The executions were public spectacles and proved extremely popular, attracting crowds of thousands. The enterprising villagers of Tyburn erected large spectator stands so that as many as possible could see the hangings (for a fee). On one occasion, the stands collapsed, reportedly killing and injuring hundreds of people. This did not prove a deterrent, however, and the executions continued to be treated as public holidays, with London apprentices being given the day off for them. One such event was depicted by William Hogarth in his satirical print, The Idle ‘Prentice Executed at Tyburn (1747).
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.
Edmund Burke, goodreads.com. 1729-1797.
Many of our most serious conflicts are conflicts within ourselves. Those who suppose their judgements are always consistent are unreflective or dogmatic.
John Rawls, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, goodreads.com, from lectures of the 1980s
The fair distance from 67 Franklin Street in Watertown, Massachusetts to John Rawls’s place of burial is 1.9 miles, give or take a boat length.
Justice, and our transparent debate of justice, will be front and center in coming months.
I am less-than qualified to opine on our law and its inextricable links to our economics, politics and culture.
I would suggest that those on the Right get out their worn John Rawls Cliff Notes. (Memo: unread copies of his classic A Theory of Justice could stretch from here to the Caucasus.)
Those on the Left should consider a public less-than swayed by a Red-Soxed Sweet Caroline and more so by a measurement of the sacrifice on Boylston Street, near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the firing-range in Watertown and, in society writ large.
It was an ugly week. The set of debates forward will test who we are. Within our collective dogma, we must reflect and do justice once again, on the evil of evil men. Discuss.