Quotations about   capital punishment

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To reform man was a tedious and uncertain labor: now hanging was the sure work of a minute.

Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857) English playwright and humorist
The History of St. Giles and St. James, ch. 15 (1845)
Added on 22-Sep-16 | Last updated 22-Sep-16
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Executions, far from being useful examples to the survivors, have, I am persuaded, a quite contrary effect, by hardening the heart they ought to terrify. Besides, the fear of an ignominious death, I believe, never deterred anyone from the commission of a crime, because in committing it the mind is roused to activity about present circumstances.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) English social philosopher, feminist, writer
Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Letter 19 (1796)
Added on 21-Apr-16 | Last updated 21-Apr-16
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To execute a murderer is simply to adopt his point of view.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
Pieces of Eight (1982)
Added on 7-Apr-16 | Last updated 7-Apr-16
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One of the oldest Russian proverbs remains as inexorably true in modern America: “No one is hanged who has money in his pocket.” Or, one might say, capital punishment is only for those without capital.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
Syndicated column, Chicago Daily News (Apr 1971)
Added on 31-Mar-15 | Last updated 31-Mar-15
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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 on 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 to be encountered in private life.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
“Reflections on the Guillotine” (1957)
Added on 15-Dec-14 | Last updated 15-Dec-14
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Shoot straight you bastards. Don’t make a mess of it.

Other Authors and Sources
Harry “Breaker” Morant, to the firing squad (27 Feb 1902)
Added on 20-Aug-14 | Last updated 20-Aug-14
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