I thought it was worth passing it along, both for the interesting language and as evidence that there is nothing new under the sun. It's from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice M'Kean, addressing the jury in a murder case (Respublica v. Mulatto Bob, 4 U.S. 145, 147 (Penn. 1795)) -- at the time, it was commonplace for judges to express their view of the evidence to the jury, and here the Chief Justice's view was not on the defendant's side:
Tenderness and mercy are amiable qualities of the mind; but if they are exercised and indulged beyond the control of reason, and the limits of justice, for the sake of individuals, the peace, order, and happiness of society, will inevitably be impaired and endangered. As far as respects the prisoner, I lament the tendency of these observations, but as far as respects the public, I have felt it a sacred duty to submit them to your consideration.
"Verdict, guilty," in case you were curious.