TeeJaw Blog

Eye For An Eye Justice

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, December 13, 2010, 7: 53 AM

The Iranian Regime has sentenced a man to be blinded with acid as punishment for throwing acid in the face of his lovers husband, blinding him. Iran practices “qisas”, or eye-for-an-eye retribution. In Iran, the victim has the right to demand it. Supposedly, it is not done unless the victim exercises that right.

One can see a sort of justice in it but it’s a barbaric practice. The idea of eye-for-eye or tooth-for-a-tooth justice emerged in the Code of Hammurabi. It was scaled justice, with punishments adjusted based upon social status. Therefore, it was not really eye-for-an-eye justice. If a peasant struck a nobleman he was punished more severely than the nobleman would be punished for the same offense against a peasant. A later refinement developed with the advance of civilization so that “eye-for-an-eye” came to symbolize equal justice for all, i.e., a noblemen’e eye and a peasant’s eye are equal and the punishments for offenses such be equal without regard to social status of offender and victim. Actually blinded anyone is not done in a civilized country, and in the U.S. such a practice would be considered cruel and unusual violating the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But the idea of equal punishment for the same crime without regard to social status is what “eye-for-an-eye”, used as a metaphor, means for civilized people.

Iran follows the more ancient and less civilized version.

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