Judgment–before the ACLU was established

Original here.

The following is a verbatim transcript of a sentence imposed upon a defendant convicted of murder in the Federal District Court of the Territory of New Mexico many years ago by a United States Judge, sitting at Taos in an adobe stable used as a temporary courtroom:

“Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, in a few short weeks it will be spring. The snows of winter will flee away, the ice will vanish, and the air will become soft and balmy. In short, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, the annual miracle of the years will awaken and come to pass, but you won’t be there.

The rivulet will run its soaring course to the sea, the timid desert flowers will put forth their tender shoots, the glorious valleys of this imperial domain will blossom as the rose. Still, you won’t be here to see.

From every tree top some wild woods songster will carol his mating song, butterflies will sport in the sunshine, the busy bee will hum happy as it pursues its accustomed vocation, the gentle breeze will tease the tassels of the wild grasses, and all nature, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, will be glad, but you. You won’t be here to enjoy it because I command the Sheriff or some other officer of the country to lead you out to some remote spot, swing you by the neck from a knotting bough of some sturdy oak, and let you hang until you are dead.

And then, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, I further command that such officer or officers retire quickly from your dangling corpse, that vultures may descend from the heavens upon your filthy body until nothing shall remain but bare, bleached bones of a cold-blooded, copper-colored, blood-thirsty, throat- cutting, chili-eating, sheep-herding, murdering son-of-a-bitch.”

United States of America v. Gonzales (1881), United States District Court, New Mexico Territory Sessions.


2 Responses to “Judgment–before the ACLU was established”

  1. 19 June 2011 at 10:33

    I wish officials would talk like this today. It gives so much more brevity to the words when they are presented so colorfully.
    And this sentence…too bad they don’t pass sentences like this today. Personally I think “death row” is an insult to tax payers.
    If found guilty, let’s say there is a 48 hour appeals process. If the defense has something good enough for the court to accept in 2 days, so be it. Otherwise, at the end of the 48 hours, the guilty should be taken to the nearest open pit, shot, and dumped in. No ceremony, no ‘last meal’, no phones for the governor to call. Just a Pit, a Criminal, some Cops, and a Gun. Done.
    Over night we could remove thousands of criminals from our prison systems and save states millions.

    Hell, I’m in favor of a little old fashioned retribution….if someone is hurt, wronged or a family member killed, then let them pull the trigger.

  2. 2 Alan Scott
    25 June 2011 at 10:37

    Wow, they sure hated chilli eating, murdering sheep herders .

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