I think this short story was in one of the “Gold” collection series.

It was about the murder of a Martian who played a form of golf using a jewelled boomerang. The human eventually convicted ends up in an execution chamber designed to execute Martians, who have a hard carapace.

It would have been a contemporary of such favourites as “Watchbird” and “Horror Howse” (yup, that’s how it was spelled, as I recall). I’m looking for the title, author and collection title.

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Are you sure it was Mars and not Venus?

Otherwise it sounds very like Fred Pohl's "The Gentlest Unpeople". The central character, an explorer from Earth iirc, has accidentally killed a Venusian in the middle of a "whirlarang" contest. The Venusians accept that the killing was accidental, but he has nonetheless incurred the death penalty by interrupting the game.

Executions are performed by a robot which apparently just tears the offender to pieces. As a kindness, he is led to believe that he is being reprieved, but then taken into a room where the Justice Machine awaits him.

The story was indeed included in The Fourth Galaxy Reader, edited by Gold.

  • Just read it in Tomorrow Times Seven! That's gotta be it, nice job. May 27 at 11:50
  • And "Horror Howce" is also in the 4th Galaxy Reader.
    – user14111
    May 27 at 22:24

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