CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, n. The premeditated killing of individuals by the state for real, imaginary, or concocted offenses, and an excellent example of the primacy of the individual in the land of the free. As Senator Orrin Hatch so cogently put it, “Capital punishment is our society’s recognition of the sanctity of human life.”

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary


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