This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Because of their disabilities in areas of reasoning, judgment, and control of their impulses, however, they do not act with the level of moral culpability that characterizes the most serious adult criminal conduct.
The Laws Governing Sexual Misconduct The initial laws governing sexual misconduct in Plymouth Colony were part of the codification of laws.
Prior to this date, three cases of Atkins vs virgina revision misconduct were presented and ruled in the Court, two for fornication before marriage and one for "attempting uncleanes" PCR 1: Based on these cases, one can assume that the people of Plymouth operated under an unwritten code of moral conduct before The new laws embodied this code, and distinguished between capital and criminal sexual offences.
Criminal offences include "ffornication and other uncleane carriages to be punished at the discretion of the Majestrates according to the nature thereof" and "ffornication before contract or marriage" PCR Upon first reading the listed offences, one might think the double listing of fornication as redundant, but I see this as an act of clarification.
While the second listing of fornication is ambiguous, I interpret it as an outlaw of fornication before and after entering contract. I base this interpretation on the court records that include convictions for fornication before and during the period of contract.
In June ofthe General Court passed an act that outlined the punishment for fornication.
Every person who committed fornication "before or without lawfull contract" was to be imprisoned for up to three days and either whipped or fined ten pounds. If a couple was in the period of contract, or engagement, at the time of fornication, then the fine was reduced to five pounds per person PCR This enactment was incorporated into the codification of laws.
As I shall illustrate below, the size of the fines for fornication followed this legislation for the most part. However, imprisonments seem to have been abandoned soon after.
Ambiguities regarding adultery in the codification pose an interesting problem. In the records, adultery was originally listed as a criminal offence. It was then crossed out and added to the list of capital offences with the qualifier "to be punished" PCR The confusion reflected in the records played out in adultery cases throughout the colony's history.
While adultery was never punished as a capital offence, it was handled as a very serious criminal offence. In the revision of the laws a more specific punishment for adultery was stipulated. It is enacted by the court and the authoritie therof that whosoeuer shall comitt Adultery shalbee seuerly punished by Whiping two seuerall times; namely once whiles the Court is in being att which they are convicted of the fact and the 2cond time as the Court shall order and likewise to weare two Capitall letters namely A D cut out in cloth and sowed on theire vpermost Garments on theire arme or backe; and if att any time they shalbee taken without the said letters whiles they are in the Gouernment soe worn to bee forth with taken and publickly whipt.
Hawthorne's infamous scarlet letter was not a pure fiction. While the legislation did not specify a color for the cloth letters, at least one court case did specify that they be red. Three cases of adultery appeared before the Court before the enactment, and in each case, at least one of the convicted party was forced to display letters upon the outer garment.
The most curious piece of legislation pertaining to sexual misconduct is a enactment that outlawed wearing "visors and strang apparell to laciuious ends and purposes. The punishment for wearing a disguise for lascivious ends was a public whipping or a fine of fifty shillings for the first offence.
A second offence increased the fine to five pounds, and, if the Bench thought it necessary, a "bound to the behauior. The curious thing about this legislation is that no case of disguises being worn by masked lovers appears in the court records. The absence of such data indicates that some degree of detail is missing from the written account of the court cases.
In June ofthe General Court passed the final piece of legislation concerning sexual misconduct. It stated "that whosoeuer haueing comitted vncleanes in another Collonie and shall come hither and haue not satisfyed the law where the fact was comitted they shalbe sent backe or heer punished according to the Nature of the crime as if the acte had bine heer done" PCR The motivation for the development of this law suggests to me that one or several persons from neighboring colonies may have fled to Plymouth upon conviction of a sexual offence elsewhere.
Regardless, this enactment clearly indicates that Plymouth Colony was not about to be a safe harbor to those it deemed moral deviants.
In the sections below, I examine the actual court cases of sexual misconduct in Plymouth Colony between and I have grouped the cases into eight categories of capital and criminal offences.
The categories roughly include: I recognize that these categories are not clearly distinct -- some cases fall into more than one category and, in others, the wording of the case is vague. Sodomy Only one clear case of sodomy appears in the court records of Plymouth colony.
The third, John Keene, was propositioned by Edward Preston, but "he resisted the temptacion, and vsed meanes to discouer it. Both men were sentenced to a double whipping, once at Plymouth and a second time at Barnestable.
John Keene, since he resisted the temptation and apparently brought the crime to the knowledge of the court, was "appoynted to stand by" while the other two men received their punishment. Upon first reading, this seems like a strange ruling on the part of the Court.
Why did they particularly want Keene to be present?Virgina Vs. Massachusetts Essay Both Virginia and Massachusetts Bay developed their own characteristics based upon the factors of: the economic, political and religious motivation of the settlers, and the natural resources and climate of the region.
The Atkins Court noted that objective indicia of society’s standards, NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-.
Mandeeppal Multani (JOHN) Professor Bernadette p. Mcpherson COR Atkins v. Virginia Citation: U.S. () Facts of the Case: On August 16, , after a day of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, 18 year old Daryl Atkins and friend William Jones walked to a convenience store and abducted Eric Nesbitt, an airman from the nearby Langley Air Force Base.
BRUMFIELD. v. CAIN, WARDEN. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT. This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to Atkins.
hearings conducted post-trial and/or post-sentencing”). 4. v. notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash- ington, D. C. , of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections .
notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash- ington, D. C. , of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.