The Idiot Part 1 Chapter 2 Page 28

A murder by sentence is far more dreadful than a murder committed by a criminal. The man who is attacked by robbers at night, in a dark wood, or anywhere, undoubtedly hopes and hopes that he may yet escape until the very moment of his death. There are plenty of instances of a man running away, or imploring for mercy — at all events hoping on in some degree — even after his throat was cut. But in the case of an execution, that last hope — having which it is so immeasurably less dreadful to die, — is taken away from the wretch and certainty substituted in its place! There is his sentence, and with it that terrible certainty that he cannot possibly escape death — which, I consider, must be the most dreadful anguish in the world.

You may place a soldier before a