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CRIMES, MISDEMEANORS, AND PENALTIES.
COMPILED FROM THE LAWS OF THE FIFTY-FIFTH CONGRESS AND
BY SAMUEL J. BARROWS,
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 18, 1899.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Hon. Samuel J. Barrows, commissioner for the United States on the International Prison Commission, on "Crimes, Misdemeanors and Penalties" in the United States, based on the penal features of the laws of the Fifty-fifth Congress and on the session laws of the States and Territories for 1897 and 1898. The report, upon which much labor has been expended, will furnish valuable material, not only for foreign lawmakers who are studying with interest the American codes but also for practical legislators in our own country who are seeking to revise, harmonize, and unify the laws of the different States.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM P. FRYE,
JOHN HAY. President pro tempore of the Senate of the United States.
INTERNATIONAL PRISON COMMISSION, Washington, D. C., December 18, 1899. SIR: As commissioner of the United States on the International Prison Commission I have the honor to present herewith a report on "Crimes, Misdemeanors and Penalties" in the United States. The report is a presentation and comparison of the penal features of the laws of the United States enacted by the Fifty-fifth Congress and of the laws of the forty-seven States and Territories which held legislative sessions in the years 1897 and 1898. To some extent it is also a comparison of recent penalties with those of earlier laws in the respective States which have been amended, repealed, or replaced.
The object of this work is less to show the form and structure of statutory criminal law in this country than to show its spirit and tendencies and the legal and ethical distinctions which are made in different States in the definition and punishment of crimes and misdemeanors. While the volume has been prepared primarily for the section on penal law of the International Prison Congress and for its affiliated organization, "l'Union Internationale de Droit Pénal," it is hoped that it will be of value, not only to students of criminal law in both hemispheres, but also to practical legislators in our own States who are obliged to frame laws and impose penalties. To bring about the much desired uniformity in the laws of our own States it is first necessary to exhibit their diversity and complexity; and, second, to present in a convenient form for reference the action which has been taken already by certain States upon subjects engaging the attention of legislators in other States.
A more detailed analysis of the character and scope of the report will be found in the introduction.
I have the honor to remain, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. JOHN HAY,
Secretary of State.