Wednesday, March 7, 2012

STERILIZATION LAW PASSED BY JERSEY (1934)

From the Miami Daily News, Sunday, February 4th, 1934
STERILIZATION LAW PASSED BY JERSEY

Pioneer Code Held to Be Unconstitutional Before Use

(Special to New York Herald Tribune and Miami Daily News)

TRENTON, Feb. 3.- Long before Chancellor Hitler initiated his plan for the improvement of the Teutonic Race through wholesale sterilization New Jersey placed on her statues a law to accomplish a somewhat similar purpose, and although declared unconstitutional before it could be put into operation, it proved to be the forerunner of many other pieces of legislation having the same end in view.

New Jersey adopted a sterilization act 23 years ago. It was described officially as an act "to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded(including idiots, imbiciles and morons) epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives." It was declared unconstitutional in a memorable by the late Supreme Court Justice Charles G. Garrison, who, after having attained distinction as a surgeon, turned from medicine to the practice of law and became a member of the highest judicial body in the state.

Since then attempts to enact sterilization measures have been made repeately in the legislature, and all of the proposed acts have been along lines corresponding closely with the original law, which gave to a board of examiners of feeble-minded, epileptics, criminals and other defectives the right to decree sterilization.

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