Sunday, January 25, 2015

when homicide is not murder


Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at

January 25, 2015


                The central page-one headline in today’s New York Times reads: “Twist in 97-Year-Old’s Murder: His Knifing Was 5 Decades Ago.”  To medical examiners, “homicides” come in many forms.  It is a common-law rule in the US that a homicide can no longer be criminal when death happens more than a year and a day after the injury.  Nonetheless, the NYT reports that two NYPD detectives have “pored over” records, searching for witnesses, and “have found no leads so far.”  The loose usage of the term “murder” in the Sunday Times headline illustrates the arbitrariness of defining murder itself, and more broadly, the limits of assigning personal, let alone collective, blame for violence.  Love and peace, hal

No comments:

Post a Comment