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Killing TimesThe Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty$
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David Wills

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823283521

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823283521.001.0001

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Drone Penalty

Drone Penalty

(p.150) Chapter 5 Drone Penalty
Killing Times

David Wills

Fordham University Press

A different appropriation of the instant takes place in the case of extrajudicial killing by drones. That practice by the U.S., begun in 2002, has remained shrouded in secrecy. However one counts the victims, drone executions outnumber by a huge margin American judicial executions, and the drone penalty thus represents a particular paradigm of the American death penalty: for the most part out of sight and out of mind. It raises in turn questions about American democracy and the deadly criminal conduct of its foreign policy, but also produces a perspective that brings into focus the long series of historical relations between slavery and the death penalty, as well as lynching and the persistence of racism in the application of capital punishment. Furthermore, the sovereign secrecy of drone attacks produces a structural space shared by the U.S. president and the terrorist s/he attacks.

Keywords:   drone, lynching, militarism, necro-ethics, personhood, secrecy, slavery, sovereignty

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