human sacrifice and death penalty

George Cronk george9252 at EMAIL.MSN.COM
Sun Apr 26 01:12:19 UTC 1998

It may be (although I'm not sure) that some criminals actually DESERVE the
death penalty as punishment for the awful crimes they have committed.  In
other words, the point may not be deterrence; and revenge and retribution
are not (necessarily) identical.  I agree, however, that this has nothing to
do with human sacrifice in any religious context.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO>
Date: Saturday, April 25, 1998 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: human sacrifice and death penalty

>Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:
>device), and I wonder if there's not a strong component of ritual sacrifice
>in the death penalty (is the electric chair not a modern equivalent of an
>altar for Yama?)
>Not really. The electric chair was introduced as a more "humane" way of
>executing a criminal. Apparently, being hanged or shot was perceived as
>being less comfortable than being electrocuted. Electrocution was also a
>part of emerging modernism. Now, the death syringe has been introduced, so
>that we don't have to get the unsavoury drama of hanging, shooting or
>electrocution. (An other triumf for modernism). People are done away with
>pretty much in the same way a vet does away with an old dog. You may regard
>the death penalty as such as a kind of sacrifice if you like, but it is
>first and foremost based on the idea that it will scare other people from
>doing the same kind of crime as the executed criminal (and then, of course,
>there is the revenge part!). The "terror component" of the death penalty
>should make us wary of facile comparisons between the death penalty and
>sacrifice. They belong to two different spheres of concepts.
>Best regards,
>Lars Martin Fosse
> Lars Martin Fosse
>Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
>0674 Oslo
>Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
>Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
>Email: lmfosse at
>Mobile phone: 90 91 91 45

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