Judicial murder

Judicial murder

Judicial murder is the unjustified execution of death penalty.

The term was first used in 1782 (German Justizmord) by August Ludwig von Schlözer in reference to the execution of Anna Göldi. In a footnote, he explains the term as

"the murder of an innocent, deliberately, and with all the pomp of holy Justice, perpetrated by people installed to prevent murder, or, if a murder has occurred, to see to it that it is punished appropriately.

Voltaire in 1777 used the comparable term of "judicial assassins" (assassins juridiques).

Hermann Mostar (1956) defends the extension of the term to un-premeditated miscarriage of justice where an innocent suffers the death penalty.


  • August Ludwig von Schlözer: Abermaliger JustizMord in der Schweiz. In: Stats-Anzeigen. Band 2. Göttingen, 1782. S. 273–277.
  • Julius Mühlfeld: Justizmorde. Nach amtlichen Quellen bearbeitete Auswahl. 2. Auflage, Berlin 1880.
  • Hermann Mostar: Unschuldig verurteilt! Aus der Chronik der Justizmorde. Herbig-Verlag, München-Berlin 1956.
  • Bernt Ture von zur Mühlen: Napoleons Justizmord am deutschen Buchhändler Johann Philipp Palm. Braman Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2003.

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