New York Judge Orders Mother To Beat Son – 1938
Are you one of the people who think that today’s juvenile delinquents are coddled and the justice system is too soft on petty crime? Maybe we should bring back “the good old days,” when corporal punishment and tough jail sentences were the norm for youthful offenders?
Then you might be surprised to learn that even during hard times 80 years ago, many people found the idea of beating children to be abhorrent, especially when ordered by a court of law.
If the goal of justice is to have the punishment equal the crime, then the sentence meted out by a New York magistrate did not go over very well with the public.
The Leather of the Law
New York, NY — In accordance with the orders of Magistrate Overton Harris, Mrs. Mary Bradley applies the strap to her son, Tommy who was one of eight Textile High School boys believed to have pulled the whistle cord on a New York subway train. Thomas and another boy were the only ones of the eight who didn’t run from the train. When young Bradley appeared with his mother in court, Magistrate Overton Harris ordered Mrs. Bradley to “prove to me on Thursday night that you gave your son a good thrashing or I’ll send him to jail.” Although Mrs. Bradley believed her son’s protestations of his innocence she is shown obeying to the letter of the law. credit line Acme – 5/25/1938
Judge Harris had also said to Mrs. Bradley, “Get a paddle, bore some holes in it, and make welts on the boy. Do you think you can do it?”
Despite this photographic evidence above, Mrs. Bradley, a widow living at 100 W. 96th Street, did not thrash her 16-year-old son. Continue reading