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Das Strafgesetz ist ein kategorischer Imperativ, und wehe dem! welcher die Schlangenwindungen der Glückseligkeitslehre durchkriecht, um etwas aufzufinden, was durch den Vortheil, den es verspricht, ihn von der Strafe, oder auch nur einem Grade derselben entbinde nach dem pharisäischen Wahlspruch: »Es ist besser, daß ein Mensch sterbe, als daß das ganze Volk verderbe;« denn wenn die Gerechtigkeit untergeht, so hat es keinen Werth mehr, daß Menschen auf Erden leben.
The penal law is a categorical imperative, and woe to him who penetrates the snake coilings of the theory of happiness in order to find something which promises the advantage of freeing him from a punishment or even just a portion of the same in accordance with that saying of the Pharisees, “It’s better that one man die, than that the entire people perish;” for if justice goes, then what value remains for the human beings left living on earth?
–Immanuel Kant, Metaphysik der Sitten, pt ii, sec 1 (1797) in: Sämtliche Werke in sechs Bänden, vol. 5, p. 455 (Großherzog Wilhelm Ernst ed. 1922)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Number of Turkish college students detained in the last year for requesting Kurdish-language classes:
Turkey was funding a search for Suleiman the Magnificent’s heart.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”