What are the Baomes laws?

The Baumes laws consist of a series of amendments to the code of criminal procedure and penal law of New York. These laws went into effect July i,1926. They were sponsored by the New York Crime Commission and were drafted by a joint legislative committee headed by State Senator Caleb H. Baumes (1863-1937), chairman of the Senate Committee on Codes. Their purpose was to check the crime wave by more prompt prosecution and stricter punishment of criminals. The original Baumes laws deal with trials, convictions, penalties, bail, appeals, paroles and pardons and were regarded by many at the time as marking an important epoch in the prosecution of criminal cases. Persons convicted of a felony “for the fourth time, irrespective of the gravity of the offense, are automatically sentenced to life imprisonment and are not subject to pardon or executive clemency, the court having no discretion in the matter. This latter provision is particularly’associated in the public mind with Baumes law. By extension the term is applied to any severe criminal law or code of laws. Baumes is often mispronounced. In a letter to the author Senator Baumes wrote: “I pronounce my name as if it were spelled Baw- mess,- in two syllables with the accent on the first. The au in the first syllable is pronounced aw as in law. The e is short in the final syllable, which is pronounced the same as the final syllable in the word hostess.”