Capital Ideas

Capital IdeasCapital Ideas
150 classic writers on the death penalty, from the code of Hammurabi to Clarence Darrow
Susan Ives, editor
with a foreword by Joan M. Cheever

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capital: c.1225, from L. capitalis “of the head,” from caput (gen. capitis) “head.” A capital crime (1526) is one that affects the life, or the “head.”

idea: 1430, “figure, image, symbol,” from L. idea “idea,” and in Platonic philosophy “archetype,” from Gk. idea “ideal prototype,” lit. “look, form,” from idein “to see,” from Proto-Indo-European *wid-es-ya-, suffixed form of base *weid– “to see.” Sense of “result of thinking” first recorded 1645.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I: In the Beginning

Code of Hammurabi (1790 BCE) p. 3
The Law of Moses (c. 1600 BCE) p. 5
The Ancient Hebrew Law Of Homicide, Mayer Sulzburger (1915) p. 7
A History of Greece, Telemachus Thomas Timayenis (624 BCE / 1883) p. 10
Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu (6th Cen. BCE) p. 11
The Analects, Confucius (500 BCE) p. 12
The History Of The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides (431 BCE) p. 12
The Laws, Plato (360 BCE) p. 14
Crito, Plato (360 BCE) p. 16
Death of Socrates, Plato (399 BCE) p. 17
Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (350 BCE) p. 18
A History of Continental Criminal Law: Aristotle, (350) p. 20
Conspiracy of Catiline, Gaius Sallustius Crispus (63) p. 21
Execution of Mithridates, Plutarch (1st Century) p. 27
On Mercy, Seneca (1st Century) p. 28
Execution of Aper (284) p. 29
The Tenth Persecution under Diocletian, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (303) p. 29
City of God (De Civitate Dei), Augustine of Hippo (5th Century) p. 32
Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas (1264-1275) p. 32
Utopia , Sir Thomas More (1516) p. 34
The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli. (1532) p. 39
The Execution of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1556) p. 41
Execution of Dirk Willems, Martyr’s Mirror ( 1569) p. 43
Catholic Report Of Queen Mary’s Execution (1587) p. 44
Of Experience, Michel de Montaigne (1588) p. 46
Disputations on Controversial Matters, Saint Robert Bellarmine (1596) p. 48
Auto da Fe, Madrid (1682) p. 54
The Spanish Inquisition, Count Joseph De Maistre (1822) p. 55
On Revenge, Sir Francis Bacon (1597) p. 63
Grotius on the Rights of War and Peace (1625) p. 64

PART II: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Blaise Pascal, Letter XIV (1656) p. 73
Leviathan: Of Punishments and Rewards, Thomas Hobbes, (1651) p. 81
Hanging of General Harrison, Samuel Pepys (1660) p. 87
Hanging Not Punishment Enough, Basil Montagu, Esq. (1701) p. 87
Theodicy, Gottfried W. Liebniz (1710) p. 92
A London Hanging (1726) p. 96
Going To Be Hanged, Jonathan Swift (1727) p. 98
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume (1748) p. 99
Spirit of Laws, Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1748) p. 100
Essays on the Mind (de l’Espirit), Claude Adrien Helvétius (1758) p. 103
Rambler 114, Samuel Johnson (1750) p. 104
An Account of Corsica, James Boswell (1765) p. 107
The Theory of the Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith (1759) p. 109
The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (1762) p. 115
Second Treatise of Government, John Locke (1764) p. 116
Of Crimes and Punishments, Cesare Beccaria (1764) p. 120
A Commentary: Of Crimes And Punishments, Voltaire (1764) p. 125
Principles of Penal Law, William Eden, Lord Auckland (1771) p. 126
Memoirs of the Year 2500, Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1772) p. 129
A Hanging at Tyburn, Anthony Morris Storer (1777) p. 130
Execution of Tupac Amaru II, José Antonio de Areche (1781) p. 130
Thoughts on Executive Justice, Martin Mandan (1785) p. 133
The Right of Punishing, Emmanuel Kant (1790) p. 136
Against Granting the King a Trial, Robespierre, (1792) p. 141
The Execution of Louis XVI, Henry Essex Edgeworth, 1792 p. 142
The Life of Thomas Paine, Moncure Daniel Conway (1793 / 1893) p. 144
On Punishing Murder by Death, Benjamin Rush (1792) p. 146
Philosophy in the Bedroom, Marquis de Sade, (1795) p. 148
Execution of Governor Wall, don Manual Alvarez Espriella (1802) p. 149
Execution of Governor Wall, J.T. Smith (1802) p. 152
The Nottingham Frame-Breaking Bill, Lord Byron (1808) p. 153
Execution in Rome, Lord Byron (1817) p. 155
Capital Punishment And The Ordeal, Frederick von Schlegel (1810) p. 156
The Philosophy of Right, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1820) p. 157
The Saint Petersburg Dialogues, Joseph de Maistre (1821) p. 158
The Rationale of Punishment, Jeremy Bentham (1830) p. 160
The Delusion In Salem in 1692, Charles W. Upham (1831) p. 179
On Witchcraft, Harriet Martineau (1836) p. 181
The Execution of Davy Crockett, Lt. Col. José Enrique de la Peña (1836) p. 182
On The Punishment Of Death: A Fragment , Percy Bysshe Shelley (1839) p. 183
Sonnets Upon The Punishment Of Death, William Wordsworth (1840) p. 187
William Wordsworth, his life, works, & influence, George McLean Harper (1916) p. 192
Going To See A Man Hanged, William Makepeace Thackeray (1840) p. 193
Concerning Political Justice, William Godwin (1842) p. 203
A Hanging in Wisconsin (1842) p. 208
The Execution of the Mexican Assassins, Lewis H. Garrard (1847) p. 210
Speech to the Legislative Assemble, Victor Hugo (1848) p. 212
The Execution of Tapner, Victor Hugo (1854) p. 213

PART III: After the Enlightenment

Essays On The Punishment Of Death, Charles Spear (1844) p. 219
Capital Punishment, based on Professor Mittermaier’s “Todstraffe” (1846) p. 222
Capital Punishment, Margaret Fuller (1846) p. 238
Horray for Hanging!, Walt Whitman (1846) p. 239
Letters to the Daily News, Charles Dickens (1846) p. 241
Horsemonger Lane Execution, Charles Dickens (1849) p. 248
The Philosophy of Poverty, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1847) p. 250
The Death Penalty Is Atheistical In Doctrine, W.Y Emmet (1849) p. 253
Model Prisons, Thomas Carlyle (1850) p. 255
Neapolitan Trials for Political Offences, W. E. Gladstone. (1851) p. 260
Defence Of Slavery! Nicholas Brimblecomb, Esq. (1853) p. 263
Karl Marx in New York Tribune (1853) p. 266
A London Fête, Coventry Patmore (1854) p. 269
Capital Punishment Speech, Wendell Phillips (1859) p. 270
The Execution of John Brown, John T. L. Preston (1859) p. 272
The Execution of John Brown, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1859) p. 276
Burning Human Beings Alive At The Stake, William Henry Fey (1860) p. 277
Execution of 38 Sioux, Isaac Heard (1863) p. 283
Guillotining in Paris, George Alfred Townsend (1864) p. 287
The Execution of The Lincoln Conspirators, Clara E. Laughlin (1865/1909) p. 294
Objections to Capital Punishment, Horace Greeley (1867) p. 293
In Defense of the Death Penalty, John Stuart Mill (1868) p. 294
Mark Twain Witnesses a Hanging (1868) p. 300
Letter to Marvin H. Bovee, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1868) p. 302
The Program of the International Brotherhood, Mikhail Bakunin (1869) p. 303
The Algerian Executioner (1873) p. 305
Judicial and Executive Systems, Herbert Spencer, (1873-74) p. 306
Influence Of Beccaria On Legislation, James Anson Farrer (1880) p. 310
The Lessons of the Hour, Frederick Douglass (1883) p. 316
Social Science Annual Meeting, Prof. Francis Wayland (1883) p. 317
Elizabeth Fry: The Gallows And English Laws (1884) p. 330
The World as Will and Idea, Arthur Schopenhauer (1886) p. 336
On the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche (1887) p. 338
Human, All Too Human Friedrich Nietzsche (1878) p. 340
Haymarket Tragedy, Eugene V. Debs (1887) p. 342
Haymarket Tragedy, Mother Jones (1925) p. 345
Hanging of Albert Parsons, Lucy Parsons (1889) p. 346
Theories of Punishment, Wilhelm Wundt (1892) p. 348
The Case Against Capital Punishment, B. Paul Neuman (1889) p. 351
Death of Kemmler in Electric Chair (1890) p. 355
The Crime Of Capital Punishment, Hugh O. Pentecost (1890) p. 357
Anarchy and its Heroes, Cesare Lombroso (1897) p. 363
Upon The Gallows Hung A Wretch, Emily Dickinson (1896) p. 365
Two Laws of Penal Evolution, Emile Durkheim (1900) p. 365
The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde (1898) p. 368
Execution of the Bonifacio Brothers (1898) p. 371

PART IV: Modern Times

Heredity and Human Progress, William Duncan McKim (1900) p. 375
An Australian in China, G.E. Morrison (1894) p. 378
The Other Side of the Lantern, Frederick Treves (1905) p. 381
Lynch Law In America, Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1900) p. 382
A Lynching, Juliette V. Harring (1922) p. 389
The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James (1902) p. 392
Witnesses Describe Czolgosz’s Final Moments (1901) p. 394
Social Punishment Among Animals, Arthur Cleveland Hall (1902) p. 396
The Changing World, Annie Besant (1910) p. 398
Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913) p. 399
The Penitentiary Administration in England. (1913) p. 401
Causes And Cures Of Crime, Thomas Speed Mosby (1913) p. 403
An Alienist : Personal And Professional, Allan Mclane Hamilton (1916) p. 410
Memoirs Of Sarah Bernhardt (1907) p. 416
I Cannot Be Silent, Leo Tolstoy (1908) p. 420
Capital Punishment Of Mentally Defective Murderers (1908) p. 421
Against Capital Punishment (Eine Ehrenpflicht), Rosa Luxemburg (1918) 9. 424
The Execution of Mata Hari, Harry Wales (1917) p. 427
Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber (1919) p. 429
Punishment and Reformation, Frederick Howard Wines (1919) p. 430
The Hangman at Home, Carl Sandburg (1920) p. 446
English Prisons Under Local Government, George Bernard Shaw (1922) p. 446
Crime: Its Cause and Treatment, Clarence Darrow (1922) p. 449
Real Crimes and Imaginary Mysteries, G. K. Chesterton (1923) p. 451
My Friend Julia Lathrop, Jane Addams (1931) p. 454
The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti in Cartoons from the Daily Worker (1927) p. 455
An Execution In Paris, Frank Harris (1930) p. 457

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