A History of Ideas: Lex Talionis and Retribution
Stephen Fry on Lex Talionis and Retribution
The Lex Talionis, or law of ‘an eye for an eye’, sounds brutal, but is it in fact a way of keeping retribution in proportion? By punishing no more than proportionally for a crime, do we effectively deter people from committing another. Or should deterrence far outweigh the crime in order to put people off committing it? Philosopher Jeremy Bentham thought not, believing that severe legal violence can incite, rather than deter crime.
Want to hear more on this topic?
Here’s the whole episode from A History of Ideas – Barrister Harry Potter on Deterrence