Distrust of Courts and Laws..
"The people of Ohio have seen murderers tried and convicted of murder in
the first degree two or three times over and finally set free. They have
known many desperate and dangerous criminals to be sent to the penitentiary
for long terms and released soon enough to make the whole costly process
of the courts seem little better than a farce. It is notorious that the
machinery provided for the punishment and, therefore, the prevention of
crime is slow, cumbersome, costly, and, in the end, very uncertain.
is the real reason why, once in a while, the passion and indignation of
the masses break through all restraints and some particularly wicked crime
is avenged, roughly, brutally, and without regard to legal forms, by a
frenzied mob, itself criminal and more dangerous than its victim. It is
the bursting forth of a fire of impatient sense of wrong which is always
manifestations of this discontent with the operation of the courts and
the laws are very terrible when they take the form of such tragedies as
that which has just been witnessed at Urbana: so frightful and so perilous
that they must be made impossible, if punishment can accomplish that result.
But the reform should not stop there. It ought to be made wide and deep,
and the procedure of the courts of this State should be so changed, if
it lies in human ingenuity to accomplish the result, that justice would
be swifter, surer, and less expensive. Let that be done, and we shall
see no more of lynch law and the awful tragedies to which it leads."