"An execution is not simply death. It is just as different from the privation of life as a concentration camp is from prison. It adds to death a rule, a public premeditation known to the future victim, an organization which is itself a source of moral sufferings more terrible than death. Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated can be compared. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life."
Albert Camus---"Reflections on the Guillotine, Resistance, Rebellion & Death" (1956).
Plea Against the Death Penalty
Look, examine, reflect. You hold capital punishment up as an example. Why? Because of what it teaches. And just what is it that you wish to teach by means of this example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach that "thou shalt not kill"? By killing.
I have examined the death penalty under each of its 2 aspects: as a direct action, and as an indirect one. What does it come down to? Nothing but something horrible and useless, nothing but a way of shedding blood that is called a crime when an individual commits it, but is (sadly) called "justice" when society brings it about. Make no mistake, you lawmakers and judges, in the eyes of God as in those of conscience, what is a crime when individuals do it is no less an offense when society commits the deed.
Victor Hugo, Speech at the Constituent Assembly, September 15, 1848
This webpage will next be updated on May 29
This webpage was last updated on May 20, 2013
Links to Death Penalty Related Sites
Updates are available for at least 2 weeks. This information along
with other death penalty information is archived at the Abolish archive
site. See related links or
The contents of this Web page are the sole responsibilty of Rick Halperin and its contributors, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of SMU. The administrator of this web page is Rick Halperin. If you have questions or comments please contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are the person to drop in. Thank you