The World of Law: A Treasury of Great Writing about and in the Law, Short Stories, Plays, Essays, Accounts, Letters, Opinions, Pleas, Transcripts of Testimony; from Biblical Times to the Present - Vol. 2

By Ephraim London | Go to book overview

George Bernard Shaw


ON THE ENTIRELY REASONABLE MURDER OF A POLICE CONSTABLE

From The Sunday Express, 13 May 1928

I have been asked to give my opinion "on the popular point of view that a particularly brutal and callous murder of this kind [the reference is to the murder of Police Constable Gutteridge] is one of the cases in which capital punishment is justified."

Now the first thing I have to observe is that the adjectives "brutal and callous" are wildly inappropriate, and represent simply the popular loss of temper over the murder, and the customary English resort to vituperation to relieve the strain.

The murder of Constable Gutteridge was an entirely reasonable one; the work, apparently, of an out-and-out Rationalist. Further, the person who committed it was one of those sensitive people to whom the condition of a criminal under punishment is unbearable.

Also it was the work of someone who was credulous as to "the marvels of science," which take the same place in modern life as miracles did in that of the Ages of Faith.

Reasonable murders practically all fall into the same class: they are murders committed by criminals to escape detection and capture. The reasoning is simple. Our police statistics show the number of murders committed every year, and the proportion of them that are never brought to justice. That is, they show the odds for and against impunity for the murderer.

A robber surprised in the act by a police officer or a householder has to consider that if he surrenders he will certainly spend several years in penal servitude. If he shoots, this certainty is replaced by a risk of being hanged, and a chance of escape.

Such was the situation created by the encounter with the unfortunate

-509-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The World of Law: A Treasury of Great Writing about and in the Law, Short Stories, Plays, Essays, Accounts, Letters, Opinions, Pleas, Transcripts of Testimony; from Biblical Times to the Present - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 784

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.