Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : convicts

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The Resurrection CHAPTER XXI. When the examination of the exhibits was over, the justiciary announced the investigation closed, and, desiring to end the session, gave the word to the prosecutor, in the hope that as he, too, was mortal, he might also wish to smoke or dine, and would have pity on the others. But the prosecutor pitied neither himself nor them. When the word was given him, he rose slowly, displaying his elegant figure, and, placing both hands on the desk, and slightly bending his head, he cast a glance around the court-room, his eyes avoiding the prisoners. "Gentlemen of the jury, the case which is now to be submitted to your consideration," he began his speech, prepared while the indictment and reports were being read, "is a characteristic crime, if I may so express myself." The speech of a prosecuting attorney, according to his idea, had to be invested with a social significance, according to the manner of those lawyers who becam...


THE CONFESSION OF A CONVICT By Alexander Berkman (The 19th of December, 1913, was "confession evening" at the "Twilight Club", New York, among whose members are the "best" people, supreme court judges, and other pillars of society. "Confessions" were made by a drunkard, a dope fiend, an actress, a labor agitator, a convict, etc., some of whom spoke in complete darkness, to hide their identity.) This is an evening of confession, and I therefore at once confess myself a lawbreaker, a criminal -- if you will -- and a convict. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, I beg your kind indulgence, for the convict's manner is uncouth, his speech ragged, his thoughts indecently naked. For only the convict, the outcast from the fold of ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring aga... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


THE FORTRESS PRISON OF ST. PETERSBURG. I Find, in the Contemporary Review for February last, a paper by Mr. Lansdell on 'A Russian Prison,' containing a description of the State prison at the St. Petersburg fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul. This description being, in my opinion, too incomplete to convey a correct idea about the real conditions of prison life in the Russian fortress, and being intended, moreover, to cast a doubt upon other trustworthy information about such parts of the fortress as were not visited by Mr. Lansdell, I desire to give some supplementary information about the fortress which I know from my own experience. At the same time I would avail myself of this opportunity for answering, documents in hand, several qu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

This text was taken from In Russian and French Prisons, London: Ward and Downey; 1887. In Russian and French Prisons by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER 2 RUSSIAN PRISONS     It is pretty generally recognized in Europe that altogether our penal institutions are very far from being what they ought, and no better indeed than so many contradictions in action of the modern theory of the treatment of criminals. The principle of the lex talionis--of the right of the community to avenge itself on the criminal--is no longer admissible. We have come to an understanding that society at large is responsible for the vises that grow in it, as well as it has its share in the glory of its heroes; and we generally admit, at least in theory, that when we deprive a criminal of his liberty, it is to purify and improve him. But we know how ...


The text is from my copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 115-132. PRISONS: A SOCIAL CRIME AND FAILURE       IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil:       "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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