What needs to be done at every execution

This is exactly what needs to be done with every execution:

‘Capital punishment is the state’s terminology for murder. Individuals murder each other, but states sentence individuals to ‘capital punishment.’ The demand to end capital punishment and prohibit murder stems from opposition to intentional, deliberate and planned murder of one by the other. That a state or ruling political force is responsible does not make the slightest difference to the fact that we are dealing with intentional murder. Capital punishment is the most deplorable and appalling form of intentional murder since a political authority, publicly, with prior notice, on behalf of society, with the utmost legitimacy and ruthlessness, decides to murder someone, and announces the date and time of the event.’ – Mansoor Hekmat

(Video via Hamid Khajehnouri on Facebook)


  1. Robert B. says

    I also oppose capital punishment, but this particular argument leads to some strange places.

    The same logic that is used to equate execution to murder could also be used to claim that corporal punishment (flogging, etc.) is the same as assault and battery. Sounds fine so far. But it would also mean that arrest and imprisonment is the same as kidnapping, and that fines and taxes are the same as theft or robbery.

    Certainly in the hands of a capricious or oppressive government, this can be true. But a government, or at least a society, has to have some legitimate means of coercion, or else it has no way of stopping individuals who choose to commit murder and assault and theft and so on. In other words, there is (or ought to be) such a thing as justice.

    This is not to say that capital punishment is proper justice. It’s not, not at all. But we differentiate between types of killings based on their purpose – we recognize a difference (if not always a clear difference) between murder, manslaughter, war, and self-defense. And justice, like accident or war, is a situation that changes the meaning of a killing. Capital punishment in the name of justice can fairly be called unjust and tyrannical – certainly we can call it wrong. But it’s not the same thing as murder.

    (Then again, the more unjust the government and the law is in other ways, the less important this distinction becomes. If a dictatorial warlord executes their people without trial or procedure or evidence, according to their whim or to irrational and unjust laws, this is not significantly different from murder.)

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