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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/671

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THE EUROPEAN LAW OF TORTURE.

show guilt, though, singly they are not sufficient to incur torture, such as—

Previous bad character or worthless conduct.

Previous similar misdemeanors, either proved or rumored.

Being found in proximity to the crime.

Being seen with the appearance, dress, arms, or horse of the actual culprit, or approaching or leaving the spot.

The finding of any of his dress or weapons, or of his tracks in snow or earth.

His previous companionship or domicile with those who commit such acts.

Previous enmity, envy, or threats toward the injured person.

Dying declarations or sworn accusation by a person injured.

Absconding suddenly without good cause.

Altering his personal appearance, disguising, giving false excuses, etc.

To entitle the prosecution to obtain a decree for full torture of one accused of a capital crime (and most of the offenses were then capital), two or more of the above conditions must be shown to the satisfaction of the judge. The warrant must specify not only how many of the successive grades may be used, but just how long each process shall be applied. But in every case of torture a strange preliminary proceeding was required, called territion (territio, Schreckung), a mental torture, by terrifying the prisoner to extort confession through fear of pain. It was derived, like all the rest, from the ancients, whose law writers prescribed forms similar to those of the Austrian code.

Territion was of two grades—verbal and real. In verbal territion the judge exhorts the prisoner to confess, and tells him what pains await him; he describes the process vividly, with the executioner acting the scene in pantomime. The victim is fiercely seized by the hangman, dragged from the court-room down into the place of torment (Marter-ort),Sind. shown the painful machines and their use. The executioner seizes him again and pretends to be about to apply them.

Verbal territion failing to secure admission of guilt, he resorts to the real. He seizes the Inquisit once more, drags him to the rack, binds him in place, but does not apply the ropes or screws to any painful extent. Returning him then to the courtroom, they again solemnly warn him to confess his guilt, lest worse shall befall him. If he still remains obdurate, his day of grace is past; territion gives place to actual torture.

The code gives a few merciful limitations of this power. Idiots, invalids, feeble men over sixty, children, and, of course, all officials and clergy, are exempt; and women can only be subjected