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Modern Persecution, or Insane Asylums Unveiled
But under the present rule of asylums they have none at all. No matter to what extent their right to justice is ignored, there is granted them no chance whatever for self-defence.
This Protective Committee should have free and unrestricted post-office communication with every inmate of every asylum in order that they may ascertain if any individual, among all this unfortunate class, can be found who needs the protection of justice, and should administer it, when found, without a question to be entitled to it.
The law should give to this Committee a power superior to that of the Superintendent, by which he himself can be held amenable to the laws, in his exercise of power over his patients, through this Committee.
For example, if this autocrat should be found to have been guilty of "assault and battery, manslaughter or murder," in his realm, he could then be held accountable to the laws like any other criminal found guilty of like offence outside of an asylum, and this Committee would constitute a link between him, as the Superintendent, and justice, as they would between his patients and justice.
It would be a humane law. It is a much needed law. It would be an honor to every State in this Union to pass such a law, through which she could administer to her afflicted ones the right of self-defence while confined as inmates within the prison walls of an Insane Asylum.
Iowa has already immortalized herself as the banner State in this great humanitarian reform. The "Bill" which her Legislature of 1872 passed, securing the protection of law to the inmates of her own Insane Asylums, will be found in the Second Volume and is here commended to the candid con-sideration of every Legislature in this Union.
It is fondly hoped this bright example will speedily be fol-lowed by all the States in the Union, and thus demonstrate the fact that this American Government is a Christian Government, in that she can then claim, and be entitled to the honor of protecting by its laws -- the right of self-defence -- even to that most unfortunate of all classes of its citizens -- the Inmates of Insane Asylums.
End of Vol. I.