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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/860

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and the moral valuation of the crime which, may rise to the point of true remorse.

The characteristics of the attitude of the mad homicides during their trials are the frequent energetic protests that they are not mad, the dissimulation of their insanity or even the simulation of another form of madness different from that from which they suffer, the nonresistance when arrested, the instinctive attempt at flight, and the alibi they prepare for themselves in cases of premeditation; their frequently detailed confession, often made in phrases such as "It was not I. It was my head. I was blinded by my illness. I felt a blow on my head," and so forth. Or when, like other delinquents, they are not anxious to invent excuses for themselves, they either do not excuse themselves at all, or even accuse themselves of imaginary crimes, as though they wished to make themselves out worse than they are.

Ferri finally proceeds to analyze very carefully the groups of symptoms regarding the life of the criminal before and after the committal of his crime as well as his hereditary antecedents. The previous conduct of the born homicide is often very regular; and then suddenly, a little before the murder, a change of life and character will take place. Another characteristic sometimes is the perpetration of other crimes after the first homicide.

Following this last research Ferri gives us in conclusion the most important deductions which result from this portion of his great work, as to the psychical constitution of the born homicide and the mad homicide. He sums them up into twelve axioms, which should prove of invaluable use to the judicial authorities. These it is not easy to condense, and for their precise formula we must refer our readers to Ferri's book.

Crime is always a decided condition. This is the final and lucid outcome of his learned work, a conclusion at which Virgil and Lombroso respectively arrived, and a conclusion that honors these thinkers. In his future volume he promises to treat of the two other typical figures of homicides from passionate impetus and homicides from occasion, to which we look forward. One important point Ferri touches but slightly, and that is. Is crime nowadays the exception or is it not rather the rule? It must unfortunately be concluded that it is the rule in the actual epoch Europe is traversing; this does not mean, however, that crime is a normal phenomenon, but only helps to confirm the innate relations that exist between economic conditions and criminal facts, or rather, in Ferri's own words, "that the present social crisis has reached such a point as to render even criminal symptoms acute and profound, which does not exclude that in a more advanced phase of social order, such as scientific socialists look forward to, crime, like every other symptom of social pathology, will be re-