State Prisoners. An Address to the Pious Lord Sidmouth, On the Refusal of the Reading Gaoler to Admit Lord Folkstone to Certain Parts of the Prison
Human Species, Prehistory, Mental Illness, Radicalism, Crime, Disease
Discusses the improper imprisonment of men without charge due to the recent suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act and the potential therein for their murder in solitary confinement. Asserts that the passions leading to such crimes 'are yet alive in the human composition, as thirsty for blood, and as eager for revenge, as when the human savage prowled in relentless ferocity over pathless desart [sic], or through the deepening wood'. Urges Lord Sidmouth that 'the distraction of a long confinement may produce in the minds of your victims the despair that may lead to suicide'. (642) Further observes of secretly imprisoned men: 'Should the wretched being fall a victim to disease, will not his disease be attributed to the unmerited severity of his imprisonment? Is he a prey to any malady, will not the fatal termination of such a malady be assigned to the undeserved accumulation of his sufferings? Do you imagine that the public are not aware that there are modes of treatment as efficacious in procuring death as private assassination, or open murder' (343). Discusses the imprisonment of Thomas Evans on spurious charges of high treason.
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