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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/853

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829
ENRICO FERRI ON HOMICIDE.

cranial capacity, by the larger frontal diameter, and the minor development of the upper jaw. Worthy of note, too, in regard to this last point is the result of the examination of homicidal murderers as respects recidivistry. The former showed less cranial capacity and a minor frontal diameter, while their upper jaws were more developed.

Having examined these chronic anomalies in criminals in reaffirming the conclusions arrived at by the modern school of criminal anthropology, Ferri gives us the physiognomy of murderers in their characteristic traits, calling to aid the help of photography. It is an interesting series of pictures that he has thus grouped together. Here is the apish type; there the half-mad; there one with large jaws, the most characteristic and frequent feature; the type with receding forehead, etc. The study of temperament and of race in the order of delinquency, which represents the bio-psychic personality of an individual and of a people, is not yet well matured, as opinions with regard to their influences are many and varied. Still, some progress has been made. Thus it is popularly held that full-blooded, passionate, energetic temperaments are more prone to homicide, while the truth really lies in the opposite direction; the physiological character of this determination is rather a general denutrition of the organism and of the nervous system which originates that irritability and that lack of inhibition by which men react with more difficulty against the murderous impulse.

Race, whose marked influence in biological and social manifestations is, however, denied by many eminent scientists, is nevertheless one of the concurrent factors in the determination of a crime and one which can not be overlooked. Race is not the only factor in the distribution of homicide in Europe, for side by side with this run the social economical conditions induced in their turn by this very race. In this distribution there are manifest three distinct ethnographical groups—the Græco-Latin, the Germanic with the Anglo-Saxon, and the Slav—which stand for the three large zones of homicide. In the first place for the greater frequency of homicide stand the Latin peoples—Italy, Spain, Roumania, Portugal, France, and Belgium; in the medium zone the Slav people of Russia and Austria; for the minor frequency of this crime, the peoples of Germanic origin of Germany, Holland, and England. The sad supremacy pertains not to Italy but to Spain.

With this extended survey of the organic constitution of homicidal delinquents Ferri terminates the first section of his book. The second part is devoted to the study of the psychic constitution of the murderers. He first wisely clears the ground with regard to the interpretation of psychic data and the relations be-