[Editor: This untitled article was published in the news section of the Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 27 May 1892.]
[The commutation of the death sentence on M’Crow]
The commutation of the death sentence on M‘Crow to imprisonment for life will, it is to be thought, do no violence to public opinion. There were circumstances in the case which might fairly be regarded as, if not exactly extenuating, warranting the extension of mercy so far at all events as the life of M‘Crow was concerned.
If it were a question of turning such a person loose upon society again at even a distant date, it would be quite another matter. But it is very unlikely indeed that the man will ever get out of gaol.
Even those who most firmly believe in the necessity of capital punishment will probably admit that the best way to make such a punishment a really salutary one is to reserve it for cases where there can be no shadow of a doubt that the murderer is really responsible for his crime.
In this case, as will be remembered, the wretched man was strongly recommended to mercy by the jury; and as, in arriving at the decision it did, the Executive had of course the benefit of statements from the judge who tried M‘Crow, there is every reason to regard that decision as not less wise than merciful.
Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 27 May 1892, p. 4
capital punishment = the death penalty; the legal killing of a person who has been convicted of a serious crime or committed a capital offense; death as a punishment for a crime, when a judge gives a convicted person a death sentence; the method of carrying out capital punishment has varied over the years, and from place to place, including death by hanging, beheading, burning, electric chair, shooting, stoning, and strangulation)
See: “Capital punishment”, Wikipedia
Executive = the political executive of a state or nation; the body of administrators and/or politicians which has administrative, decision-making, and supervisory powers over a state or nation
gaol = an alternative spelling of “jail” (prison)
M’Crow = Alexander M’Crow, who was charged with the murder of his wife, Jane M’Crow, and found guilty in 1892
See: “Blackfriars tragedy: Alexander M’Crow on trial”, The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW), 8 April 1892, p. 6
salutary = causing, effecting, or producing a beneficial effect or improvement (especially regarding something unpleasant, unwanted, or unwelcome which would produce such a result)
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