ESTONIA: After Socrates

Since Socrates, after considerable palaver, raised the poison cup of hemlock and escaped the indignity of public execution, modern nations have decided that a man under sentence of death who kills himself is cheating the law. Sole exception is the dignified little Baltic State of Estonia. Until a thwarted Nazi putsch so alarmed President Konstantin Pats last year that he declared a state of martial law, Estonia had ignored the death penalty entirely. Confronted with the new problem of how to execute Estonians, President Pats devised a system of taking them into...

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