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Killing sanctioned by government is still killing | READER COMMENTARY

The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty with Gregg v. Georgia in 1976, just four years after it ordered a moratorium. The following year, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah.
The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty with Gregg v. Georgia in 1976, just four years after it ordered a moratorium. The following year, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah. (Bettmann // Getty Images)

Regarding “Federal execution numbers top states’ for 1st time” (Dec. 16), the paradox of capital punishment is that it entails governments taking its citizens’ lives for taking its citizens’ lives. An injustice traded for an injustice.

The philosopher Albert Camus famously framed the practice more colorfully, saying that “capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders.”

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Ritualizing the practice, with all its fallibility, is not the same as rationalizing it. With its irredeemable inequities, capital punishment ought be consigned to history’s dustbin.

Keith Tidman, Bethesda

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