Author Topic: Murder or execution?  (Read 48155 times)

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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Murder or execution?
« on: November 24, 2007, 03:47:44 AM »
People have said it was a murder, not an execution. But a murder is the unlawful killing of a person. What was done to the Romanovs and their servents was terrible, but was it illegal? Could the shooters and Yurovsky had gone to jail?

rosieposie

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2007, 04:03:57 AM »
As I had asked the others being there.  I believe it wasn't illegal.  Because yurovsky etc were given orders to kill.

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 09:20:51 AM »
OK, this is not an easy question actually. The answer really depends on one's point of view more than anything else.  The definition of "execute" in the sense here is "carry out a sentence of death on (a condemned person). " (cf: Oxford English Dictionary).  The Urals Regional Soviet did meet and decide to kill the IF and gave Yurovsky the orders to do so.  So, in that sense, perhaps one might say execution rather than murder.

HOWEVER:
Did the Urals Soviet have the legal AUTHORITY to order their deaths? The record evidence is quite clear that they did not.  The Bolshevik government itself may not have yet been the "legitimate" legal authority in Russia, they held the power yes, but there was a civil war raging as the only truly legitimate government was the Kerensky Provisional Government and the free elections to succeed it had not been held.
Thus, on this level, the Bolsheviks may not have had legal authority. Therefore, "murder"."

OK: It can also be argued that the Bolsheviks DID have the authority, Lenin was in Moscow leading the government and the Bolsheviks were being recognized by foreign governments as the new "legitimate" authority power in Russia. Now, Lenin, as the head of the "legitmate" government had specifically ordered that the IF NOT be killed and that they must be brought to Moscow so that the Emperor and Empress could stand trial. (dont ask here for the documents on this, they are in "Last Act of a Tragedy" and have been discussed elsewhere, use search.).
The Urals Regional Soviet was fully aware of this order from the head of the government ie: Lenin, and therefore THEY were acting without lawful authority in deciding to kill the IF.  Therefore, "Murder".

My personal opinion after all my research is "Murder", based on the last two paragraphs.

Robert_Hall

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 12:27:36 PM »
In a perhaps shakey analogy, it could be said that the Ural Soviet acted independantly  from Moscow much like  Texas acts  to Washington, D.C. i.e. different proceedures?  In the absence of an appelate process [which used to be, ironcly, the Emperor] the condemed were "executed". Whereas I can understand  the executions of the Emperor & Empress [responsible for their actions] and perhaps even the heir [for political expediency] I can only think of the other's deaths as outright murder.
 Can one really think that the Provisional government was still legitimate? It had visturally disolved, even the White forces were not specifcally  attempting to restore it to admistrative power.  The Bolsheviks won power by coup. This was not the first not by no means the last time that government has changed by this means.  If they gave the nod of approval, admittedlly "after the fact" to the executions, then  I suppose they were legal, if distateful.

Annie

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 10:33:28 AM »
While it really was technically murder (it was IMO, especially the children and servants) it may have been technically 'legal' by the standards of those in control at the time. Many others in Russia were killed on just as or even more baseless accusations. By US standards, these people who committed these crimes would have been criminals and murderers, but this was not the US. Other countries have other rules, look at the human rights violations that happen all over the world. Remember Tiananmen Square and other atrocities. In Japan you can slaughter dolphins. In China you can skin and eat cats and dogs. In some middle eastern countries it's okay, even encouraged, for a husband or male relatives to kill an adultress. Some even behead people for stealing. In the Sudan, villages of people are killed or maimed for literally no reason by mauraders rumored to be sanctioned by the government.  By all standards of decency and compassion, these are outrageous crimes to us in most of the world, but in the time and place where they occur, they are sadly and disgracefully acceptable under the laws, rules and culture presiding over such things.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 10:35:36 AM by Annie »

mister charliĀ£

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 01:01:09 PM »
my piont of view is that it was murder!!!
i have come to that conclusion by the facts that it was only N&A who they claimed to have comited a crime so why kiss the the children and servents?
and the fac that they did not say that they had been killed they claimed to have moved them too a different place!

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2008, 04:28:04 PM »
It does depend on one's opinion.

There was never any attempt for anyone to hide the fact that the former sovereign was killed. While he was killed in secret, which is irregular, the government admitted his death and was straightforward about it. So, to me, as much as I despise what was done, the killing of the Emperor was an execution.

It is completely a different story when it comes to the members of the suite and the Empress, the Heir, and the Grand Duchesses. No one publically admitted anything honestly for a long time - to me, this and the fact that people lied and attempted to hide the grave (even to the point of re-burying them in two groups) is evidence of a sense of guilt. If one feels guilty, and about something that would otherwise be illegal, then in fact, a crime has been committed, irrespective of what the URS may have ordered. Remember, technically speaking, the murder of millions of people was legal during the Holocaust, but it was clearly criminal, and I believe many knew they were doing wrong.

Under such circumstances, I consider the killing of the Empress, the Heir, and the Grand Duchesses, along with their suite to be murder.

Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 07:25:29 PM »
Was it illegal to murder the IF? Putting all emotions aside, looking at this from a purely legal sense, perhaps the Tsar could have been legally sentenced to death for treason. Frankly, I think that claim would have been legally unjustified. He was an incompetent ruler, but he didn’t deliberately betray his country in any way. I don’t see how one could legally execute someone for incompetence. However, as the military and political head of the nation they could have charged and tried Nicholas for treason and have executed him “legally” - from their perspective - on that basis.

Given Alexandra’s role (albeit more-or-less unofficial until about 1915) in government, she might have been tried on the same charges and perhaps her death could have been considered legal, too. I believe such a sentence would have been equally unjustified, though. Her only crimes were willful ignorance and hubris. Those merit exile, perhaps, but not the death penalty. She never actually committed the genuine crime of treason.

Now were the Bolsheviks capable of arranging anything other that a kangaroo court to try someone for their supposed crimes? No. The Purges in the 30s stand as proof of that. If one isn’t able to receive a fair trial than how could any execution be considered legal?

The children, meanwhile, had absolutely no role in government. I can’t imagine how anyone could legally justify their execution. It may have been politically expedient for the Bolsheviks to murder them, but that doesn’t make it legally justifiable. There simply weren’t genuine legal grounds for their execution. Think about it. What would the charge have been? Being born into the wrong socio-economic group, the wrong family? That isn’t a criminal offence. At least it isn’t in any lawful nation. Their execution certainly could not have been “legally” carried out according to the laws, as they stood in 1918, in either Western Europe or the United States, because they had not committed offences warranting the death penalty. However, they were not in Europe or the States. Was their "execution" legal according to the laws as set out by the Bolsheviks? Even if their execution hadn’t been legal the Soviets would have simply declared it to be legal after the fact. So that is basically a moot point.

I think Lisa makes an excellent point regarding Hitler’s rule and technical legality. Technically, everything he did - Anschluss, Lebensborn, the Holocaust, the experimentation on Polish prisoners, etc. - all of it was “legal”. Yet I don’t think any sane person would claim that it was just. Apartheid in South Africa was legal, but was it just? No. Segregation in the American South was also legal, but unjust. The past mistreatment of Aborigines in Australia (watch Rabbit-Proof Fence) was also legal but unjust. Was what the Belgians did in the Congo, brutalizing the Congolese, technically legal? Their King considered it legal, but it was unjust. You get the point.

Perhaps the real question should be were the Bolsheviks’ laws just, not were their actions legal. That question has no clear cut response (as pointed out by others) because it is a matter of opinion. IMHO the Bolshevik laws were arbitrary and unjust. After all, if the leader can rewrite the laws at will to suit his immediate political desires than how can those laws be considered anything other than arbitrary? For that matter how can any law dictated by one man, not the people, not a judicial body, but just one person be considered fair?

Offline Michael HR

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 08:30:23 AM »
Hello all,

IMHO it was murder plain and simple. There had been no due process for the Tsar and Tsarina since the abdication and I do not accept that they would have been or could have been guilty of treason. There had been no trial and no oppertunity for the Tsar and Tsarina to put forward any type of defence on their behalf. I agree incompetence does not amount to treason in any way shape or form. Who would have acted as their judge as heads of state are normally above the law.

So far as the heir and the GD's are concerned, and their staff, they could not have been guilty of treason as they played no role in state affairs of any kind. They were just related to the Tsar and Tsarina and paid the price for that. There was no justification except that Alexi could have been brought to the throne as in my view Nicholas II did not have the right to abdicate for his son and therefore Alexis would have been Tsar at the time of their deaths although with a regency due to his age of GD Michael etc. Therefore, by killing Alexi they removed a possible Tsar. Also if the throne was restored it might have been one of the daughters who became Empress or at least would act as a rallying point for others and might have had a say in who did become Tsar at that time.

When you then bear in mind that almost the entire Imperial Family from Nicholas, Alexi, GD Michael and so forth were also killed they removed all possible members who might have taken the throne or acted as a rally point for others. Lenin would not have wanted this and removed all possible claimants in a very bloody way indeed.

Therefore for these reasons I think it was murder so to remove all traces of the Romonoff family and any chance of the Crown being restored.
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StevenL

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 10:38:33 AM »
I think it was murder so to remove all traces of the Romonoff family and any chance of the Crown being restored.

I agree on "murder" being more appropriate a term, and for all of your stated reasons. The word "execution" serves well the rogue regicide Bolshevik regime and its heirs, since "execution" implies guilt of serious crimes. Even the rogue regime of 1792 went through a form of legal prosecution before executing the French king and his consort, despite the fact that these two were were less personally culpable for the country's woes than N and A were for Russia's. The word "assassination" seems to partially fit, as it is usually applied to public figures, which the former Russian IF were. However, one does not usually think of innocent children as targets for "assassination."

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, 06:39:30 PM »
It seems to me it was murder in the strictest sense of the word. But I suppose some would say that Nicholas as a former ruler who was being killed basically for what he represented or had done when he was in power makes it an execution, ordered by an opposing governement, nwely come to power at the time. Nicholas and perhaps Alexandra were killed esp. for political reasons, and not just for who they were like their daughters and some other Romanovs. Murder is not legal, execution is. But there can sometimes be a thin line between the two. Often execution is not anymore moral than murder legal or not. Whether it was a murder or an execution is debatable and gets technical. Like murder victims their deaths were unfair and hidden and brutal. Like an execution there was some legality, and they were killed for political reasons, their past actions and what they represented. Either way, it was an unfair and needless death esp. for OTMA and Alexei.

Jebediha

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2008, 10:04:47 AM »
execution

Offline stacey

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 06:08:43 AM »
I too think it was murder. Cold-blooded, premeditated murder. Especially in the case of the children and the servants, but I don't think that Nicholas or Alexandra had done anything to warrant their "executions", either.

And I think the "executioners" knew it was murder, too. Why else sneak around and do it in the middle of the night, hide the bodies, and then lie about it?

Even the Bolsheviks realized that the rest of the world would be horrified if (and when) they discovered what had happened to the IF and their servants.

They knew what they did was wrong!!  >:(
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Jebediha

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 09:59:11 AM »


They knew what they did was wrong!!  >:(

I don`t think they knew the diffrent from wrigth and wrong

Phil_tomaselli

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Re: Murder or execution?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 02:29:38 PM »
It was a Class War.  It was an execution (and no. I'm not a Marxist).