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Report No. 39

4. Macaulay's exposition of penology.-

The penology of transportation for life was expounded by Macaulay, the author of the Draft Penal Code, in trenchant terms as follows:-

"The pain which is caused by punishment is unmixed evil. It is by the terror which it inspires that it produces good; and perhaps no punishment inspires so much terror in proportion to the actual pain which it causes as the punishment of transportation in this country. Prolonged imprisonment may be more painful in the actual endurance; but it is not so much dreaded beforehand; nor does a sentence of imprisonment strike either the offender or the bystanders with so much horror as a sentence of exile beyond what they call the Black Water. This feeling, we believe, arises chiefly from the mystery which overhangs the fate of the transported convict.

The separation resembles that which takes place at the moment of death. The criminal is taken for ever from the society of all who are acquainted with him, and conveyed by means of which the natives have but an indistinct notion, over an element which they regard with extreme awe, to a distant country of which they know nothing, and from which he is never to return. It is natural that his fate should impress them with a deep 'feeling of terror. It is on this feeling that the efficacy of the punishment depends and this feeling would be greatly weakened if transported convicts should frequently return, after an exile of seven or fourteen years, to the scene of their offences, and to the society of their former friends.".

Punishment of Imprisonment for Life under the Indian Penal Code Back

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