ONE hears much about the "hideous Blue-Laws of Connecticut," and is accustomed to shudder piously when they are mentioned. There are people in America--and even in England!--who imagine that they were a very monument of malignity, pitilessness, and inhumanity; whereas, in reality they were about the first SWEEPING DEPARTURE FROM JUDICIAL ATROCITY which the "civilized" world had seen. This humane and kindly Blue-Law code, of two hundred and forty years ago, stands all by itself, with ages of bloody law on the further side of it, and a century and three-quarters of bloody English law on THIS side of it.
There has never been a time--under the Blue-Laws or any other --when above FOURTEEN crimes were punishable by death in Connecticut. But in England, within the memory of men who are still hale in body and mind, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE crimes were punishable by death!1These facts are worth knowing--and worth thinking about, too.