Equal Punishment Stephen Nathanson Analysis

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It is a long held truth in society that it is always better to be the bigger person. There is something to be said for those who will not do unto others as those others have done to them. It takes a large amount of strength to overcome the thirst for justice, especially when there is no equitable justice to be had. However, whatever wrong has been done in the past, there is a future and in order to prevent history repeating, perhaps society should look at the example it is setting. Stephen Nathanson asks us to truly delve deeper into the principle of lex talionis and examine if getting what is given is the right path to take when it comes to punishing criminals. Nathanson first takes a look at the Equal Punishment principle, citing Kant when it comes to long held traditions of thought in reference to the death penalty. If punishment is truly meant to be in an “eye for an eye” setting, then the murderer should be killed, sodomizers should be sodomized, and those who torture should be tortured in…show more content…
If someone is naturally anti-social, then time inside a jail cell alone would not cause them as much suffering as to the social butterfly. Measuring different amounts of suffering could be hard to do though, would taking a violin out of the hands of a devoted musician cause more harm than ending his life? Some could argue both would be equitable. The idea of the state personalizing a crime to give someone their ‘personal deserts’ or ‘human deserts’ is time consuming. Surely the scale of punishment with proportionality would be overgrown if there were subsections for each type of individual. After clearly showing the problems with the arguments for the death penalty and the abstractness of the arguments against it, the author still gives no answers. Lex talionis could be the wrong way of doing things and the principle of proportionality simply says to punish proportionally to the
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