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[7]

Although it was by accident that they killed my son, the effects were the same as those of willful murder. Yet they deny that they killed him at all, and even maintain that they are not amenable to the law which forbids the taking of life whether wrongfully or otherwise. Then who did throw the javelin? To whom is the boy's death in fact to be attributed? To the spectators or the masters in charge—whom no one accuses at all? The circumstances of my son's death are no mystery: to me, for one, they are only too clear; and I maintain that the law is right when it orders the punishment of those who have taken life; not only is it just that he who killed without meaning to kill should suffer punishment which he did not mean to incur; but it would also be an injustice to the victim, whose injury is not lessened by being accidental, were he deprived of vengeance.

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