Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Punishment for London's Looters

"Thefts not involving violence should be punished by a fine. Whoever seeks to enrich himself at the expense of others should be deprived of his own. But, since this is ordinarily the crime only of poverty and desperation, the crime of that unhappy portion of mankind to whom the right of property...has left but a bare existence ...the most suitable punishment will be that kind of servitude which alone can be called just - the temporary subjection of the labours and person of the criminal to the community, as repayment ...'

Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments (1764; Paolucci's translation)

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