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Public witness to an execution

Two of the most affecting images I’ve come across this past few weeks were featured in a post on No Caption Needed.

Image @ Amir Pourmand/Iranian Students News Agency/AP

Image @ Amir Pourmand/Iranian Students News Agency/AP

The photographs show the range and complexity of responses at a public execution in Tehran Square in Iran.

“………What is particularly telling is how even the hoods designed to conceal the identity—and not incidentally the affective responses—of the executioners are ultimately incapable of masking what can only be a moment of human compassion as the hangman on the left comforts one of the individuals about to meet his fate.  And one can only wonder if the reason we don’t have public executions in the United States is because we are afraid of letting the public witness the brutality of the punishment, or alternately, is it because we don’t want them to witness the displays of ambivalence of those responsible for performing their charge as executioners?”

 

Full article is here.

 

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