A new take on why 'abolition' and 'postmodernity' arrived together in the same taxi, back in 1965...
If Modernity was all about Grand Narratives, then there was no grander narrative than actually carrying out a capital punishment.
Modernity is best known now for its hubris over its total faith in its predictions about events in the near future.
But imposing capital punishment really is also about being totally certain, certainty about (often hidden) events in the near past.
Certain enough about your reading of them to kill a fellow being, with no chance to revive them, if you are subsequently proven wrong.
But Modernity simply couldn't conceive it might ever be wrong - not about the past and not about the future.
Postmodernity is really all about being less certain , about the past and the future.
Uncertain enough to never want to close all doors to doubt by executing people for crimes that we can't usually see on instant replay video and so remain always open to new evidence and motives.