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Sir,—Your extract re Ernest Buttner is so important that I must ask you to publish it again: the case against the Sydney restaurantkeeper who was condemned to death for criminal assault has addressed this letter to his counsel: ' Referring to the death sentence passed upon Ernest Buttner, I beg of you to use your influence with the Government to stay the same for the following reasons: (1) After considering the matter well over, I am afraid I gave some encouragement, and my conduct may have been a little eccentric. (2) Having only been released a short time from a lunatic asylum, I had not felt well for a few days previous, and I believe I must have had a temporary relapse_ of my old enemy at the time and on the night in question. Under these circumstances I urge you to use your influence with the Executive Council. Meantime, I don't wish to exonerate myself from blame.—l am, etc., Jessie H. Lennox,'" Further on we are told Jessie was for two years on the streets in Brisbane. Now, had the accused the legal right of making a statement on oath, with Judge's right of examination (not counsel's), would the jury have not been further enlightened as to facts. We had an illustration of this in the unfortunate young lady who was connected with the Hall case. I am well aware the lawyers in the House would set their backs up at the reform indicated, as their fireworks eloquence would be exploded, and, like the rocket stick, they would subside. Why an accused person i 3 allowed to give evidence before a Justice of tho Peace aud not before tho Judgo is puzzling.—l am, etc., Reform. Dunedin, May 22.

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Bibliographic details

CRIMINAL REFORMS., Issue 7914, 23 May 1889

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CRIMINAL REFORMS. Issue 7914, 23 May 1889

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