Is assassination ever justified? Assassination is the act of someone murdering someone else for political or religous reasons. Is asssassinating someone ever the "right" thing to do? Can it ever be justified? Give some examples. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think if a government is certain that an individual has killed its citizens and is ready and willing to attack the country or its people again, then assassination is justifiable.  I am, however, opposed to ideological assassinations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Yes, I do believe that assassination is justified in extreme cases where the person has an immense amount of power and abuses it, like a dictator.  If the allies had captured Hitler, chances are he would have been able to get some supporter to help him escape.  No fortress is impenetrable.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The fact that our side sometimes goes overboard and assassinates people who shouldn't be assassinated is not an indicitment of assassination in general but rather an indictment of our capacity to understand when assassination is appropriate.  Certainly there are times when assassination is appropriate just as there are times when it is proper to kill in self-defense.  I think the Hitler example is a good one.  That would have been justified.  In real life, our assassination (because it effectively was an assassination) of Adm. Yamamoto in WWII was justified as well.  It really is no different than self-defense.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team