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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/700

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ENRICO FERRI ON HOMICIDE.
By HELEN ZIMMERN.

FIRST PAPER.

ENRICO FERRI, the pupil and collaborator of Cesare Lombroso in the science of Criminal Anthropology, which the latter may almost be said to have created, has just published a truly monumental work consisting of over seven hundred closely printed pages and an appendix of over three hundred, in which he subjects to a most searching and minute examination the problem of homicide from the point of view of Criminal Anthropology. In it he treats of the murderer by instinct or from madness, reserving for future treatment the cases due to occasion and passion. This huge book is the result of nearly thirteen years' work, during which it has been often interrupted by Ferri's legal and parliamentary labors. These interruptions have not been without their benefit. As a criminal lawyer he had much opportunity of coming in contact with criminals and of studying them closely, and he is convinced that his work has gained rather than lost from the circumstance of its having been so long on the stocks. He has taken as his watchword Michelet's "La science de la justice et la science de la nature sont une. Il faut que la justice devienne une médecine s'éclairant des sciences psychologiques et physiologiques"; and it is on these calm lines that the whole work is penned. The author's purpose, in writing this book, was to demonstrate the methods by which we should endeavor to study the natural genesis of every crime in order to acquire positive and special knowledge of the causes of criminal phenomena, to deduce thence certain indications as to the most efficacious remedies, which should be at the same time the most effective and the most humane, to be applied against these symptoms of social pathology, to bring into relief more especially those data which will explain the genesis of murder, serve to delineate its psychological diagnosis as it affects each individual who commits it, and hence give the degree in which he is to be feared, according to the anthropological category to which he belongs. Starting from the axiom that the elementary notion of homicide as a criminal fact—that is to say, that the murder of one man by another is totally inadequate to satisfy the demands of contemporary penal science, which has been fundamentally reconstituted by the new methods of positive research—he deems that he must conduct his study to the true origin of these phenomena. Hence the necessity of a twofold inquiry: first, that bearing on the natural evolution of homicide, which includes in its vast domain the