The Classical Conception Of Lex Talionis

957 WordsDec 8, 20154 Pages
The classical conception of lex talionis is defined as someone being “rightly paid back for the harm they have caused another with a similar harm” (White, 222). To simply put it, lex taliones is known as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” which is a concept commonly associated with retributive justice. Although Jeffrey Reiman does not believe in using the death penalty as punishment for murder, he does support for it under certain distinct circumstances. In this case, responding to murder with death would demonstrate the idea of lex taliones. Reiman explains that the death penalty constitutes just punishment for some murders because murder is defined as “the killing of a legally innocent person by a nonauthorized individual” (White, 221). This makes murder a crime and to counter this crime, substantial punishments must be enforced. The basis for determining those punishments would result from a thorough analysis of lex taliones. Reiman supports the idea of lex taliones by comparing it to the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule follows the idea that you should “do to others as you would have them do to you.” Kant closely referenced this in his Principle of Universal Law (Burnor, 162). Similarly, lex talionis pushes for “do what they have done to us.” The concepts conveyed in the Golden Rule and lex taliones both reflect the idea that all human beings are equal, and therefore, would receive the same treatment. Jeffrey Reiman mentions that the death penalty in response to

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