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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And bring in the pannel guilty


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the smoother oaths, to the

laxer, the more odious, that all natural consciences did fear at. 13. They will not only have their laws obeyed, but subscribed, and they reckon not their subjects obedience secured by the lawmaker's sanction, but the people's hand-writing; and think it not sufficient that people transgress no laws, but they must also own the justness of them, and the authority that enacts them, and swear to maintain it: and yet when some have done all this, and cleared themselves by all compliances, they will not discharge them, but under a bond to answer again when called. 14. They will have their laws to reach not only actions, but thoughts; and therefore they require what people think of the bishop's death, and of Bothwel insurrection; and whether they own the authority, when they can neither prpve their disowning of it, nor any way offending it. 15. They will have them to declare their thoughts, and hold them convict, if they do not answer positively all their captious questions; and if they will not tell what they think of this or that, then they must go as guilty. 16. If they insist in waving, and will not give categorical answers, then they can extort all, and prove what they please by torture: and when they have extorted their thoughts of things, though they be innocent as to all actions their law can charge them with, then they used to hang them when they had done. 17. They have wheedled men sometimes into confession either of practices or principles, by promising to favour their ingenuity,
and upbraiding them for dissemblers if they would not, and by mock expostulations, why were they ashamed to give a testimony? and then make them sign their confessions at the council, to bring them in as a witness against them at the criminal court. 18. Yea, not only extrajudicial confession will sustain in their law: but when they have given the public faith, the king's security the act and oath of council, that their confession shall not militate against them, they have brought it in as witness against them, and given it upon oath, when their former oath and act was produced in open court, in demonstration of their perjury. 19. When the matter comes to an assize or cognizance of a jury, they use to pack them for their purpose, and pick out such as they listed, who they think will not be bloody enough. 20. Sometimes when the jury hath brought their verdict in favours of the pannel, they have made them sit down, and resume the cognition of the case again, and threatened them with an assize of error, if they did not bring him in guilty. 21. Yea, most frequently the king's advocate used to command them to condemn, and bring in the pannel guilty, under most peremptory certifications of punishment if they should not; so that they needed no juries, but only for the fashion. 22. Sometimes they have sentenced innocent persons twice, once to have their ears cut and be banished, and after the lopping of their ears, some have been re-examined, and sentenced to death, and execute. 23. They have sentenced some and hanged them both in one day; others early in the morning, both to surprize the persons that were to die, and to prevent spectators of the sight of their cruelty; others have been kept in suspence, till the very day and hour of their execution. 24. Not only have they murdered, serious


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