Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Executioner Time

I have been reading a manga called Samurai Executioner lately. Through the series was published in the mid-7o's it was only recently released in English. It is the story of a executioner as a ronin with a middling to well paid government post. The crimes detailed and punished are recognizable as still being legitimate crimes such as murder, rape, grand theft.

When we look at famous executions down through history there are many bizarre and boroque crimes that demand death then show up in the samurai police procedural. Joan of Arc was condemned for witchcraft. Anne Boleyn was condemned for adultery and treason. Jesus was condemned heresy, a charge later inflated to sedition. Scorates was condemned for encouraging juvenile delinquency and impiety.

All these "crimes" are seen as something that belong in the colourful past. Except that people are still being executed for such nebulous and imaginary crimes as witchcraft, adultery, heresy and impiety. Here is a transcript of an interview with the official executioner of Mecca. In Saudi Arabia and other places people are condemned for witchcraft, adultery, heresy, impeity, apostasy and imaginary crimes.

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