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A REFORM WANTED.

10 THE EDITOR. Sirj—One cannot help being alarmed, by the number of assaults on women,, and especially young female children, which are constantly being recprded in our newspapers. In "Wellington re- . cently 1 noticed that at the Supreme. Court there were four separate'eases of" indeoent assault on children; tlio ages of these little girl victims (one was just out of.babyhood) were 4J- years, 8 years, 11 years, and 13 years. Their assailants were .convicted and sent* to gaol; but they will all be free men in about six years' time; one of the men. had been convicted before for the same offence, his second victim being the, ' little girl aged 4-J- years; and this man will be free again! In a splendid coun-. try like ours, populated by a superior, class of people, and noted for its advanced legislation, the increase in the - number of these assaults is a bad feature and a reflection on our laws for the protection of womanhood, and future motherhood. Without a doubt our laws for their protection are obsolete when compared with the laws of other countries; even the English law is in advance of ours. In certain States in America, Australia,, and South Africa (and it is also recorded in tho laws of - Moses) the punishment for indecent as» sault on females is the death penalty. He of Nazareth also seems to have inferred that the penalty for offending children was death. If. the severity of the laws in the above countries is causing the scum of their population to drift £o New Zealand it is plainly our duty to 1 place our laws for these cases on a par with the laws of those countries by urging our legislators to, make ;the death penalty the punishment for these horrible, inhuman, and unnatural assaults which were commented on in our Parliament a few years back. It is said . that children assaulted are physically, and in some cases mentally, ruined for life, apart from their innocence vbeing blighted, and perhaps left with a loathsome disease. Then there are many cases of assault not reported, as the victims' parents, through .. family pride, shrink- from publicity and police, court,proceed ings. Li one N6w ; Zealand city I am told that a Mission Sister who keeps a day school for little children had to get the police to order -„ away low fellows who came round with ,

lollies when the school came out. Long sentences harden prisoners; flogging is a dead letter, owing to " health reasons." Abolish the death sentence for murder, if you wish,'as it was abolished for robbery; but thos&\ crimes are not on the same plane as brutal attacks by these human ghonls on dofe^icsle.ss children of the poorer classes, who" 'are i lmred away with a few lollies. Womanhood was'unsafe in New South Wales until capital punishment was brought in.* During the South African war capital punishment prevailed. Juries on'these cases would perform a real benefit if they recommended capital punishment to be placed on the Statute' ■ Book because a 1 brutal crime deserves brutal punishment. 'When visiting .-America recently I enquired if there were many of these, assaults recorded, and I was informed that such cases were rare. Should the Government refuse to consent to'"Che death penalty for such criminals they should at least be declared habitual criminals. A NEW ZE A LANDER, Wellington, March 9, 19U:' V ! ' *

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140312.2.50.2

Bibliographic details

A REFORM WANTED., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

Word Count
567

A REFORM WANTED. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

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