Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pillory Punishment Preferred for Domestic Violence Offenders by New York City Judge Appleton - 1916

Shall City Put Its Wife Beaters in Pillory On Broadway? Better Than Jail, Says Judge

New York Should Follow Example of Kansas City and Punish by Public Ridicule Brutal Men Who Mistreat Women, Believes Magistrate Appleton, for Prison Punishes the Wife as Well.

By Marguerite Mooers Marshall



Pillory the Wife Beater?

Of course, he already is metaphorically pilloried in the minds of all decent men and women. But straight from Kansas City comes the news that metropolis a real pillory is to be set up for the man who beats his wife. It’s a 1916 model, different in construction from the one employed by the Pilgrim Fathers, but the effect is to be the same. Permission has been given to Police Judge J. H. Brady to erect a post on the corner of the main business district to which men convicted of wife beating can be chained for any number of days the court may fix.

In Kansas city, therefore, the wife beater will become a sort of involuntary St. Simeon Stylites. “The shame of being seen labeled as a wife beater will prevent such crimes, I believe,” Judge Brady declares.

And there is at least one Judge in this city who believes it would be an excellent thing if a pillory could be erected for New Yorkers who brutally ill-treat the woman to whom they are married. He is City Magistrate Charles W. Appleton, who is at present sitting in the Municipal Term Court of Special Sessions in the Municipal Building, but who has presided district court rooms all over the city.

The prevalence of wife beating in New York moved Judge Appleton to declare from the bench two or three years ago that he believed a bill should be passed providing a whipping post, and that a man convicted of wife beating should be given from five to thirty lashes. Such a form of punishment was legally established in Delaware. Judge Appleton doesn’t believe that wife beating is on the wane in this vicinity, and he does think that a pillory might be an even more effective penalty than a whipping post.


“As the law stands at present there is practically no satisfactory punishment that may be inflicted on the wife beater,” the Judge told me. “He frequently gets off scot free, or, if he is punished, his wife and family suffer more than he does. That is why I think a pillory is a long step in the right direction. Imprisonment, even when exacted, is too good for a man who will cruelly and maliciously ill-use a good wife. He deserves to be set up where everybody can see him and labeled for what he is.

“Of course,” Judge Appleton added with a smile, “let Missouri do it first. But let us watch the experiment very carefully and, if it works out well, try it here. People would accept the idea of a pillory who would object to the whipping post on the ground of cruelty. The Constitution provides against cruel and unusual punishment, but though the pillory is a bit unusual punishment, but though the pillory is a bit unusual to-day we must remember that our fathers employed it.”

Isn’t it true that is a man is sent to the Island for beating his wife she  frequently tries to have him got free?” I asked.

“Yes indeed,” answered the Magistrate. “But very often the woman needs the money that her husband earns when he isn’t shut up. In order to procure food for herself and her children she will not exact punishment for her wrongs.

“And, really, how is she benefited if her husband is the family breadwinner by having him imprisoned? He has good food, a soft bed, warm clothes and an easy, comfortable time. Some reformer is always running over to the Island to make sure that the table is as good as the Waldorf-Astoria and that the blankets are heavy enough. But what is being done for the wife and children of the wife-beater while he is living at the expense of the State?


“And from another point of view the new plan of paying the wife for her husband’s work for the State during his jail term is no more satisfactory. There are women with no-account husbands who would rather have there men earning money on the Island than loafing in Manhattan. There is the constant temptation to these women to frame up some story of cruelty which will send to prison for a short term.

“If the pillory were the penalty for wife beating there would be no incentive to any wife to make a false case against her husband. also the punishment might be inflicted before her wrath had time to cool, and, and she would know that the family income would not suffer through her husband’s prolonged, non-productive absence. And I firmly believe being set in the pillory would be a strong deterrent to man who occasionally or often abuses his wife.”

[Marguerite Mooers Marshall, “Shall City Put Its Wife Beaters in Pillory On Broadway? Better Than Jail, Says Judge,” The Evening World (New York, N.Y.), Jun. 30, 1916, p. 3]


• You have been told that before the rise of feminism in the 1960s that domestic violence against women was tolerated by society as acceptable behavior and was not taken seriously by police and the courts.

You have been lied to. The people who told you these lies were paid to tell them you. In most cases you paid your own money (taxes and tuition fees) to be lied to.

Here is one of countless pieces of evidence that demonstrate the truth.

• To see more eloquent, vivid evidence proving the lie and giving you the truth, see:

19th Century Intolerance Towards Domestic Violence

Treatment of Domestic Violence Against Women Before 1960this post collects cases classified by the form of punishment or sentencing (whether judicial or through community action)

No, the claim that laws created by males were for the benefit of males is false. Yes, the "Rule of Thumb" myth has been proven to be a marxist-feminist hoax, taking an ancient English common historical notation published in the 18th century and extrapolating it into unsupported claims that 18th and 20th century United States communities, courts and legislatures (laws on the books) were in agreement with the18th century historical notation (Blackstone).


“[O]nly since the 1970s has the criminal justice system begun to treat domestic violence as a serious crime, not as a private family matter.”

From the entry: “Domestic Violence” on

This claim has been proven to be false.


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