Quotations about   execution

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Native ability without education is like a tree which bears no fruit.

Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BC) Cyrenaic philosopher, Hedonist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Edward Parsons Day, Day’s Collacon: An Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations (1884). Not found in original source material.
Added on 17-Jul-17 | Last updated 17-Jul-17
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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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The pleasure arising from an extraordinary agitation of the mind is frequently so great as to stifle humanity; hence arises the entertainment of the common people at executions, and of the better sort at tragedies.

Jean-Antoine Dubois (1765-1848) French Catholic missionary in India [Abbe J. A. Dubois]
(Attributed)
Added on 22-Feb-16 | Last updated 22-Feb-16
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Unwilling executants do not make for good execution.

Liddell Hart - unwilling executants - wist_info quote

B. H. Liddell Hart (1895-1970) English soldier, military historian (Basil Henry Liddell Hart)
The German Generals Talk, ch. 4 (1948)
Added on 25-Jan-16 | Last updated 25-Jan-16
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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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The Americans are a good-natured people, kindly, helpful to one another, disposed to take a charitable view even of wrongdoers […] Even a mob lynching a horse thief in the West has consideration for the criminal, and will give him a good drink of whiskey before he is strung up.

James Bryce (1838-1922) British politician, diplomat, jurist, historian
The American Commonwealth (1888)
Added on 26-Feb-14 | Last updated 26-Feb-14
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I do not say, and I do not believe, that Christians are as bad as their creeds. In spite of church and dogma, there have been millions and millions of men and women true to the loftiest and most generous promptings of the human heart. They have been true to their convictions, and, with a self-denial and fortitude excelled by none, have labored and suffered for the salvation of men. Imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, believing that by personal effort they could rescue at least a few souls from the infinite shadow of hell, they have cheerfully endured every hardship and scorned every danger. And yet, notwithstanding all this, they believed that honest error was a crime. They knew that the Bible so declared, and they believed that all unbelievers would be eternally lost. They believed that religion was of God, and all heresy of the devil. They killed heretics in defence of their own souls and the souls of their children. They killed them because, according to their idea, they were the enemies of God, and because the Bible teaches that the blood of the unbeliever is a most acceptable sacrifice to heaven.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Heretics and Heresies” (1874)
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Added on 31-Jul-08 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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