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University of New Hampshire Law Review

Abstract

[Excerpt] “A constitution is an organic fact of every state: it is a part of the being of the state. People, like the state, also have a constitution—a character. Just as people change over time, so do states. But just as there are natural limits on what people can or cannot become, so there are natural limits on what the state can and cannot fairly do. No man, nor any group of men, ex ante may justly take the life of another person, though perhaps their killing may be excused (or forgiven) ex post.”

"The death of Death would surely be seen by Aristotle, Hobbes, and Marx as worthy of contemplation. The death of the state and its replacement by society was the essence of Marx’s work. A condemnation to life means the prisoner is condemned to breathe, to contemplate their error and to try the impossible: repairing the injury they caused. Some people under that circumstance would prefer to die. Some fates are worse than death. We are a social animal, and killing is the most asocial act.”

Repository Citation

Jur. Eric Engle, Ph.D. , Death Is Unconstitutional: How Capital Punishment Became Illegal in America—A Future History, 6 Pierce L. Rev. 485 (2008), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol6/iss3/8

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