Die Wahrnehmung und Empfinding. Leipzig 1888.
other witnesses have given similar things, is not at all considered. Here again we have to beware of confusing of identities with agreements.
Finally, we must consider fatigue and other conditions of excitation. Everybody knows how things read late at night seem absolute nonsense, and become simple and obvious the next morning. In the same way, we may take a thing to be thus and so while tired in the evening, and in the morning see our notion to be a coarse misunderstanding. Hoppe tells of a hospital interne who became so excited and tired through frequent calls that he heard the tick- tack of his watch as ``Oh-doc-tor.'' A witness who has been subjected to a prolonged and fatiguing examination falls into a similar condition and knows at the end much less than at the beginning. Finally, he altogether misunderstands the questions put to him. The situation becomes still worse when the defendant has been so subjected to examination, and becomes involved, because of fatigue, etc., in the famous ``contradictions.'' If ``convincing contradictions'' occur at the end of a long examination of a witness or a defendant, it is well to find out how long the examination took. If it took much time the contradictions mean little.
The same phenomena of fatigue may even lead to suspicion of negligence. Doctors, trained nurses, nursery maids, young mothers, etc., who became guilty of ``negligence'' of invalids and children have, in many instances, merely ``misunderstood'' because of great fatigue. It is for this reason that the numerous sad cases occur in which machine-tenders, switch-tenders, etc., are punished for negligence. If a man of this class, year after year, serves twenty-three hours, then rests seven hours, then serves twenty-three hours again, etc., he is inevitably overtaken by fatigue and nervous relaxation in which signals, warnings, calls, etc., are simply misunderstood. Statistics tend to show that the largest number of accidents occur at the end of a period of service, i. e., at the time of greatest fatigue. But even if this were not the case some reference must be made to chronic fatigue. If a man gets only seven hours' rest after intense labor, part of the fatigue-elements must have remained. They accumulate in time, finally they summate, and exercise their influence even at the beginning of the service. Socialists complain justly about this matter. The most responsible positions are occupied by chronically fatigued individuals, and when nature extorts her rights we punish the helpless men.
The case is the same with people who have much to do with
money--tax, post, bank, and treasury officials, who are obliged to attend rigorously to monotonous work--the reception and distribution of money, easily grow tired. Men of experience in this profession have assured me that they often, when fatigued, take money, count it, sign a receipt and then--return the money to the person who brought it. Fortunately they recognize their mistake in the astonishment of the receiver. If, however, they do not recognize it, or the receiver is sly enough calmly to walk off with the money, if the sum is great and restitution not easily possible, and if, moreover, the official happens to be in the bad graces of his superiors, he does not have much chance in the prosecution for embezzlement, which is more likely than not to be begun against him. Any affection, any stimulus, any fatigue may tend to make people passive, and hence, less able to defend themselves.
A well known Berlin psychiatrist tells the following story: ``When I was still an apprentice in an asylum, I always carried the keys of the cells with me. One day I went to the opera, and had a seat in the parquette. Between the acts I went into the corridor. On returning I made a mistake, and saw before me a door which had the same kind of lock as the cell-doors in the asylum, stuck my hand into my pocket, took out my key--which fitted, and found myself suddenly in a loge. Now would it not be possible in this way, purely by reflex action, to turn into a burglar?'' Of course we should hardly believe a known burglar if he were to tell us such a story.
(e) _The Lie_. Section 108. (I) I. General Considerations.
In a certain sense a large part of the criminalist's work is nothing more than a battle against lies. He has to discover the truth and must fight the opposite. He meets this opposite at every step. The accused, often one who has confessed completely, many of the witnesses, try to get advantage of him, and frequently he has to struggle with himself when he perceives that he is working in a direction which he can not completely justify. Utterly to vanquish the lie, particularly in our work, is of course, impossible, and to describe its nature exhaustively is to write a natural history of mankind. We must limit ourselves to the consideration of a definite number of means, great and small, which will make our work easier,