Criminal Psychology by Hans GrossA Manual for Judges, Practitioners, and students

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Criminal Psychology


_Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Graz, Austria. Formerly Magistrate of the Criminal Court at Czernovitz, Austria_

Translated from the Fourth German Edition BY HORACE M. KALLEN, PH. D.
_Assistant and Lecturer in Philosophy in Harvard University_




AT the National Conference of Criminal Law and Criminology, held in Chicago, at Northwestern University, in June, 1909, the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology was organized; and, as a part of its work, the following resolution was passed:

“_Whereas_, it is exceedingly desirable that important treatises on criminology in foreign languages be made readily accessible in the English language, _Resolved_, that the president appoint a committee of five with power to select such treatises as in their judgment should be translated, and to arrange for their publication.”

The Committee appointed under this Resolution has made careful investigation of the literature of the subject, and has consulted by frequent correspondence. It has selected several works from among the mass of material. It has arranged with publisher, with authors, and with translators, for the immediate undertaking and rapid progress of the task. It realizes the necessity of educating the professions and the public by the wide diffusion of information on this subject. It desires here to explain the considerations which have moved it in seeking to select the treatises best adapted to the purpose.

For the community at large, it is important to recognize that criminal science is a larger thing than criminal law. The legal profession in particular has a duty to familiarize itself with the principles of that science, as the sole means for intelligent and systematic improvement of the criminal law.

Two centuries ago, while modern medical science was still young, medical practitioners proceeded upon two general assumptions: one as to the cause of disease, the other as to its treatment. As to the cause of disease,–disease was sent by the inscrutable will of God. No man could fathom that will, nor its arbitrary operation. As to the treatment of disease, there were believed to be a few remedial agents of universal efficacy. Calomel and bloodletting, for example, were two of the principal ones. A larger or

smaller dose of calomel, a greater or less quantity of bloodletting, –this blindly indiscriminate mode of treatment was regarded as orthodox for all common varieties of ailment. And so his calomel pill and his bloodletting lances were carried everywhere with him by the doctor.

Nowadays, all this is past, in medical science. As to the causes of disease, we know that they are facts of nature,–various, but distinguishable by diagnosis and research, and more or less capable of prevention or control or counter-action. As to the treatment, we now know that there are various specific modes of treatment for specific causes or symptoms, and that the treatment must be adapted to the cause. In short, the individualization of disease, in cause and in treatment, is the dominant truth of modern medical science.

The same truth is now known about crime; but the understanding and the application of it are just opening upon us. The old and still dominant thought is, as to cause, that a crime is caused by the inscrutable moral free will of the human being, doing or not doing the crime, just as it pleases; absolutely free in advance, at any moment of time, to choose or not to choose the criminal act, and therefore in itself the sole and ultimate cause of crime. As to treatment, there still are just two traditional measures, used in varying doses for all kinds of crime and all kinds of persons,– jail, or a fine (for death is now employed in rare cases only). But modern science, here as in medicine, recognizes that crime also (like disease) has natural causes. It need not be asserted for one moment that crime is a disease. But it does have natural causes,– that is, circumstances which work to produce it in a given case. And as to treatment, modern science recognizes that penal or remedial treatment cannot possibly be indiscriminate and machine- like, but must be adapted to the causes, and to the man as affected by those causes. Common sense and logic alike require, inevitably, that the moment we predicate a specific cause for an undesirable effect, the remedial treatment must be specifically adapted to that cause.

Thus the great truth of the present and the future, for criminal science, is the individualization of penal treatment,–for that man, and for the cause of that man’s crime.

Now this truth opens up a vast field for re-examination. It means that we must study all the possible data that can be causes of crime,–the man’s heredity, the man’s physical and moral

make-up, his emotional temperament, the surroundings of his youth, his present home, and other conditions,–all the influencing circumstances. And it means that the effect of different methods of treatment, old or new, for different kinds of men and of causes, must be studied, experimented, and compared. Only in this way can accurate knowledge be reached, and new efficient measures be adopted.

All this has been going on in Europe for forty years past, and in limited fields in this country. All the branches of science that can help have been working,–anthropology, medicine, psychology, economics, sociology, philanthropy, penology. The law alone has abstained. The science of law is the one to be served by all this. But the public in general and the legal profession in particular have remained either ignorant of the entire subject or indifferent to the entire scientific movement. And this ignorance or indifference has blocked the way to progress in administration.

The Institute therefore takes upon itself, as one of its aims, to inculcate the study of modern criminal science, as a pressing duty for the legal profession and for the thoughtful community at large. One of its principal modes of stimulating and aiding this study is to make available in the English language the most useful treatises now extant in the Continental languages. Our country has started late. There is much to catch up with, in the results reached elsewhere. We shall, to be sure, profit by the long period of argument and theorizing and experimentation which European thinkers and workers have passed through. But to reap that profit, the results of their experience must be made accessible in the English language.

The effort, in selecting this series of translations, has been to choose those works which best represent the various schools of thought in criminal science, the general results reached, the points of contact or of controversy, and the contrasts of method–having always in view that class of works which have a more than local value and could best be serviceable to criminal science in our country. As the science has various aspects and emphases–the anthropological, psychological, sociological, legal, statistical, economic, pathological–due regard was paid, in the selection, to a representation of all these aspects. And as the several Continental countries have contributed in different ways to these various aspects,–France, Germany, Italy, most abundantly, but the others each its share,– the effort was made also to recognize the different contributions as far as feasible.

The selection made by the Committee, then, represents its judgment of the works that are most useful and most instructive for the purpose of translation. It is its conviction that this Series, when completed, will furnish the American student of criminal science a systematic and sufficient acquaintance with the controlling doctrines and methods that now hold the stage of thought in Continental Europe. Which of the various principles and methods will prove best adapted to help our problems can only be told after our students and workers have tested them in our own experience. But it is certain that we must first acquaint ourselves with these results of a generation of European thought.

In closing, the Committee thinks it desirable to refer the members of the Institute, for purposes of further investigation of the literature, to the “Preliminary Bibliography of Modern Criminal Law and Criminology” (Bulletin No. 1 of the Gary Library of Law of Northwestern University), already issued to members of the Conference. The Committee believes that some of the Anglo- American works listed therein will be found useful.


_Chairman_, WM. W. SMITHERS,

_Secretary of the Comparative Law Bureau of the American Bar Association, Philadelphia, Pa_.


_Professor of Law in the University of Chicago_. MAURICE PARMELEE,

_Professor of Sociology in the State University of Kansas_. ROSCOE POUND,

_Professor of Law in the University of Chicago_. ROBERT B. SCOTT,

_Professor of Political Science in the State University of Wisconsin_.

_Professor of Law in Northwestern University, Chicago_.


WHAT Professor Gross presents in this volume is nothing less than an applied psychology of the judicial processes,–a critical survey of the procedures incident to the administration of justice with due recognition of their intrinsically psychological character, and yet with the insight conferred by a responsible experience with a working system. There is nothing more significant in the history of institutions than their tendency to get in the way of the very purposes which they were devised to meet. The adoration of measures seems to be an ineradicable human trait. Prophets and reformers ever insist upon the values of ideals and ends–the spiritual meanings of things–while the people as naturally drift to the worship of cults and ceremonies, and thus secure the more superficial while losing the deeper satisfactions of a duty performed. So restraining is the formal rigidity of primitive cultures that the mind of man hardly moves within their enforced orbits. In complex societies the conservatism, which is at once profitably conservative and needlessly obstructing, assumes a more intricate, a more evasive, and a more engaging form. In an age for which machinery has accomplished such heroic service, the dependence upon mechanical devices acquires quite unprecedented dimensions. It is compatible with, if not provocative of, a mental indolence,– an attention to details sufficient to operate the machinery, but a disinclination to think about the principles of the ends of its operation. There is no set of human relations that exhibits more distinctively the issues of these undesirable tendencies than those which the process of law adjusts. We have lost utterly the older sense of a hallowed fealty towards man-made law; we are not suffering from the inflexibility of the Medes and the Persians. We manufacture laws as readily as we do steam-rollers and change their patterns to suit the roads we have to build. But with the profit of our adaptability we are in danger of losing the underlying sense of purpose that inspires and continues to justify measures, and to lose also a certain intimate intercourse with problems of theory and philosophy which is one of the requisites of a professional equipment

and one nowhere better appreciated than in countries loyal to Teutonic ideals of culture. The present volume bears the promise of performing a notable service for English readers by rendering accessible an admirable review of the data and principles germane to the practices of justice as related to their intimate conditioning in the psychological traits of men.

The significant fact in regard to the procedures of justice is that they are of men, by men, and for men. Any attempt to eliminate unduly the human element, or to esteem a system apart from its adaptation to the psychology of human traits as they serve the ends of justice, is likely to result in a machine-made justice and a mechanical administration. As a means of furthering the plasticity of the law, of infusing it with a large human vitality–a movement of large scope in which religion and ethics, economics and sociology are worthily cooperating–the psychology of the party of the first part and the party of the second part may well be considered. The psychology of the judge enters into the consideration as influentially as the psychology of the offender. The many- sidedness of the problems thus unified in a common application is worthy of emphasis. There is the problem of evidence: the ability of a witness to observe and recount an incident, and the distortions to which such report is liable through errors of sense, confusion of inference with observation, weakness of judgment, prepossession, emotional interest, excitement, or an abnormal mental condition. It is the author’s view that the judge should understand these relations not merely in their narrower practical bearings, but in their larger and more theoretical aspects which the study of psychology as a comprehensive science sets forth. There is the allied problem of testimony and belief, which concerns the peculiarly judicial qualities. To ease the step from ideas to their expression, to estimate motive and intention, to know and appraise at their proper value the logical weaknesses and personal foibles of all kinds and conditions of offenders and witnesses,–to do this in accord with high standards, requires that men as well as evidence shall be judged. Allied to this problem which appeals to a large range of psychological doctrine, there is yet another which appeals to a yet larger and more intricate range,–that of human character and condition. Crimes are such complex issues as to demand the systematic diagnosis of the criminal. Heredity and environment, associations and standards, initiative and suggestibility, may all be condoning as well as aggravating factors of what becomes a

“case.” The peculiar temptations of distinctive periods of life, the perplexing intrusion of subtle abnormalities, particularly when of a sexual type, have brought it about that the psychologist has extended his laboratory procedures to include the study of such deviation; and thus a common set of findings have an equally pertinent though a different interest for the theoretical student of relations and the practitioner. There are, as well, certain special psychological conditions that may color and quite transform the interpretation of a situation or a bit of testimony. To distinguish between hysterical deception and lying, between a superstitious believer in the reality of an experience and the victim of an actual hallucination, to detect whether a condition of emotional excitement or despair is a cause or an effect, is no less a psychological problem than the more popularly discussed question of compelling confession of guilt by the analysis of laboratory reactions. It may well be that judges and lawyers and men of science will continue to differ in their estimate of the aid which may come to the practical pursuits from a knowledge of the relations as the psychologist presents them in a non-technical, but yet systematic analysis. Professor Gross believes thoroughly in its importance; and those who read his book will arrive at a clearer view of the methods and issues that give character to this notable chapter in applied psychology.

The author of the volume is a distinguished representative of the modern scientific study of criminology, or “criminalistic” as he prefers to call it. He was born December 26th, 1847, in Graz (Steiermark), Austria, pursued his university studies at Vienna and Graz, and qualified for the law in 1869. He served as “Untersuchungsrichter” (examining magistrate) and in other capacities, and received his first academic appointment as professor of criminal law at the University of Czernowitz. He was later attached to the German University at Prague, and is now professor in the University of Graz. He is the author of a considerable range of volumes bearing on the administration of criminal law and upon the theoretical foundations of the science of criminology. In 1898 he issued his “Handbuch fur Untersuchungsrichter, als System der Kriminalistik,” a work that reached its fifth edition in 1908, and has been translated into eight foreign languages. From 1898 on he has been the editor of the “Archiv fr Kriminalanthropologie und Kriminalistik,” of which about twenty volumes have appeared. He is a frequent contributor to this journal, which is an admirable representative of an efficient technical aid to the dissemination of interest

in an important and difficult field. It is also worthy of mention that at the University of Graz he has established a Museum of Criminology, and that his son, Otto Gross, is well known as a specialist in nervous and mental disorders and as a contributor to the psychological aspects of his specialty. The volume here presented was issued in 1897; the translation is from the second and enlarged edition of 1905. The volume may be accepted as an authoritative exposition of a leader in his “Fach,” and is the more acceptable for purposes of translation, in that the wide interests of the writer and his sympathetic handling of his material impart an unusually readable quality to his pages.


THE present work was the first really objective Criminal Psychology which dealt with the mental states of judges, experts, jury, witnesses, etc., as well as with the mental states of criminals. And a study of the former is just as needful as a study of the latter. The need has fortunately since been recognized and several studies of special topics treated in this book–e. g. depositions of witnesses, perception, the pathoformic lie, superstition, probability, sensory illusions, inference, sexual differences, etc.–have become the subjects of a considerable literature, referred to in our second edition.

I agreed with much pleasure to the proposition of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology to have the book translated. I am proud of the opportunity to address Americans and Englishmen in their language. We of the German countries recognize the intellectual achievements of America and are well aware how much Americans can teach us.

I can only hope that the translation will justify itself by its usefulness to the legal profession.


THE present version of Gross’s Kriminal Psychologie differs from the original in the fact that many references not of general psychological or criminological interest or not readily accessible to English readers have been eliminated, and in some instances more accessible ones have been inserted. Prof. Gross’s erudition is so stupendous that it reaches far out into texts where no ordinary reader would be able or willing to follow him, and the book suffers no loss from the excision. In other places it was necessary to omit or to condense passages. Wherever this is done attention is called to it in the notes. The chief omission is a portion of the section on dialects. Otherwise the translation is practically literal. Additional bibliography of psychological and criminological works likely to be generally helpful has been appended.

{NOTE: the TOC below is raw OCR and needs fixed} CONTENTS.



TRANSLATOR’S NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . xiv

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1



Topic 1. METHOD . . . . . . . . . . 7 1 (a) General Considerations . . . . . . . 7 2 (b) The Method of Natural Science . . . . . 9

Topic 2. PSYCHOLOGIC LESSONS . . . . . 14 3 (a) General Considerations . . . . . . . 14 4 (b) Integrity of Witnesses . . . . . . . 16 5 (c) Correctness of Testimony . . . . . . . 18 6 (d) Presuppositions of Evidence-Taking . . . . 20 7 (e) Egoism . . . . . . . . . . 25 8 (J) Secrets . . . . . . . . . . . 28 9 (9) Interest . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Topic 3. PHENOMENOLOGY: The Outward Expression of Mental States . . . . . . . . . . 41 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
11 (a) General External Conditions . . . . . . 42 12 (b) General Signs of Character . . . . . . 53 13 (c) Particular Character-signs . . . . . . 61 (d) Somatic Character-Units . . . . . . 69 14 (1) General Considerations . . . . . 69 15 (2) Causes of Irritation . . . . . . 71 16 (3) Cruelty . . . . . . . . 76 17 (4) Nostalgia . . . . . . . . 77 18 (5) Reflex Movements . . . . . . 78 19 (6) Dress . . . . . . . . . 82

PAGE 20 (7) Physiognomy and Related Subjects . . 83 21 (8) The Hand . . . . . . . . 100

TITLE B. THE CONDITIONS FOB DEFINING THEORIES . 105 Topic I. THE MAKING OF INFERENCES . . . 105 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
23 (a) Proof . . . . . . . . . . . 106 24 (b) Causation . . . . . . . . . . 117 25 (c) Scepticism . . . . . . . . . . 129 26 (d) The Empirical Method in the Study of Cases . . 136 27 (e) Analogy . . . . . . . . . . 144 28 (f) Probability. . . . . . . . . . 147 29 (9) Chance . . . . . . . . . 159 30 (h) Persuasion and Explanation . . . . . . 161 31 (i) Inference and Judgment . . . . . . . 165 32 O Mistaken Inferences . .. . . . . . . 176 33 (k) Statistics of the Moral Situation . . . . . 179

Topic 2. KNOWLEDGE . . . . . . . . . 183 34 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183


36 (a) GeneralConsiderations . . . . . . . 187 (b) The Sense of Sight . . . . . . . . 196 37 (1) General Considerations . . . . . 196 38 (2) Color-vision . . . . . . . 204 39 (3) The Blind Spot . . . . . . . 207 40 (e) The Sense of Hearing . . . . . . . 208 41 (d) The Sense of Taste . . . . . . . . 212 42 (e) The Sense of Smell . . . . . . . . 213 43 (f) The Sense of Touch . . . . . . . . 215 Topic a. PERCEPTION AND CONCEPTION . . . 221 44 . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Topic 3. IMAGINATION . . . . . . . . 232 45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Topic 4. INTELLECTUAL PROCESSES . . . . 238 46 (a) General Considerations . . . . . . . 238 47 (b) The Mechanism of Thinking . . . . . . 243 48 (c) The Subconscious . . . . . . . . 215 ~ 49 (d) Subjective Conditions . . . . . . . 248

Topic 5. THE ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS . .. 254 50 . . . . . . . . . . . .. 254
Topic 6. RECOLLECTION AND MEMORY . .. 258 51 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
52 (a) The Essence of Memory . . . . . . . 259 53 (b) The Forms of Reproduction . . . . . . 263 ~ 54 (c) The Peculiarities of Reproduction . . . . . 268

55 (d) Illusions of Memory . . . . . . . 275 56 (e) Mnemotechnique . . . . . . . . 279 Topic 7. THE WILL . . . . . . . . . 281 57 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 Topic 8. EMOTION. . . . . . . . . . 283 ~ 58 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 Topic 9. THE FORMS OF GIVING TESTIMONY . . 287 59 . . . . . . . . 287
60 (a) General Study of Variety in Forms of Expression . 288 61 (b) Dialect Forms . . . . . . . . . 293 62 (c) Incorrect Forms . . . . . . . . 296 TITLE B. DIFFERENTIATING CONDITIONS OF GIVING TESTIMONY . . . . . . . .. 300
Topic I. GENERAL DIFFERENCES . . . .. 300 (a) Woman . . . . . . . . .300
63 1. General Considerations . . . .. 300 64 2. Difference between Man and Women .. 307

3. Sexual Peouliaritiea . . . . . . 311 65 (a) General . . . . . . . 311
66 (b) Menatruation . . . . . 311 67 (c) Pregnancy . . . . . . 317
68 (d) Erotic . . . . . . 319
~ 69 (e) Submerged Sexual Factors . . 322 4. Particular Feminine Qualities . . . . 332 70 (a) Intelligenee . . . . . . 332 ~ 71 1. Conception . . . . . 333
72 2. Judgment . . . . . 335
73 3. Quarrels with Women . . . 337 74 (b) Honesty . . . . . . 340
75 (c) Love, Hate and Friendship . . 350

76 (d) Emotional Disposition and Related Subjects . . . . . 359
77 (e) Weakness . . . . . . 361 78 (b) Children. . . . . . . . . . 364 79 1. General Considerations . . . . . 364 80 2. Chfldren as Witnesses . . . . . 366 ~ 81 3. Juvenile Delinquency . . . . . . 369 XX CONTENTS
82 (c) Senility . . . . . . . . . . 372 583 (d) Differences in Conception . . . . . . 375 84 (e) Nature and Nurture . . . . . . . 384 85 1. The Influence of Nurture . . . . . 385 86 2. The Viewa of the Uneducated . . . . 388 87 3. Onesided Education . . . . . . 391 88 4. Inclination . . . . . . . . 393 89 5. Other Differences . . . . . . 395 90 6. Intelligence and Stupidity . . 398 Topic 2. ISOLATED INFLUENCES . . . . . 406 91 (a) IIabit . . . . . . . . . . . 406 92 (b) Heredity . . . . . . . . . . 410 93 (c) Prepossession . . . . . . . . . 412 94 (d) Imitation and the Crowd. . . . . . . 415

595 (e) Passion and Emotion . . . . . . 416 96 (f) Honor . . . . . . . . . . . 421 |97 (9) Superstition . . . . . . . . . 422 Topic 3. MISTAKES . . . . . . . . . 422 (a) Mistakes of the Senses . . . . . . . 422 98 (1) General Considerations . . . . . 422 99 (2) Optical Illusions . . . . . . 427 100 (3) Auditory Illusions . . . . . . 493 101 (4) Illusions of Touch . . . . . . 449 102 (5) Illusions of the Sense of Taste . . . 452 103 (6) The Illusiona of the Olfactory Sense . . 453 104 (b) Hallucinations and Illusions . . . . . 454 105 (c) Imaginative Ideas . . . . . . . . 459 (d) Misunderstandings . . . . . . . . 467 ~ 106 1. Verbal Misunderatandings . . . . 467 107 2. Other Misunderstandings . . . . 470 (e) The Lie . . . . 474
108 1. General Considerations . . . . . 474 ~ 109 2. The Pathoformic Lie . . . . . 479 Topic 4. ISOLATED SPECIAL CONDITIONS . . 480 110 (a) Sleep and Dream ù . . . 480 111 (b) Intoxication . . . . . . . 484 ~ 112 (c) Suggestion . . . . . . 491






OF all disciplines necessary to the criminal justice in addition to the knowledge of law, the most important are those derived from psychology. For such sciences teach him to know the type of man it is his business to deal with. Now psychological sciences appear in various forms. There is a native psychology, a keenness of vision given in the march of experience, to a few fortunate persons, who see rightly without having learned the laws which determine the course of events, or without being even conscious of them. Of this native psychological power many men show traces, but very few indeed are possessed of as much as criminalists intrinsically require. In the colleges and pre-professional schools we jurists may acquire a little scientific psychology as a “philosophical propaedeutic,” but we all know how insufficient it is and how little of it endures in the business of life. And we had rather not reckon up the number of criminalists who, seeing this insufficiency, pursue serious psychological investigations.

One especial psychological discipline which was apparently created for our sake is the psychology of law, the development of which, in Germany, Volkmar[1] recounts. This science afterward developed, through the instrumentality of Metzger[2] and Platner,[3] as criminal psychology. From the medical point of view especially, Choulant’s collection of the latter’s, “Quaestiones,” is still valuable. Criminal psychology was developed further by Hoffbauer,[4] Grohmann,[5]

[1] W. Volkmann v. Volkmar: Lehrbuch der Psychologie (2 vols.). Cthen 1875

[2] J. Metzger: “Gerichtlich-medizinische Abhandhingen.” Knigsberg 1803

[3] Ernst Platner: Questiones medicinae forensic, tr. German by Hederich

[4] J. C. Hoffbauer Die Psychologie in ibren Hauptanwendungen auf die Rechtspflege. Halle 1823.

[5] G. A. Grohmann: Ideen zu einer physiognomisehen Anthropologie. Leipzig 1791.

Heinroth,[1] Sehaumann,[2] Mnch,[3] Eckartshausen,[4] and others. In Kant’s time the subject was a bone of contention between faculties, Kant representing in the quarrel the philosophic, Metzger, Hoffbauer, and Fries,[5] the medical faculties. Later legal psychology was simply absorbed by psychiatry, and thereby completely subsumed among the medical disciplines, in spite of the fact that Regnault,[6] still later, attempted to recover it for philosophy, as is pointed out in Friedreich’s[7] well-known text-book (cf. moreover V. Wilbrand’s[8] text-book). Nowadays, criminal psychology, as represented by Kraus,[9] Krafft- Ebing,[10] Maudsley,[11] Holtzendorff,[12] Lombroso,[13] and others has become a branch of criminal anthropology. It is valued as the doctrine of motives in crime, or, according to Liszt, as the investigation of the psychophysical condition of the criminal. It is thus only a part of the subject indicated by its name.[14] How utterly criminal psychology has become incorporated in criminal anthropology is demonstrated by the works of Ncke,[15] Kurella,[16] Bleuler,[17] Dallemagne,[18] Marro,[19] Ellis,[20] Baer,[21] Koch,[22] Maschka,[23] Thomson,[24] Ferri,[25] Bonfigli,[26] Corre,[27] etc.

[1] Johann Heinroth: Grundzuge der Kriminalpsychologie. Berlin 1833.

[2] Schaumann: Ideen zu einer Kriminalpsychologie. Halle 1792.

[3] Mnch: ber den Einfluss der Kriminalpsychologie auf Pin System der Kriminal-Rechts. Nrnberg 1790.

[4] Eckartshausen. ber die Notwendigkeit psychologiseher Kenntnisse bei Beurteilung von Verbreehern. Mnchen, 1791.

[5] J. Fries: Handbuch der psychologischer Anthropologie. Jena, 1820.

[6] E. Regnault: Das gerichtliche Urteil der rzte ber psychologische Zustande.
Cln, 1830.

[7] J. B. Friedreich: System der gerichtlichen Psychologie. Regensburg 1832.

[8] Wilbrand: Gerichtliche Psychologie. 1858.

[9] Kraus: Die Psychologie des Verbrechens. Tbingen, 1884.

[10] v. Krafft-Ebing: Die zweifelhaften Geisteszustnde. Erlangen 1873.

[11] Maudsley: Physiology and Pathology of the Mind.

[12] v. Holtzendorff–articles in “Rechtslexikon.”

[13] Lombroso: L’uomo delinquente, ete.

[14] Asehaffenburg: Articles in Zeitscheift f. d. gesamten Strafreehtwissensehaften, especially in. XX, 201.

[15] Dr. P. Ncke: ber Kriminal Psychologie, in the above-mentioned Zeitschrift, Vol. XVII.
Verbrechen und Wahnsinn beim Weibe. Vienna, Leipsig, 1884. Moral Insanity: rztliche Sachverstndigen-Zeitung, 1895;
Neurologisches Zentralblatt, Nos. 11 and 16. 1896

[16] Kurella: Naturgesehichte des Verbreehers. Stuttgart 1893.

[17] Blenler: Der geborene Verbrecher. Munchen 1896.

[18] Dallemagne. Kriminalanthropologie. Paris 1896.

19] Marro: I caratteri dei deliquenti. Turin 1887. I carcerati. Turin 1885.

[20] Havelock Ellis: The Criminal. London 1890.

[21] A. Baer: Der Verbrecher Leipzig 1893.

[22] Koch. Die Frage nach dem geborenen Verbrecher. Ravensberg 1894.

[23] Maschka. Elandbuch der Gerichtlichen Medizin (vol. IV). Tbingen 1883.

[24] Thomson. Psychologie der Verbrecher.

[25] Ferri: Gerichtl. Psychologie. Mailand 1893.

[26] Bonfigli: Die Natugeschichte des Verbrechers. Mailand 1892.

[27] Corre: Les Criminels. Paris 1889.

Literally, criminal psychology should be _that form of psychology used in dealing with crime_; not merely, the psychopathology of criminals, the natural history of the criminal mind. But taken even literally, this is not all the psychology required by the criminalist. No doubt crime is an objective thing. Cain would actually have slaughtered Abel even if at the time Adam and Eve were already dead. But for us each crime exists only as we perceive it,–as we learn to know it through all those media established for us in criminal procedure. But these media are based upon sense-perception, upon the perception of the judge and his assistants, i. e.: upon witnesses, accused, and experts. Such perceptions must be psychologically validated. The knowledge of the principles of this validation demands again a special department of general psychology–even such a _pragmatic applied psychology as will deal with all states of mind that might possibly be involved in the determination and judgment of crime_. It is the aim of this book to present such a psychology. “If we were gods,” writes Plato in the Symposium, “there would be no philosophy”–and if our senses were truer and our sense keener, we should need no psychology. As it is we must strive hard to determine certainly how we see and think; we must understand these processes according to valid laws organized into a system– otherwise we remain the shuttlecocks of sense, misunderstanding and accident. We must know how all of us,–we ourselves, witnesses, experts, and accused, observe and perceive; we must know how they think,–and how they demonstrate; we must take into account how variously mankind infer and perceive, what mistakes and illusions may ensue; how people recall and bear in mind; how everything varies with age, sex, nature, and cultivation. We must also see clearly what series of influences can prevail to change all those things which would have been different under normal conditions. Indeed, the largest place in this book will be given to the witness and the judge himself, since we want in fact, from the first to keep in mind the creation of material for our instruction; but the psychology of the criminal must also receive consideration where- ever the issue is not concerned with his so-called psychoses, but with the validation of evidence.

Our method will be that fundamental to all psychological investigation, and may be divided into three parts:[1]

1. The preparation of a review of psychological phenomena.

[1] P. Jessen: Versuch einer wissenschaftlichen Begrundung der Psychologie. Berlin 1855.

2. Study of causal relationships.

3. Establishment of the principles of psychic activity.

The subject-matter will be drawn on the one hand, from that already presented by psychological science, but will be treated throughout from the point of view of the criminal judge, and prepared for his purposes. On the other hand, the material will be drawn from these observations that alone the criminologist at work can make, and on this the principles of psychology will be brought to bear.

We shall not espouse either pietism, scepticism, or criticism. We have merely to consider the individual phenomena, as they may concern the criminalist; to examine them and to establish whatever value the material may have for him; what portions may be of use to him in the interest of discovering the truth; and where the dangers may lurk that menace him. And just as we are aware that the comprehension of the fundamental concepts of the exact sciences is not to be derived from their methodology, so we must keep clearly in mind that the truth which we criminalists have to attain can not be constructed out of the _formal_ correctness of the content presented us. We are in duty bound to render it _materially_ correct. But that is to be achieved only if we are acquainted with principles of psychology, and know how to make them serve our purposes. For our problem, the oft-quoted epigram of Bailey’s, “The study of physiology is as repugnant to the psychologist as that of acoustics to the composer,” no longer holds. We are not poets, we are investigators. If we are to do our work properly, we must base it completely upon modern psycho physical fundamentals. Whoever expects unaided to find the right thing at the right moment is in the position of the individual who didn’t know whether he could play the violin because he had not yet tried. We must gather wisdom while we are not required to use it; when the time for use arrives, the time for harvest is over.

Let this be our fundamental principle: _That we criminalists receive from our main source, the witnesses, many more inferences than observations_, and that this fact is the basis of so many mistakes in our work. Again and again we are taught, in the deposition of evidence, that only facts as plain sense-perceptions should be presented; that inference is the judge’s affair. But we only appear to obey this principle; actually, most of what we note as fact and sense-perception, is nothing but a more or less justified judgment, which though presented in the honestest belief, still

offers no positive truth. “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica Veritas.”

There is no doubt that there is an increasing, and for us jurists, a not unimportant demand for the study of psychology in its bearing on our profession. But it must be served. The spirited Abb
de Bats, said at a meeting of criminalists in Brussels, that the _present tendency of the science of criminal law demands the observation of the facts of the daily life_. In this observation consists the alpha and omega of our work; we can perform it only with the flux of sensory appearances, and the law which determines this flux, and according to which the appearances come, is the law of causation. But we are nowhere so neglectful of causation as in the deeds of mankind. A knowledge of that region only psychology can give us. Hence, to become conversant with psychological principles, is the obvious duty of that conscientiousness which must hold first place among the forces that conserve the state. It is a fact that there has been in this matter much delinquency and much neglect. If, then, we were compelled to endure some bitterness on account of it, let it be remembered that it was always directed upon the fact that we insisted on studying our statutes and their commentaries, fearfully excluding every other discipline that might have assisted us, and have imported vitality into our profession. It was Gneist[1] who complained: “The contemporary low stage of legal education is to be explained like much else by that historical continuity which plays the foremost rle in the administration of justice.” Menger[2] does not mention “historical continuity” so plainly, but he points sternly enough to the legal sciences as the most backward of all disciplines that were in contact with contemporary tendencies. That these accusations are justified we must admit, when we consider what Stlzel[3] and the genial creator of modern civil teaching demands: “It must be recognized that jurisprudence in reality is nothing but the thesis of the healthy human understanding in matters of law.” But what the “healthy human mind” requires we can no longer discover from our statutory paragraphs only. How shameful it is for us, when Goldschmidt[4] openly narrates how a famous scientist exclaimed to a student in his laboratory: “What do you want here? You know nothing, you understand nothing, you do nothing,–you had better become a lawyer.”

[1] R. Gneist: Aphorismen zur Reform des Rechtestudiums. Berlin 1887.

[2] A. Menger: in Archiv fin soziale Gesetzgebung v. Braun II.

[3] A. Stlsel: Schulung fin die Zivilistiche Praxis. 2d Ed. Berlin 1896.

[4] S. Goldschmidt: Rechtestudium und Priifungsordnung. Stuttgart 1887.

Now let us for once frankly confess why we are dealt these disgraceful reproaches. Let us agree that we have not studied or dealt with jurisprudence as a science, have never envisaged it as an empirical discipline; that the aprioristic and classical tradition had kept this insight at a distance, and that where investigation and effort toward the recognition of the true is lacking, there lacks everything of the least scientific importance. To be scientifically legitimate, we need first of all the installation of the disciplines of research which shall have direct relationships with our proper task. In this way only can we attain that spiritual independence by means of spiritual freedom, which Goldschmidt defines as the affair of the higher institutions of learning, and which is also the ideal of our own business in life. And this task is not too great. “Life is movement,” cried Alois von Brinz,[1] in his magnificent inaugural address. “Life is not the thought, but the thinking which comes in the fullness of action.”

It may be announced with joy and satisfaction, that since the publication of the first edition of this book, and bearing upon it, there came to life a rich collection of fortuitous works which have brought together valuable material. Concerning the testimony of witnesses, its nature and value, concerning memory, and the types of reproduction, there is now a considerable literature. Everywhere industrious hands are raised,–hands of psychologists, physicians, and lawyers, to share in the work. Should they go on unhurt we may perhaps repair the unhappy faults committed by our ancestors through stupid ignorance and destructive use of uncritically collected material.

[1] A. v. Brinz: ber Universalitt. Rektorsrede 1876.




Topic I. METHOD.

Section I. (a) General Considerations.

SOCRATES, dealing in the Meno with the teachability of virtue, sends for one of Meno’s slaves, to prove by him the possibility of absolutely certain a priori knowledge. The slave is to determine the length of a rectangle, the contents of which is twice that of one measuring two feet; but he is to have no previous knowledge of the matter, and is not to be directly coached by Socrates. He is to discover the answer for himself. Actually the slave first gives out an incorrect answer. He answers that the length of a rectangle having twice the area of the one mentioned is four feet, thinking that the length doubles with the area. Thereupon Socrates triumphantly points out to Meno that the slave does as a matter of fact not yet quite know the truth under consideration, but that he really thinks he knows it; and then Socrates, in his own Socratic way, leads the slave to the correct solution. This very significant procedure of the philosopher is cited by Guggenheim[1] as an illustration of the essence of a priori knowledge, and when we properly consider what we have to do with a witness who has to relate any fact, we may see in the Socratic method the simplest example of our task. We must never forget _that the majority of mankind dealing with any subject whatever always believe that they know and repeat the truth_, and even when they say doubtfully: “I believe.– It seems to me,” there is, in this tentativeness, more meant than meets the ear. When anybody says: “I believe that–” it merely means that he intends to insure himself against the event of being contradicted by better informed persons; but he certainly has not

[1] M. Guggenheim: Die Lehre vom aprioristischen Wissen. Berlin 1885.

the doubt his expression indicates. When, however, the report of some bare fact is in question (“It rained,” “It was 9 o’clock,” “His beard was brown,” or “It was 8 o’clock,”) it does not matter to the narrator, and if he imparts _*such_ facts with the introduction, “I believe,” then he was really uncertain. The matter becomes important only where the issue involves partly-concealed observations, conclusions and judgments. In such cases another factor enters–conceit; what the witness asserts he is fairly certain of just because he asserts it, and all the “I believes,” “Perhapses,” and “It seemeds,” are merely insurance against all accidents.

Generally statements are made without such reservations and, even if the matter is not long certain, with full assurance. What thus holds of the daily life, holds also, and more intensely, of court- witnesses, particularly in crucial matters. Anybody experienced in their conduct comes to be absolutely convinced that witnesses do not know what they know. A series of assertions are made with utter certainty. Yet when these are successively subjected to closer examinations, tested for their ground and source, only a very small portion can be retained unaltered. Of course, one may here overshoot the mark. It often happens, even in the routine of daily life, that a man may be made to feel shaky in his most absolute convictions, by means of an energetic attack and searching questions. Conscientious and sanguine people are particularly easy subjects of such doubts. Somebody narrates an event; questioning begins as to the indubitability of the fact, as to the exclusion of possible deception; the narrator becomes uncertain, he recalls that, because of a lively imagination, he has already believed himself to have seen things otherwise than they actually were, and finally he admits that the matter might probably have been different. During trials this is still more frequent. The circumstance of being in court of itself excites most people; the consciousness that one’s statement is, or may be, of great significance increases the excitement; and the authoritative character of the official subdues very many people to conform their opinions to his. What wonder then, that however much a man may be convinced of the correctness of his evidence, he may yet fail in the face of the doubting judge to know anything certainly?

Now one of the most difficult tasks of the criminalist is to hit, in just such cases, upon the truth; neither to accept the testimony blindly and uncritically; nor to render the witness, who otherwise

is telling the truth, vacillating and doubtful. But it is still more difficult to lead the witness, who is not intentionally falsifying, but has merely observed incorrectly or has made false conclusions, to a statement of the truth as Socrates leads the slave in the Meno. It is as modern as it is comfortable to assert that this is not the judge’s business–that the witness is to depose, his evidence is to be accepted, and the judge is to judge. Yet it is supposed before everything else that the duty of the court is to establish the material truth–that the formal truth is insufficient. Moreover, if we notice false observations and let them by, then, under certain circumstance, we are minus one important piece of evidence _*pro_ and _*con_, and the whole case may be turned topsy turvy. At the very least a basis of development in the presentation of evidence is so excluded. We shall, then, proceed in the Socratic fashion. But, inasmuch as we are not concerned with mathematics, and are hence more badly placed in the matter of proof, we shall have to proceed more cautiously and with less certainty, than when the question is merely one of the area of a square. On the one hand we know only in the rarest cases that we are not ourselves mistaken, so that we must not, without anything further, lead another to agree with us; on the other hand we must beware of perverting the witness from his possibly sound opinions. It is not desirable to speak of suggestion in this matter, since, if I believe that the other fellow knows a matter better than I and conform to his opinion, there is as yet no suggestion. And this pure form of change of opinion and of openness to conviction is commonest among us. Whoever is able to correct the witness’s apparently false conceptions and to lead him to discover his error of his own accord and then to speak the truth– whoever can do this and yet does not go too far, deducing from the facts nothing that does not actually follow from them–that man is a master among us.

Section 2. (b) The Method of Natural Science.[1]

If now we ask how we are to plan our work, what method we are to follow, we must agree that to establish scientifically the principles of our discipline alone is not sufficient. If we are to make progress, the daily routine also must be scientifically administered. Every sentence, every investigation, every official act must satisfy the same demand as that made of the entire juristic science. In this way only

[1] Cf. H. Gross’s Archiv VI, 328 and VIII, 84.

can we rise above the mere workaday world of manual labor, with its sense-dulling disgust, its vexatious monotony, and its frightful menace against law and justice. While jurists merely studied the language of dead laws, expounding them with effort unceasing, and, one may complain, propounding more, we must have despaired of ever being scientific. And this because law as a science painfully sought justification in deduction from long obsolete norms and in the explanation of texts. To jurisprudence was left only the empty shell, and a man like Ihering[1] spoke of a “circus for dialectico- acrobatic tricks.”

Yet the scientific quality is right to hand. We need only to take hold of the method, that for nearly a century has shown itself to us the most helpful. Since Warnknig (1819)[2] told us, “Jurisprudence must become a natural science,” men have rung changes upon this battle cry (cf. Spitzer[3]). And even if, because misunderstood, it led in some directions wrongly, it does seem as if a genuinely scientific direction might be given to our doctrines and their application. We know very well that we may not hurry. Wherever people delayed in establishing the right thing and then suddenly tried for it, they went in their haste too far. This is apparent not only in the situations of life; it is visible, in the very recent hasty conclusions of the Lombrosists, in their very good, but inadequate observations, and unjustified and strained inferences. We are not to figure the scientific method from these.[4] It is for us to gather facts and to study them. The drawing of inferences we may leave to our more fortunate successors. But in the daily routine we may vary this procedure a little. We draw there _*particular_ inferences from correct and simple observations. “From facts to ideas,” says ttingen.[5]
“The world has for several millenniums tried to subdue matter to preconceptions and the world has failed. Now the procedure is reversed.” “From facts to ideas”–there lies our road, let us for once observe the facts of life without prejudice, without maxims built on preconceptions; let us establish them, strip them of all alien character. Then finally, when we find nothing more in the least doubtful, we may theorize about them, and draw inferences, modestly and with caution.

Every fundamental investigation must first of all establish the

[1] R. v. Ihering: Scherz und Ernst in der Jurisprudenz. Leipzig 1885.

[2] Warnkonig. Versuch einer Begrndung des Rechtes. Bonn 1819.

[3] H. Spitzer: ber das Verhltnis der Philosophie zu den organischen Naturwissensehaften. Leipzig 1883.

[4] Cf. Gross’s Archiv VIII 89.

[5] A. v. ttingen: Moralstatistik. Erlangen 1882.

nature of its subject matter. This is the maxim of a book, “ber
die Dummheit”[1] (1886), one of the wisest ever written. The same axiomatic proposition must dominate every legal task, but especially every task of criminal law. It is possible to read thousands upon thousands of testimonies and to make again this identical, fatiguing, contrary observation: The two, witness and judge, have not defined the nature of this subject; they have not determined what they wanted of each other. The one spoke of one matter, the other of another; but just what the thing really was that was to have been established, the one did not know and the other did not tell him. But the blame for this defective formulation does not rest with the witness–formulation was the other man’s business.

When the real issue is defined the essentially modern and scientific investigation begins. Ebbinghaus,[2] I believe, has for our purpose defined it best. It consists in trying to keep constant the complex of conditions demonstrated to be necessary for the realization of a given effect. It consists in varying these conditions, in isolating one from the other in a numerically determinable order, and finally, in establishing the accompanying changes with regard to the effect, in a quantified or countable order.

I can not here say anything further to show that this is the sole correct method of establishing the necessary principles of our science. The aim is only to test the practicality of this method in the routine of a criminal case, and to see if it is not, indeed, the only one by which to attain complete and indubitable results. If it is, it must _*be of use_ not only during the whole trial–not only in the testing of collected evidence, but also in the testing of every individual portion thereof, analyzed into its component elements.

Let us first consider the whole trial.

The _*effect_ is here the evidence of A’s guilt. The complex conditions for its establishment are the collective instruments in getting evidence; the individual conditions are to be established by means of the individual sources of evidence–testimony of witnesses, examination of the premises, obduction, protocol, etc.

_The constantification of conditions_ now consists in standardizing the present instance, thus: Whenever similar circumstances are given, i. e.: the same instruments of evidence are present, the evidence of guilt is established. Now the accompanying changes with regard to the effect, i. e.: proof of guilt through evidence, have to

[1] Erdmann ber die Dummheit. 1886.

[2] Ebbinghaus: ber das Gedchtniss. Leipzig 1885.

be tested–therefore the individual conditions–i.e.: the individual sources of evidence have to be established and their values to be determined and _*varied_. Finally, the accompanying change in effect (conviction by evidence) is to be tested. The last procedure requires discussion; the rest is self evident. In our business isolation is comparatively easy, inasmuch as any individual statement, any visual impression, any effect, etc., may be abstracted without difficulty. Much harder is the determination of its value. If, however, we clearly recognize that it is necessary to express the exact value of each particular source of evidence, and that the task is only to determine comparative valuation, the possibility of such a thing, in at least a sufficiently close degree of certainty, must be granted. The valuation must be made in respect of two things–(1) its _*reliability_ (subjective and relative); (2) its _*significance_ (objective and absolute). On the one hand, the value of the evidence itself must be tested according to the appraisement of the person who presents it and of the conditions under which he is important; on the other, what influence evidence accepted as reliable can exercise upon the _*effect_, considered in and for itself. So then, when a testimony is being considered, it must first be determined whether the witness was able and willing to speak the truth, and further, what the importance of the testimony may be in terms of the changes it may cause in the _*organization_ of the case.

Of greatest importance and most difficult is the variation of conditions and the establishment of the changes thereby generated, with regard to the _*effect_,–i. e.: the critical interpretation of the material in hand. Applied to a case, the problem presents itself in this wise: I consider each detail of evidence by itself and cleared of all others, and I vary it as often as it is objectively possible to do so. Thus I suppose that each statement of the witness might be a lie, entirely or in part; it might be incorrect observation, false inference, etc.–and then I ask myself: Does the evidence of guilt, the establishment of an especial trial, now remain just? If not, is it just under other and related possible circumstances? Am I in possession of these circumstances? If now the degree of apparent truth is so far tested that these variations may enter and the accusation still remain just, the defendant is convicted: but only under these circumstances.

The same procedure here required for the conduct of a complete trial, is to be followed also, in miniature, in the production of particulars of evidence. Let us again construe an instance.

The _*effect_ now is the establishment of the objective correctness of some particular point (made by statements of witnesses, looks, etc.). The _*complex of conditions_ consists in the collection of these influences which might render doubtful the correctness–i. e., dishonesty of witnesses, defective examination of locality, unreliability of the object, ignorance of experts, etc. It is necessary to know clearly which of these influences might be potent in the case in hand, and to what degree. The _*standardization_ consists, also this time, in the comparison of the conditions of the present case with those of other cases. The _*variation_, again, consists in the abstraction from the evidence of those details which might possibly be incorrect, thus correcting it, from various points of view, and finally, in observing the _*effect_ as it defines itself under this variety of formulation.

This procedure, adopted in the preparation and judgment of each new piece of evidence, excludes error as far as our means conceivably permit. Only one thing more is needful–a narrow and minute research into that order of succession which is of indispensable importance in every natural science. “Of all truths concerning natural phenomena, those which deal with the order of succession are for us the most important. Upon a knowledge of them is grounded every intelligent anticipation of the future” (J. S. Mill).[1] The oversight of this doctrine is the largest cause of our failures. We must, in the determination of evidence, cleave to it. Whenever the question of influence upon the “_*effect_” is raised, the problem of order is found invariably the most important. Mistakes and impossibilities are in the main discovered only when the examination of the order of succession has been undertaken.

In short: We have confined ourselves long enough to the mere study of our legal canons. We now set out upon an exact consideration of their material. To do this, obviously demands a retreat to the starting-point and a beginning we ought to have made long ago; but natural sciences, on which we model ourselves, have had to do the identical thing and are now at it openly and honestly. Ancient medicine looked first of all for the universal panacea and boiled theriac; contemporary medicine dissects, uses the microscope, and experiments, recognizes no panacea, accepts barely a few specifics. Modern medicine has seen the mistake. But we lawyers boil our theriac even nowadays and regard the most important study, the study of reality, with arrogance.

[1] J. S. Mill: System of Logic.


Section 3. (a) General Considerations.

Of the criminalist’s tasks, the most important are those involving his dealings with the other men who determine his work, with witnesses, accused, jurymen, colleagues, etc. These are the most pregnant of consequences. In every case his success depends on his skill, his tact, his knowledge of human nature, his patience, and his propriety of manner. Anybody who takes the trouble, may note speedily the great differences in efficiency between those who do and those who do not possess such qualities. That they are important to witnesses and accused is undoubted. But this importance is manifest to still others. The intercourse between various examining judges and experts is a matter of daily observation. One judge puts the question according to law and expects to be respected. He does not make explicit how perfectly indifferent the whole affair is to him, but experts have sufficient opportunity to take note of that fact. The other narrates the case, explains to the experts its various particular possibilities, finds out whether and what further elucidation they demand, perhaps inquires into the intended manner and method of the expert solution of the problem, informs himself of the case by their means, and manifests especial interest in the difficult and far too much neglected work of the experts. It may be said that the latter will do their work in the one case as in the other, with the same result. This would be true if, unfortunately, experts were not also endowed with the same imperfections as other mortals, and are thus far also infected by interest or indifference. Just imagine that besides the examining magistrate of a great superior court, every justice and, in addition, all the chiefs and officials manifested equal indifference! Then even the most devoted experts would grow cool and do only what they absolutely had to. But if all the members of the same court are actuated by the same keen interest and comport themselves as described, how different the affair becomes! It would be impossible that even the indifferent, and perhaps least industrious experts, should not be carried out of themselves by the general interest, should not finally realize the importance of their position, and do their utmost.

The same thing is true of the president, the jurymen and their fellow-judges. It is observable that here and there a presiding justice succeeds in boring all concerned during even criminal cases interesting

in themselves; the incident drags on, and people are interested only in finally seeing the end of the matter. Other presiding justices again, fortunately the majority, understand how to impart apparent importance to even the simplest case. Whatever office anybody may hold,–he and his mates are commissioned in the common task, and should the thing come up for judgment, everybody does his best. The difference here is not due to temperamental freshness or tediousness; the result depends only upon a correct or incorrect psychological handling of the participants. The latter must in every single case be led and trained anew to interest, conscientiousness and co-operation. In this need lies the educational opportunity of the criminal judge. Whether it arises with regard to the accused, the witness, the associate justice, or the expert, is all one; it is invariably the same.

That knowledge of human nature is for this purpose most important to the criminalist will be as little challenged as the circumstance that such knowledge can not be acquired from books. Curiously enough, there are not a few on the subject, but I suspect that whoever studies or memorizes them, (such books as Pockel’s, Herz’s, Meister’s, Engel’s, Jassoix’s, and others, enumerated by Volkmar) will have gained little that is of use. A knowledge of human nature is acquired only (barring of course a certain talent thereto) by persevering observation, comparison, summarization, and further comparison. So acquired, it sets its possessor to the fore, and makes him independent of a mass of information with which the others have to repair their ignorance of mankind. This is to be observed in countless cases in our profession. Whoever has had to deal with certain sorts of swindlers, lying horsetraders, antiquarians, prestidigitators, soon comes to the remarkable conclusion, that of this class, exactly those who flourish most in their profession and really get rich understand their trade the least. The horsedealer is no connoisseur whatever in horses, the antiquarian can not judge the value nor the age and excellence of antiquities, the cardsharp knows a few stupid tricks with which, one might think, he ought to be able to deceive only the most innocent persons. Nevertheless they all have comfortable incomes, and merely because they know their fellows and have practiced this knowledge with repeatedly fresh applications.

I do not of course assert that we criminalists need little scholarly knowledge of law, and ought to depend entirely upon knowledge of men. We need exactly as much more knowledge as our task exceeds

that of the horse-dealer, but we can not do without knowledge of humanity. The immense onerousness of the judge’s office lies in just the fact that he needs so very much more than his bare legal knowledge. He must, before all things, be a jurist and not merely a criminalist; he must be in full possession not only of the knowledge he has acquired in his academy, but of the very latest up-to-date status of his entire science. If he neglects the purely theoretical, he degenerates into a mere laborer. He is in duty bound not only to make himself familiar with hundreds of things, to be able to consort with all sorts of crafts and trades, but also, finally, to form so much out of the material supplied him by the law as is possible to human power.

Section 4. (b) Integrity of Witnesses.

One of the criminal judge’s grossest derelictions from duty consists in his simply throwing the witness the question and in permitting him to say what he chooses. If he contents himself in that, he leaves to the witness’s conscience the telling of the truth, and the whole truth; the witness is, in such a case, certainly responsible for one part of the untruthful and suppressed, but the responsibility for the other, and larger part, lies with the judge who has failed to do his best to bring out the uttermost value of the evidence, indifferently for or against the prisoner. The work of education is intended for this purpose,–not, as might be supposed, for training the populace as a whole into good witnesses, but to make that individual into a good, trustworthy witness who is called upon to testify for the first, and, perhaps, for the last time in his life. This training must in each case take two directions–it must make him _*want_ to tell the truth; it must make him _*able_ to tell the truth. The first requirement deals not only with the lie alone, it deals with the development of complete conscientiousness. How to face the lie itself can not be determined by means of training, but conscientious answers under examination can certainly be so acquired. We are not here considering people to whom truth is an utter stranger, who are fundamentally liars and whose very existence is a libel on mankind. We consider here only those people who have been unaccustomed to speaking the full and unadulterated truth, who have contented themselves throughout their lives with “approximately,” and have never had the opportunity of learning the value of veracity. It may be said that a disturbingly large number of

people are given to wandering, in conversation, and in the reproduction of the past. They do not go straight, quickly, and openly to the point, they loiter toward it–“If I do not reach it in a bee line, I can get along on by-paths, if not to-day, then to-morrow; and if I really do not get to it at all, I do get somewhere else.” Such people have not homes but inns–if they are not in one place, another will do.

These persons are characterized by the event that whenever one has seen their loitering and puts the matter to them with just anger, they either get frightened or say carelessly, “Oh, I thought this was not so accurate.” This famine of conscience, this indifference to truth, does far-reaching damage in our profession. I assert that it does immensely greater harm than obvious falsehood, because, indeed, the unvarnished lie is much more easily discoverable than the probable truth which is still untruth. Moreover, lies come generally from people with regard to whom one is, for one reason or another, already cautious, while these insinuating approximations are made by people who are not mistrusted at all.[1]

The lack of conscientiousness is common to all ages, both sexes, and to all sorts and conditions of men. But it is most characteristically frequent and sharply defined among people who have no real business in life. Whoever romances in the daily life, romances when he ought to be absolutely truthful. The most dangerous of this class are those who make a living by means of show and exhibition. They are not conscienceless because they do nothing worth while; they do nothing worth while because they are conscienceless. To this class belong peddlers, street merchants, innkeepers, certain shop-keepers, hack-drivers, artists, etc., and especially prostitutes (cf. Lombroso, etc., etc.). All these people follow a calling perhaps much troubled, but they do no actual work and have chosen their profession to avoid regular, actual work. They have much unoccupied time, and when they are working, part of the work consists of gossip, part of loafing about, or of a use of the hands that is little more. In brief,–since they loiter about and make a profit out of it, it is no wonder that in giving evidence they also loaf and bring to light only approximate truth. Nor is it difficult to indicate analogous persons in the higher walks of life.

The most hateful and most dangerous of these people are the congenital tramps–people who did not have to work and faithfully pursued the opportunity of doing nothing. Whoever does not

[1] Cf. Lwenstimm, in H. Gross’s Archiv, VII, 191.

recognize that the world has no place for idlers and that life on God’s earth must be earned by labor, is without conscience. No conscientious testimony need be expected from such. Among the few rules without exception which in the course of long experience the criminalist may make, this is one–that _the real tramps of both sexes and all walks of life will never testify conscientiously;–hic niger est, hunc Tu, Romane, caveto_.

Section 5. (c) The Correctness of Testimony.

The training of the witness into a _*capacity_ for truth-telling must be based, (1) on the judge’s knowledge of all the conditions that affect, negatively, correct observations and reproductions; (2) on his making clear to himself whether and which conditions are operative in the case in question; and (3) on his aiming to eliminate this negative influence from the witness. The last is in many cases difficult, but not impossible. That mistakes have been made is generally soon noted, but then, “being called and being chosen” are two things; and similarly, the discovery of _*what_ is correct and the substitution of the essential observations for the opinionative ones, is always the most difficult of the judge’s tasks.

When the witness is both unwilling to tell the truth and unable to do so, the business of training may be approached from a few common view-points. Patience with the witness is perhaps the most important key to success. No doubt it is difficult to be patient where there is no time; and what with our contemporary overtasking, there is no time. But that must be altered. Justice must have strength to keep everybody’s labor proportional to his task. A nation whose representatives do not grant money enough for this purpose must not expect satisfactory law courts–“no checkee no washee;” no money no justice. People who have time will acquire patience.

Patience is necessary above all while taking evidence. A great many witnesses are accustomed to say much and redundantly, and again, most criminal justices are accustomed to try to shut them off and to require brief statements. That is silly. If the witness is wandering on purpose, as many a prisoner does for definite reasons of his own, he will spread himself still more as he recognizes that his examiner does not like it. To be disagreeable is his purpose. He is never led by impatience beyond his introduction, and some piece of evidence is lost because almost every accused who speaks

unintelligibly on purpose, says too much in the course of his speech and brings things to light that no effort might otherwise have attained to. Besides, whoever is making a purposely long-winded testimony does not want to say anything superfluous, and if he actually does so, is unaware of it. And even when he knows that he is talking too much (most of the time he knows it from the impatient looks of his auditors), he never can tell just what exceeded the measure. If, then, he is asked to cut it short, he remains unmoved, or at most begins again at the beginning, or, if he actually condescends, he omits things of importance, perhaps even of the utmost importance. Nor must it be forgotten that at least a large proportion of such people who are brought to court have prepared their story or probably blocked it out in the rough. If they are not permitted to follow their plans, they get confused, and nothing coherent or half-coherent is discovered. And generally those who say most have thought their testimony over before. Those who merely have to say no more than _*yes_ and _*no_ at the trial do not reduce the little they are going to say to any great order; that is done only by such as have a story to tell. Once the stream of talk breaks loose it is best allowed to flow on, and only then interrupted with appropriate questions when it threatens to become exhausting. Help against too much talk can be found in one direction. But it must be made use of before the evil begins, and is in any event of use only in the description of a long chain of events,–e. g., a great brawl. There, if one has been put in complete possession of the whole truth, through one or more witnesses, the next witness may be told: “Begin where X entered the room.” If that is not done, one may be compelled to hear all the witness did the day before the brawl and how these introductions, in themselves indifferent, have led to the event. But if you set the subject, the witness simply abandons the first part of possibly studied testimony without thereby losing his coherence. The procedure may be accurately observed: The witness is told, “Begin at this or that point.” This deliverance is generally followed by a pause during which he obviously reviews and sets aside the part of his prepared speech dealing with the events preliminary to the required points. If, however, the setting of a starting point does not work and the witness says he must begin at the earlier stage, let him do so. Otherwise he tries so hard to begin according to request that, unable to go his own way, he confuses everything.

The patience required for taking testimony is needful also in

cross-examination. Not only children and slow-witted folk, but also bright persons often answer only “yes” and “no,”[1] and these bare answers demand a patience most necessary with just this bareness, if the answers are to be pursued for some time and consecutively. The danger of impatience is the more obvious inasmuch as everyone recognizes more or less clearly that he is likely to set the reserved witness suggestive questions and so to learn things that the witness never would have said. Not everybody, indeed, who makes monosyllabic replies in court has this nature, but in the long run, this common characteristic is manifest, and these laconic people are really not able to deliver themselves connectedly in long speeches. If, then, the witness has made only the shortest replies and a coherent well-composed story be made of them, the witness will, when his testimony is read to him, often not notice the untruths it might contain. He is so little accustomed to his own prolonged discourse that at most he wonders at his excellent speech without noticing even coarse falsehoods. If, contrary to expectation, he does notice them, he is too chary of words to call attention to them, assents, and is glad to see the torture coming to an end. Hence, nothing but endless patience will do to bring the laconic witness to say at least enough to make his information coherent, even though brief. It may be presented in this form for protocol.

Section 6. (d) Presuppositions of Evidence-Taking.

One of the most important rules of evidence-taking is not to suppose that practically any witness is skilled in statement of what he remembers. Even of child training, Frbel[2] says, “Men must
be drawn out, not probed.” And this is the more valid in jurisprudence, and the more difficult, since the lawyers have at most only as many hours with the individual as the teacher has years. However, we must aim to draw the witness out, and if it does not work at first, we must nevertheless not despair of succeeding.

The chief thing is to determine the witness’s level and then meet him on it. We certainly can not succeed, in the short time allowed us, to raise him to ours. “The object of instruction” (says Lange[3]) “is to endow the pupil with more apperceptive capacity, i. e., to

[1] Pathological conditions, if at all distinct, are easily recognizable, but there is a very broad and fully occupied border country between pathological and normal conditions. (Cf. O. Gross: Die Affeklage der Ablehnung. Monatschrift fr Psychiatrie
u. Neurologie, 1902, XII, 359.)

[2] Frbel: Die. Mensehenersiehung. Keilhau 1826.

[3] K. Lange: ber Apperzeption. Plauen 1889.

make him intellectually free. It is therefore necessary to discover his `funded thoughts,’ and to beware of expounding too much.” This is not a little true. The development of apperceptive capacity is not so difficult for us, inasmuch as our problem is not to prepare our subject for life, but for one present purpose. If we desire, to this end, to make one more intellectually free, we have only to get him to consider with independence the matter with which we are concerned, to keep him free of all alien suggestions and inferences, and to compel him to see the case as if no influences, personal or circumstantial, had been at work on him. This result does not require merely the setting aside of special influences, nor the setting aside of all that others have said to him on the matter under discussion, nor the elucidation of the effect of fear,[1] of anger, of all such states of mind as might here have been operative,–it requires the establishment of his unbiased vision of the subject from a period antecedent to these above-mentioned influences. Opinions, valuations, prejudices, superstitions, etc., may here be to a high degree factors of disturbance and confusion. Only when the whole Augean stable is swept out may the man be supposed capable of apperception, may the thing he is to tell us be brought to bear upon him and he be permitted to reproduce it.

This necessary preliminary is not so difficult if the second of the above-mentioned rules is observed and the “funded thought” of the witness is studied out. It may be said, indeed, that so long as two people converse, unaware of each other’s “funded thought,” they speak different languages. Some of the most striking misunderstandings come from just this reason. It is not alone a matter of varying verbal values, leading to incompatible inferences; actually the whole of a man’s mind is involved. It is generally supposed to be enough to know the meaning of the words necessary for telling a story. But such knowledge leads only to external and very superficial comprehension; real clearness can be attained only by knowing the witness’s habits of thought in regard to all the circumstances of the case. I remember vividly a case of jealous murder in which the most important witness was the victim’s brother, an honest, simple, woodsman, brought up in the wilderness, and in every sense far- removed from idiocy. His testimony was brief, decided and intelligent. When the motive for the murder, in this case most important, came under discussion, he shrugged his shoulders and answered my question–whether it was not committed on account of

[1] Dichl in H. Gross’s Arehiv, XI, 240.

a girl–with, “Yes, so they say.” On further examination I reached the astonishing discovery that not only the word “jealousy,” but the very notion and comprehension of it were totally foreign to the man. The single girl he at one time thought of was won away from him without making him quarrelsome, nobody had ever told him of the pangs and passions of other people, he had had no occasion to consider the theoretic possibility of such a thing, and so “jealousy” remained utterly foreign to him. It is clear that his hearing now took quite another turn. All I thought I heard from him was essentially wrong; his “funded thought” concerning a very important, in this case a regulative concept, had been too poor.

The discovery of the “funded thought” is indubitably not easy. But its objective possibility with witness and accused is at least a fact. It is excluded only where it is most obviously necessary– in the case of the jury, and the impossibility in this case turns the institution of trial by jury into a Utopian dream. The presiding officer of a jury court is in the best instances acquainted with a few of the jurymen, but never so far as to have been entrusted with their “funded thought.” Now and then, when a juryman asks a question, one gets a glimpse of it, and when the public prosecutor and the attorney for the defence make their speeches one catches something from the jury’s expressions; and then it is generally too late. Even if it be discovered earlier nothing can be done with it. Some success is likely in the case of single individuals, but it is simply impossible to define the mental habits of twelve men with whom one has no particular relations.

The third part of the Frbelian rule, “To presuppose as little as possible,” must be rigidly adhered to. I do not say this pessimistically, but simply because we lawyers, through endless practice, arrange the issue so much more easily, conceive its history better and know what to exclude and what, with some degree of certainty, to retain. In consequence we often forget our powers and present the unskilled laity, even when persons of education, too much of the material. Then it must be considered that most witnesses are uneducated, that we can not actually descend to their level, and their unhappiness under a flood of strange material we can grasp only with difficulty. Because we do not know the witness’s point of view we ask too much of him, and therefore fail in our purpose. And if, in some exceptional case, an educated man is on the stand, we fail again, since, having the habit of dealing with the uneducated,

we suppose this man to know our own specialties because he has a little education. Experience does not dispel this illusion. Whether actual training in another direction dulls the natural and free outlook we desire in the witness, or whether, in our profession, education presupposes tendencies too ideal, whatever be the reasons, it is a fact that our hardest work is generally with the most highly educated witnesses. I once had to write a protocol based on the testimony of a famous scholar who was witness in a small affair. It was a slow job. Either he did not like the terms as I dictated them, or he was doubtful of the complete certainty of this or that assertion. Let alone that I wasted an hour or two, that protocol, though rewritten, was full of corrections and erasures. And the thing turned out to be nonsense at the end. The beginning contradicted the conclusion; it was unintelligible, and still worse, untrue. As became manifest later, through the indubitable testimony of many witnesses, the scholar had been so conscientious, careful and accurate that he simply did not know what he had seen. His testimony was worthless. I have had such experiences repeatedly and others have confessed them. To the question: Where not presuppose too much? the answer is: everywhere. First of all, little must be presupposed concerning people’s powers of observation. They claim to have heard, seen or felt so and so, and they have not seen, heard, or felt it at all, or quite differently. They assent vigorously that they have grasped, touched, counted or examined something, and on closer examination it is demonstrated that it was only a passing glance they threw on it. And it is still worse where something more than ordinary perception is being considered, when exceptionally keen senses or information are necessary. People trust the conventional and when close observation is required often lack the knowledge proper to their particular status. In this way, by presupposing especial professional knowledge in a given witness, great mistakes are made. Generally he hasn’t such knowledge, or has not made any particular use of it.

In the same way too much attention and interest are often presupposed, only to lead later to the astonishing discovery of how little attention men really pay to their own affairs. Still less, therefore, ought knowledge in less personal things be presupposed, for in the matter of real understanding, the ignorance of men far exceeds all presuppositions. Most people know the looks of all sorts of things, and think they know their essences, and when questioned, invariably assert it, quite in good faith. But if you depend

on such knowledge bad results arise that are all the more dangerous because there is rarely later opportunity to recognize their badness.

As often as any new matter is discussed with a witness, it is necessary, before all, to find out his general knowledge of it, what he considers it to be, and what ideas he connects with it. If you judge that he knows nothing about it and appraise his questions and conclusions accordingly, you will at least not go wrong in the matter, and all in all attain your end most swiftly.

At the same time it is necessary to proceed as slowly as possible. It is Carus[1] who points out that a scholar ought not to be shown any object unless he can not discover it or its like for himself. Each power must have developed before it can be used. Difficult as this procedure generally is, it is necessary in the teaching of children, and is there successful. It is a form of education by examples. The child is taught to assimilate to its past experience the new fact, e. g.: in a comparison of some keen suffering of the child with that it made an animal suffer. Such parallels rarely fail, whether in the education of children or of witnesses. The lengthy description of an event in which, e. g., somebody is manhandled, may become quite different if the witness is brought to recall his own experience. At first he speaks of the event as perhaps a “splendid joke,” but as soon as he is brought to speak of a similar situation of his own, and the two stories are set side by side, his description alters. This exemplification may be varied in many directions and is always useful. It is applicable even to accused, inasmuch as the performer himself begins to understand his deed, when it can be attached to his fully familiar inner life.

The greatest skill in this matter may be exercised in the case of the jury. Connect the present new facts with similar ones they already know and so make the matter intelligible to them. The difficulty here, is again the fact that the jury is composed of strangers and twelve in number. Finding instances familiar to them all and familiar in such wise that they may easily link them with the case under consideration, is a rare event. If it does happen the success is both significant and happy.

It is not, however, sufficient to seek out a familiar case analogous to that under consideration. The analogy should be discovered for each event, each motive, each opinion, each reaction, each appearance, if people are to understand and follow the case. Ideas, like

[1] Carus: Psychologie. Leipzig 1823.

men, have an ancestry, and a knowledge of the ancestors leads to a discovery of the cousins.

Section 7. (e) Egoism.

It is possible that the inner character of egoism shall be as profoundly potent in legal matters as in the daily life. Goethe has experienced its effect with unparalleled keenness. “Let me tell you something,” he writes (Conversations with Eckermann. Vol. 1). “All periods considered regressive or transitional are subjective. Conversely all progressive periods look outward. The whole of contemporary civilization is reactionary, because subjective…. The thing of importance is everywhere the individual who is trying to show off his lordliness. Nowhere is any mentionable effort to be found that subordinates itself through love of the whole.”

These unmistakable terms contain a “discovery” that is applicable to our days even better than to Goethe’s. _It is characteristic of our time that each man has an exaggerated interest in himself_. Consequently, he is concerned only with himself or with his immediate environment, he understands only what he already knows and feels, and he works only where he can attain some personal advantage. It is hence to be concluded that we may proceed with certainty only when we count on this exaggerated egoism and use it as a prime factor. The most insignificant little things attest this. A man who gets a printed directory will look his own name up, though he knows it is there, and contemplate it with pleasure; he does the same with the photograph of a group of which his worthy self is one of the immortalized. If personal qualities are under discussion, he is happy, when he can say,–“Now I am by nature so.”– If foreign cities are under discussion, he tells stories of his native city, or of cities that he has visited, and concerning things that can interest only him who has been there. Everyone makes an effort to bring something of his personal status to bear,–either the conditions of his life, or matters concerning only him. If anybody announces that he has had a good time, he means without exception, absolutely without exception, that he has had an opportunity to push his “I” very forcefully into the foreground.

Lazarus[1] has rightly given this human quality historical significance: “Pericles owed a considerable part of his political dictatorate to the circumstance of knowing practically all Athenian citizens by name. Hannibal, Wallenstein, Napoleon I, infected

[1] M. Lazarus: Das Leben der Seele. Berlin 1856.

their armies, thanks to ambition, with more courage than could the deepest love of arms, country and freedom, just through knowing and calling by name the individual soldiers.”

Daily we get small examples of this egoism. The most disgusting and boresome witness, who is perhaps angry at having been dragged so far from his work, can be rendered valuable and useful through the initial show of a little _*personal_ interest, of some comprehension of his affairs, and of some consideration, wherever possible, of his views and efficiency. Moreover, men judge their fellows according to their comprehension of their own particular professions. The story of the peasant’s sneer at a physician, “But what can he know when he does not even know how to sow oats?” is more than a story, and is true of others besides illiterate boors. Such an attitude recurs very frequently, particularly among people of engrossing trades that require much time,–e. g., among soldiers, horsemen, sailors, hunters, etc. If it is not possible to understand these human vanities and to deal with these people as one of the trade, it is wise at least to suggest such understanding, to show interest in their affairs and to let them believe that really you think it needful for everybody to know how to saddle a horse correctly, or to distinguish the German bird-dog from the English setter at a thousand paces. What is aimed at is not personal respect for the judge, but for the judge’s function, which the witness identifies with the judge’s person. If he has such respect, he will find it worth the trouble to help us out, to think carefully and to assist in the difficult conclusion of the case. There is an astonishing difference between the contribution of a sulking and contrary witness and of one who has become interested and pleased by the affair. Not only quantity, but truth and reliability of testimony, are immensely greater in the latter case.

Besides, the antecedent self-love goes so far that it may become very important in the examination of the accused. Not that a trap is to be set for him; merely that since it is our business to get at the truth, we ought to proceed in such proper wise with a denying accused as might bring to light facts that otherwise careful manipulation would not have brought out. How often have anonymous or pseudonymous criminals betrayed themselves under examination just because they spoke of circumstances involving their capital _*I_, and spoke so clearly that now the clue was found, it was no longer difficult to follow it up. In the examination of well-known criminals, dozens of such instances occur–the fact is not new, but it needs to be made use of.

A similar motive belongs to subordinate forms of egoism– the obstinacy of a man who may be so vexed by contradiction as to drive one into despair, and who under proper treatment becomes valuable. This I learned mainly from my old butler, a magnificent honest soldier, a figure out of a comedy, but endowed with inexorable obstinacy against which my skill for a long time availed nothing. As often as I proposed something with regard to some intended piece of work or alteration, I got the identical reply–“It won’t do, sir.” Finally I got hold of a list and worked my plan–“Simon, this will now be done as Simon recently said it should be done,– namely.” At this he looked at me, tried to think when he had said this thing, and went and did it. And in spite of frequent application this list has not failed once for some years. What is best about it is that it will serve, mutatis mutandis, with criminals. As soon as ever real balkiness is noted, it becomes necessary to avoid the least appearance of contradictoriness, since that increases difficulties. It is not necessary to lie or to make use of trickery. Only, avoid direct contradiction, drop the subject in question, and return to it indirectly when you perceive that the obstinate individual recognizes his error. Then you may succeed in building him a golden bridge, or at least a barely visible sidedoor where he can make his retreat unnoticed. In that case even the most difficult of obstinates will no longer repeat the old story. He will repeat only if he is pressed, and this although he is repeatedly brought back to the point. If, however, the matter is once decided, beware of returning to it without any other reason, save to confirm the settled matter quite completely,–that would be only to wake the sleeper to give him a sleeping powder.

Speaking generally, the significant rule is this: _Egoism, laziness and conceit are the only human motives on which one may unconditionally depend_. Love, loyalty, honesty, religion and patriotism, though firm as a rock, may lapse and fall. A man might have been counted on for one of these qualities ten times with safety, and on the eleventh, he might collapse like a house of cards. Count on egoism and laziness a hundred or a thousand times and they are as firm as ever. More simply, count on egoism–for laziness and conceit are only modifications of egoism. The latter alone then should be the one human motive to keep in mind when dealing with men. There are cases enough when all the wheels are set in motion after a clue to the truth, i. e., when there is danger that the person under suspicion is innocent; appeals to honor, conscience, humanity and

religion fail;–but run the complete gamut of self-love and the whole truth rings clear. Egoism is the best criterion of the presence of veracity. Suppose a coherent explanation has been painfully constructed. It is obvious that the correctness of the construction is studied with reference to the given motive. Now, if the links in the chain reach easily back to the motive, there is at least the possibility that the chain is free of error. What then of the motive? If it is noble–friendship, love, humaneness, loyalty, mercy–the constructed chain may be correct, and happily is so oftener than is thought; but it _*need not_ be correct. If, however, the structure rests on egoism, in any of its innumerable forms? and if it is logically sound, then the whole case is explained utterly and reliably. The construction is indubitably correct.

Section 8. (f) Secrets.

The determination of the truth at law would succeed much less frequently than it does if it were not for the fact that men find it very difficult to keep secrets. This essentially notable and not clearly understood circumstance is popularly familiar. Proverbs of all people deal with it and point mainly to the fact that keeping secrets is especially difficult for women. The Italians say a woman who may not speak is in danger of bursting; the Germans, that the burden of secrecy affects her health and ages her prematurely; the English say similar things still more coarsely. Classical proverbs have dealt with the issue; numberless fairy tales, narratives, novels and poems have portrayed the difficulty of silence, and one very fine modern novel (Die Last des Schweigens, by Ferdinand Krnberger)
has chosen this fact for its principal motive. The universal difficulty of keeping silence is expressed by Lotze[1] in the dictum that we learn expression very young and silence very late. The fact is of use to the criminalist not only in regard to criminals, but also with regard to witnesses, who, for one reason or another, want to keep something back. The latter is the source of a good deal of danger, inasmuch as the witness is compelled to speak and circles around the secret in question without touching it, until he points it out and half reveals it. If he stops there, the matter requires consideration, for “a half truth is worse than a whole lie.” The latter reveals its subject and intent and permits of defence, while the half truth may, by association and circumscriptive limitations, cause vexatious errors both as regards the identity of the semi-accused

[1] Lotze: Der Instinkt. Kleine Schriften. Leipzig 1885.

and as regards the circumstances with which he is thus involved. For this reason the criminalist must consider the question of secrets carefully.

As for his own silence, this must be considered in both directions That he is not to blab official secrets is so obvious that it need not be spoken of. Such blabbing is so negligent and dishonorable that we must consider it intrinsically impossible. But it not infrequently happens that some indications are dropped or persuaded out of a criminal Judge, generally out of one of the younger and more eager men. They mention only the event itself, and not a name, nor a place, nor a particular time, nor some even more intimate matter– there seems no harm done. And yet the most important points have often been blabbed of in just such a way. And what is worst of all, just because the speaker has not known the name nor anything else concrete, the issue may be diverted and enmesh some guiltless person. It is worth considering that the effort above mentioned is made only in the most interesting cases, that crimes especially move people to disgusting interest, due to the fact that there is a more varied approach to synthesis of a case when the same story is repeated several times or by various witnesses. For by such means extrapolations and combinations of the material are made possible. By way of warning, let me remind you of an ancient and much quoted anecdote, first brought to light by Boccaccio: A young and much loved abb was teased by a bevy of ladies to narrate what had happened in the first confession he had experienced. After long hesitation the young fellow decided that it was no sin to relate the confessed sin if he suppressed the name of the confessor, and so he told the ladies that his first confession was of infidelity. A few minutes later a couple of tardy guests appeared,–a marquis and his charming wife. Both reproached the young priest for his infrequent visits at their home. The marquise exclaimed so that everybody heard, “It is not nice of you to neglect me, your first confesse.” This
squib is very significant for our profession, for it is well known how, in the same way, “bare facts,” as “completely safe,” are carried further. The listener does not have to combine them, the facts combine themselves by means of others otherwise acquired, and finally the most important official matters, on the concealment of which much may perhaps have depended, become universally known. Official secrets have a general significance, and must therefore be guarded at all points and not merely in detail.

The second direction in which the criminal justice must maintain

silence looks toward witnesses and accused. If, in the first instance, the cause of too much communicativeness was an over-proneness to talk; its cause in this case is a certain conceit that teases one into talking. Whether the justice wants to show the accused how much he already knows or how correctly he has drawn his conclusions; whether he wishes to impress the witness by his confidences, he may do equally as much harm in one case as in the other. Any success is made especially impossible if the judge has been in too much of a hurry and tried to show himself fully informed at the very beginning, but has brought out instead some error. The accused naturally leaves him with his false suppositions, they suggest things to the witness–and what follows may be easily considered. Correct procedure in such circumstances is difficult. Never to reveal what is already known, is to deprive oneself of one of the most important means of examination; use of it therefore ought not to be belated. But it is much worse to be premature or garrulous. In my own experience, I have never been sorry for keeping silence, especially if I had already said something. The only rule in the matter is comparatively self-evident. Never move toward any incorrectness and never present the appearance of knowing more than you actually do. Setting aside the dishonesty of such a procedure, the danger of a painful exposure in such matters is great.

There is still another great danger which one may beware of, optima fide,–the danger of knowing something untrue. This danger also is greatest for the greatest talent and the greatest courage among us, because they are the readiest hands at synthesis, inference, and definition of possibilities, and see as indubitable and shut to contradiction things that at best are mere possibilities. It is indifferent to the outcome whether a lie has been told purposely or whether it has been the mere honest explosion of an over-sanguine temperament. It is therefore unnecessary to point out the occasion for caution. One need only suggest that something may be learned from people who talk too much. The over-communicativeness of a neighbor is quickly noticeable, and if the _*why_ and _*how much_ of it are carefully studied out, it is not difficult to draw a significant analogy for one’s own case. In the matter of secrets of other people, obviously the thing to be established first is what is actually a secret; what is to be suppressed, if one is to avoid damage to self or another. When an actual secret is recognized it is necessary to consider whether the damage is greater through keeping or through revealing the secret. If it is still possible, it is well to let the secret