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our reasonings concerning the future have no other basis — for we know nothing a priori —
according therefore as the past has been, it is reasonable to presume the future will be,
making an allowance in pari materiá for circumstances occasioning a dissimilitude inducing a variation

Let us consider first the whole mass body of experience relating to Trials in which
Man's life is at stake, as par materia — considering afterwards the diff peculiarities to which the
case of Treason may be subject, as one set of circumstances occasioning a dissimilitude inducing a variation
the difference of the times, i:e: of the temper knowledge & habits of men will form another
set of circumstances which may occasion a dissimilitude. induce a variation.

Now, reckoning from the beginning of this Century, (to take the only period the disposition of
things in which [is proper to be compared with our own times]) we may assert without exaggeration that not
one in a thousand perhaps of persons who have been capitally convicted we may say in 10,000 has been found to have been convicted
upon false Evidence. Except the case of [Colman], Qu. concerning Colman Ellis & Kelly Foster 121. But these people were actually guilty of the Robbery in question, tho' trepanned into it by the Prisoners for the sake of informing against them. convicted of a Robbery
on the testimony of Mac-daniel Egan & Berry, & executed, Qu. whether any others were convicted at the same time — & Qu. particularly concerning any other instances. I can find know of none. This case is not to be taken into consideration in the question whether one only or two witnesses shall be required; but is material only on the general question, how far & in what sense an prisoner accused should be presumed innocent

It must be acknowledged on the other hand, that to make the computation just, those
are to be subtracted, against whom more than one witness speaking to the actual whose conduct is not marked in History by any particular signal.
fact, has appeared.

Still, I apprehend, this allowance

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with those observations therefore I must leave it to for the reader's judgment: a judgment
which will probably be dictated rather by that of the the emotions of the Heart. than which when that of the head approaches near to
a suspense, is apt with some more with others less forcibly to break in & over- turn the
Scale. That the danger of tempering by the Crown is the manifest cause of this special provision: That gen this holds less & less — That it alludes only in particular Treasons where the Interest of the Crown may by possibility be opposed to that of the people. Not be in that of adhering to foreign Enemies If a man has not really adhered to &c neither the Crown nor Jury can have a motive to punish him But they may tho' he has not been guilty of a compleat act of Domestic Treason — as if he has provoked them by opposition or by galling Satires.

Identifier: | JB/051/028/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 51.


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evidence; procedure code

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evidence number





text sheet

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jeremy bentham


[[watermarks::j honig & zoonen [lion with vryheyt motif]]]


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