The judges and lawyers began to question the legality of his ordinances, and to doubt their competency to convict royalist prisoners of treason.
The pardon transmitted by the secretary of state is applied by the supreme court, who grant the necessary orders to the magistrates in whose custody the convict is.
The law was paralysed, for no jury could be trusted to convict even on the clearest evidence, and the National League branches assumed judicial functions.
County gaols and the horrors of the convict lease system in the southern states, now nearly extinct; at the other such modern and well-equipped reformatories as Elmira and Concord (see Juvenile Offenders).
In 1893 the legislature created a board of four members to be appointed by the governor, one of whom must be a physician, another an attorney, and made it its duty to investigate the case of every convict for whom a petition for pardon is received and then report and recommend to the governor what it deem expedient.
For many years after its discovery it was used as a convict station.
A little reconstruction made Dartmoor into a modern gaol, and in the waste lands around there was ample labour for any number of convict hands.
Letters exist written by Colbert to the judges requiring them to sentence to the oar as many criminals as possible, including all those who had been condemned to death; and the convict once chained to the bench, the expiration of his sentence was seldom allowed to bring him release.
It was also proposed to give four lectures or concerts a year in convict prisons.
The clay resulting from the weathering of the Dartmoor granite has formed marshes and peat bogs, and the desolation of the district has been emphasized by the establishment in its midst of a great convict prison, and in its northern portion of a range for artillery practice.