Scope and Content Note

This series consists of incoming correspondence from judges and justices from across New York State responding to letters of concern from William Rice, private secretary to Governor David B. Hill in 1886. Rice's letters state that the judge had not given due consideration to section 697 of the amended chapter 68 of the Penal Code in 1886. This change would prevent the discharge of convicts during the colder seasons of the year as a way to cut down on crime. The theory was that convicts would not be as cold and would not need to commit crimes for articles of clothing to keep warm. Each reply from judges denies Rice's charge and most request further information so that they can better explain their position.