my hon. friend two questions? Can he cite the opinion of any attorney general in Canada favourable to the abolition of the death penalty for murder? And will he also give us the statistics of murders committed by foreigners in Canada?

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

As to the first question, I

have not consulted the attorneys general of Canada in this matter because I did not suppose their opinions would be readily given if they knew I was going to advocate the

Capital Punishment

abolition of capital punishment. As to the other I have no data with regard to the nationality of the people committing crimes in this country, neither do I think that is relevant to the discussion. It does not matter to me who commits the crime, whether he is a Hottentot, an Englishman or a Canadian; that has nothing to do with the argument. It is true that the hereditary influences to which those from some parts of the world are subject may be such as to make them criminals more readily under certain environments, but I do not see that that has anything to do with our discussion.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure):

May I put

another question? Would my hon. friend put the hold-up man or the bank robber in the category of those who are suffering from mental disease?

' Mr. IRVINE: Most decidedly. The

reason we have not robbed banks is that we have not suflered from the disease; if we had the same disease or weaknesses as those fellows who rob banks, we would be there now,

I do not know that we deserve any particular credit for not having the disease. I do not suppose these men selected it; they have had it placed upon them both by hereditary influences and by environment, and now they are the victims both of the past and of the present. If we have no better way of dealing with these men than that of simply slinging a rope around their necks, then we are more miserable than they. That is my honest opinion in that matter.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure):

May I ask

one more question and then I am through? If a man serving a life sentence commits murder in the penitentiary, what would the hon. member do in a case like that? That occurred in Montreal after a lapse of twenty years without a single execution.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

If my hon. friend will permit me to draft the Code the way I want to do it, I will provide for such a case. At the present time he is only a murderer whether in or out of prison when the act is committed and I think perhaps if the proper thing had been done with him in the first place, he would have been in an insane asylum. But when we get the proper way of handling criminals we shall not simply commit them to gaolers, but have them examined by expert physicians and psychologists, and in every case we would provide a proper place where the man could be taken care of. I think that was not done in the case my hon. friend mentions.

I want to bring a friendly challenge to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and to any hon. members who may oppose this argument, and it is this: I think it is due to Canada as well as to this parliament, that if the nation is going to continue to occupy the position of the avenger of blood with regard to criminals, there ought to be no doubt whatsoever about the efficacy of the system in securing the civilized end for which we retain it. I want the Minister of Justice if he opposes this argument to bring the proof-not belief merely, no mere opinion, but I want him to bring the proof-that capital punishment has hindered one single criminal from committing a crime. I want that proof; I am not going to be satisfied *with a mere believe in the efficacy of this old barbaric practice. Nothing short of absolute proof can be accepted as an excuse for Canada maintaining the death penalty and placing our nation in the position of an executioner.

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April 11, 1924