Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Judicial murder

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Judicial murder is the unjustified use of capital punishment.

The term was first used in 1782 (German Justizmord) by August Ludwig von Schlözer in reference to the execution of Anna Göldi. In a footnote, he explains the term as

"the murder of an innocent, deliberately, and with all the pomp of holy Justice, perpetrated by people installed to prevent murder, or, if a murder has occurred, to see to it that it is punished appropriately."

Voltaire in 1777 used the comparable term of assassins juridiques ("judicial murderers").

In 1932, the term is also used by Justice Sutherland in Powell v. Alabama when establishing the right to a court-appointed attorney in all capital cases:

Let us suppose the extreme case of a prisoner charged with a capital offense who is deaf and dumb, illiterate and feeble minded, unable to employ counsel, with the whole power of the state arrayed against him, prosecuted by counsel for the state without assignment of counsel for his defense, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Such a result ... if carried into execution, would be little short of judicial murder.

Hermann Mostar (1956) defends the extension of the term to un-premeditated miscarriages of justice where an innocent suffers the death penalty.


Judicial murder Wikipedia

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