This is a very interesting perspective on the role of caspases in cell death.   Long thought to be responsible for the execution of apoptosis, it is increasingly clear that, at least in mammals, caspase activation is not required for the cell to die.  The authors propose instead that caspase-mediated cleavage dictates whether or not a given stimulus triggers non-inflammatory apoptosis versus pro-inflammatory necrosis; that is, caspases are activated to dismantle what would otherwise represent pro-inflammatory proteins.