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Public Execution

By Taylor Marvin

North Carolina Republican state Rep. Larry Pittman wants to reinstate public hangings for “abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers”. Pittman’s getting justifiably mocked in the liberal blogosphere; his entusiasm for the death penalty is revolting, and horrendously tone-deaf in a state notable for a terror campaign of institutionalized public lynchings that ended less than a century ago. But I partially agree with Representative Pitmann’s advocacy for public execution. If our society has decided we’re comfortable with the state routinely killing, then the ugly act of execution should be in the light of day and not the sanitized faux-hospital of the lethal injection. Despite our best efforts, ending human life is never routine, and we should stop the voluntary procedural euphemisms that let us pretend that it is.

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