bounds. It cannot defend its citizensneffectively when tfiey go abroad. Thengovernment that is unprepared to killnis living on borrowed time, borrowedneither from its own past, when it wasnprepared to kill, or borrowed from protectivenneighbors ready to take upnweapons in its behalf. That those nationsnof Western Europe, hailed asnprogressive by Mr. Gettinger, whichnhave abolished capital punishment,nmake poor allies has been amply demonstratednin the last two decades. Capitalnpunishment is not just a holdover fromnthe barbaric past; it is the centerpiecenof the defense of life, liberty, and propertynin the barbaric present.nIf capital punishment is not justified,nthen where is the justification for thenstate to kill.’ If a man may not be executednwho has been adjudged guilty byna jury of his peers, afforded all the protectionsnof the law, been permitted, andneven aided, to defend himself, how cannany other state killing be justified.” Howncan we justify permitting policemen tonkill.’ How can we justify permittingnNational Guardsmen to be armed.’ Howncan we justify sending soldiers intonbattle? That is not to say that a nationnmay not abolish capital punishment andncontinue to kill in other ways. Clearly,nit might, and some do. But such a nationnhas compromised its commitment tonjustice. It has said, in effect, we willncontinue to do what we have to do, butnwe will not do it as a deliberate act ofnjustice. The tendency of this is to removenjustice from the equation of statenaction. When that is done, there is anninevitable reversion to barbarism.nExecutions are symbols of the ultimatenpower of the state and of its commitmentnto justice. The state has thenpower to kill of necessity, but whatndistinguishes a civilized state from anband of outlaws is its commitment tonuse that power only in the pursuit ofnjustice. What the state, at its best, saysnby an execution is that it would not killnin other ways were it not defied, thatnit would submit all cases to a properntribunal for adjudication if it could,nChronicles of Culturenand that it only kills in the interest ofnjustice.nX he basic question about capitalnpunishment is this: Is it just to take thenlife of a man who has deliberately takennthe life of another (or placed himself inncircumstances in which he is likely to donso deliberately, or has betrayed hisncountrymen in war).’ All other questionsnare subsidiary to this one. Whether ornnot capital punishment will deter othersnis a subsidiary question. If it is not justnto do it, it would not become so by deterringnothers. The question of the reformationnof the criminal is also subsidiary.nAs the late C.S. Lewis pointednout, the fundamental question aboutnany punishment is whether the criminalndeserved it or not. Does a murdererndeserve to die.’ If so, it is just for thenstate to put him to death. If not, allnother reasons are insufficient to establishnthe case.nMr. Gettinger has managed to befuddlenthe issues sufficiently to confuse allnbut the most intrepid of his readers.nHe has submitted a bounty of evidencenthat murderers—at least those that henexamined —remained human beingsneven after they had done their terriblendeeds. If you cut them, they will bleed.nIf you are kind to them, they may respondnin the same manner. They arenoften still beloved of those who lovednthem before. They are capable of fearingngreatly their forthcoming executionsnand of longing for the continuation ofnlife. Some, at least, are not beyond remorsenand repentance. They are suchnstuff as God in his mercy may see fitnto redeem. He lets us know subtly, too,nthat when we look upon the face of anmurderer there is in it some reflectionnof ourselves, even as in the face of allnmen. If their humanity were the issue,nMr. Gettinger would have convincednme, at least.nBut it is not. It is not we but theynwho have denied their humanity. Bynpremeditated murder, they have deniedntheir common human bond with thosenthey killed. It is precisely because theynare human that they have been sentencednto die. May God have mercy onntheir souls. •nSome Very Special TruthsnDoris Grumbach: Chamber Music;nE. P. Dutton; New York.nby Erich Eichmannxiarly in his study of the late 19thcenturynAmerican composer, EdwardnMacDowell, Lawrence Gilman writes:n”In June, 1884, MacDowell returnednto America, and on July 21, at Waterford,nConnecticut, he was married tonhis former pupil, Miss Marian Nevinsn— a union, which, for perfection ofnsympathy and closeness of comradeship,nwas, during the quarter of ancentury for which it was to endure,nnothing less than ideal.”nMr. Eichman is Assistant ManagingnEditor of the American Spectator.nnnChamber Music is the fictional memoirnof the composer’s wife, now ninety andn”freed by . . . survival into extreme oldnage” from the decorum of her youngerndays, when secrets “lived quietly undernthe breath.” The devotion of Gilman’snaccount, it turns out, was but a pretense,nbehind which lay “extraordinary,” andnsordid, truths.nIn her introduction, Mrs. Grumbachncautions us to remember that, despitenthe many parallels between the Maclarensnof her novel and the MacDowellsnof history, hers is fiction, not biography.nAt any rate, whether there were anynhidden truths, sordid or otherwise, innthe lives of the MacDowells of whichnGilman, likeeveryoneelse, was unaware,nwe shall never know, because MariannMacDowell, although pressed for yearsn