Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 69:  A. de Gerando, Siebenbuergen und seine Bewohner, p. 213.  Lorck, Leipsig, 1845.]

[Footnote 70:  Most of the works on Roumania deal with the question.  Ozanne (cap. xi.) has a few remarks on the subject; Wilkinson (appendix iv. p. 201) gives along list of words derived from Latin, Italian, modern Greek, and Turkish roots, but the Roumanian words are since changed; Vaillant, Obedenare, Neigebaur, Henke, Pic, Roesler, all treat the subject more or less fully.  The chief authorities in Roumanian are Hasdeu, Ubicini, and Lauriani.]

CHAPTER VIII.

JUDICIAL AND PENAL.

The jurisprudence of the Constitution—­Roumanian courts—­The Code Napoleon—­Complaints of patronage—­The penal system—­Capital punishment abolished—­History and effect of the abolition—­Statistics—­The prison system—­Abuses—­Enumeration of prisons—­Employment of convicts—­Ornamental art amongst them—­Objects made by them—­Absence of educational measures—­Criminal statistics (and note)—­Visit to the ‘intermediate’ prison of Vakareschti—­An old monastery—­Description of the prison—­Scene in the court-yard—­Untried prisoners in fetters—­Promiscuous intercourse of prisoners—­Mischievous effects—­Views of a ‘juge d’instruction’ concerning the system—­Various classes of prisoners—­Lenient treatment of them—­Partial employment—­Safeguards against mutiny—­Visit to the penal salt mine of Doftana (or Telega)—­Former treatment of prisoners—­A lingering death—­Present treatment—­Conditions of penal servitude—­Compared with work of our colliers—­Abuses—­Descent into the mine—­Its condition—­Unearthly sounds and sights—­Enormous salt cave—­Floor of the cave—­Convicts at work in chains—­Mode of excavating and raising salt—­Lighting the mine for visitors—­Return to the surface—­Visit to the penitentiary—­Its discreditable condition—­Alleged frauds upon convicts—­General mild treatment of criminals in Roumania—­Utilisation of convict labour—­Comparison of cost and results of systems in Roumania and England—­Favourable to Roumania.

I.

As in the case of education, so, too, in regard to its judicial and penal system, the Constitution of Roumania contains many admirable provisions (articles 13, 18, 104, 105, &c.) for the maintenance of right and the suppression of wrong-doing.  Equal rights, ordinary tribunals, speedy trial by jury, abolition of death punishment, these are the excellent principles upon which the judicial system is based; but neither there, nor for that matter in any country, are they completely put into practice.  There is one Court of Cassation with sections, and a Court of Accounts at Bucarest, Courts of Appeal at Bucarest, Jassy, Craiova, and Focsany, and minor tribunals in the chief town of each district.  The French Code of Jurisprudence is adopted, with modifications which would not interest

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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