Moral Preening and Capital Punishment

Dalrymple’s second piece for the Library of Law and Liberty discusses the death penalty:
A feeling of moral superiority is often compensation for the lack of any other kind of superiority, and has the advantage that it can never be decisively disproved. With respect to capital punishment, Europeans feel morally superior to Americans because they have abolished it as a relic of judicial barbarism. So complete has been the revolution in moral sensibility that they speak as if the French foreswore the guillotine before the Roman invasion rather than in 1981, against the majority opinion of the public.
The question of capital punishment has long agitated the minds of intellectuals…

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