CAPITAL PUNISHMENTS IN TILE ARMY AND NAVY.-1. In the army.—The law on this subject is contained in the 19th of the articles of war now in force, which prescribes death as the punishment of the following offenses, or such other punishment as by a court-martial shall be awarded. (1) Any officer or soldier who shall excite or join in any mutiny or sedition in any forces belonging to her majesty's army, or royal marines, or who shall not use his utmost endeavors to suppress it, and knowing of it, shall not give immediate information of it to his commanding officer; or (2) who shall hold cor respondence with, or give advice or intelligence to any rebel or enemy of her majesty; or (3) who shall treat with any rebel or enemy without her majesty's license, or license of the chief commander; or (4) shall misbehave himself before the enemy; or (5) shall shamefully abandon or deliver up any garrison, fortress, post, or guard committed to his charge; or (6) shall compel the governor or commanding officer to deliver up or abandon such place; or (7) shall induce others to misbehave before the enemy, or abandon or deliver up their posts; or (8)shall desert her majesty's service; or (9) shall leave his post before being regularly relieved, or shall sleep on his post; or (10) shall strike or offer any violence to his superior officer, being in the execution of his office, or shall disobey any lawful command of his superior officer; or (11) who, being confined in a military prison, shall offer any violence against a visitor or other his superior military officer, being in the execution of his office.
By article 20, it is declared that no judgment of death by a court-martial shall pass, unless two thirds at least of the officers present shall concur therein; and by article 21, it is provided that judgment of death may be commuted for penal servitude for any term not less than four years, or for imprisonment for such term as shall seem meet.
It would appear that the employment of a soldier in the service subsequent to his arrest on a capital charge, may operate as a remission of the sentence of death. This is illustrated by the following case, mentioned by Mr. Prendergast in his Law Relating to Officers in the Army (2d ed., 1855, p. 245): In 1811, private J0101 Weblin of the 31T1 buffs was sentenced to be shot. The commander-in-chief, the duke of Wellington, in his "remarks" upon the proceedings, took notice that, through sonic extraordinary inat tention, the prisoner had actually been permitted to serve in an engagement with the enemy, after lie had been put into arrest for his crime. On this ground, the duke pro nounced that he was under the necessity of pardoning the prisoner.
In the army, C. P. is inflicted by the offender being either shot or hanged—the latter being the more disgraceful mode of execution.
2. in the nary.—These are regulated by the 22 Geo. II. c. 33, amended by the 10 and 11 Viet. c. 59. By the first of these acts, certain offenses In the navy, whether on board ship or on shore, were punished with death absolutely, without any discretion in the court to alter or mitigate the sentence. But, by the 10 and 11 Vict., this severity is removed (excepting in the cases of murder and other unnatural offenses mentioned in the act), and courts-inertial are authorized to abstain from pronouncing judgment of death, if they shall think fit, and to impose such other punishment instead as the nature and degree of the offense may deserve. In this discretionary sense, the following offenses are punishable, in the navy, with death: (1) The holding illegal correspondence with an enemy; (2) the not acquainting, within 12 hours after the opportunity to do so, the commander-in-chief, or other superior officer of the squadron, with any message from an enemy or rebel; (3) all spies bringing seducing letters from an enemy or rebel, or endeavoring to corrupt any one in the fleet to betray his trust; (4) the relieving an enemy or rebel in any way, directly or indirectly; (5) not preparing for fight when duty commands, or not making due preparations on likelihood of engagement, and not encour aging the inferior officers and men to fight courageously; (6) the treacherously or cow ardly yielding or crying for quarter; (7) disobeying orders in time of action, or not using all possible endeavors to put the same effectually in execution; (8) being guilty of coward ice or neglect of duty in time of action; (9) through cowardice, negligence, or disaffec tion, forbearing to pursue the chase of any enemy, pirate, or rebel, beaten or flying, or not relieving or assisting a known friend in view to the utmost ; (10) deserting to the enemy, or running away with any of her majesty's ships or their belongings, or any pieces to the weakening of the service, or cowardly or treacherously yielding up the same; (11) deserting simply, or enticing others so to do; (12) making, or endeavoring to make, any mutinous assembly on any pretense whatsoever; (13) uttering words of sedition or mutiny; (14) concealing traitorous or mutinous practices or designs; (15) striking a superior officer or offering any violence to him, being in execution of his office, on any pretense whatsoever; (16) unlawfully burning or setting fire to any ship, property or fur niture, not then appertaining to an enemy, pirate, or rebel; (17) neglect in steering any of her majesty's ships, so that the same be stranded, split, or hazarded ; (18) sleeping on watch, or negligently performing duty, or forsaking station; and (19) robbery.