Capital Punishment: A World View

By James Avery Joyce | Go to book overview

Appendix B
POSTSCRIPT IN REPLY

PROFESSOR JEAN GRAVEN, JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL OF Geneva and Dean of the Law School of the University, who has for long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most humanitarian of Europe's distinguished jurists, has presented two basic criticisms of a symposium, recently published in Paris and entitled Reflections on the Death Penalty, consisting of the essence of the joint views of Camus and Koestler on Capital Punishment.

Professor Graven maintains in his learned analysis of the two authors under review that neither Camus nor Koestler has faced up to the really basic objection to the abolitionist case. Graven agrees with practically every argument they adduce against the absurd and vicious anachronism that the death penalty has become in modern times. But there are two groups of people, which he goes on to define with great precision, which are not covered by the abolitionist case, and Camus and Koestler have therefore left their cause open to attack at its weakest point.

This is because "the true problem," as Graven sees it, "is the protection of the organized, civilized community," the legitimate defense of society against criminal attacks made upon it by those antisocial elements which can be stopped only by being eliminated, in the "last resort." For such, the death penalty should be preserved, and only for such.

But who are these unregenerate, "last resort" elements? As one who has been privileged to be associated with Professor Graven in criminological studies, it might be useful if I were to

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