Cesare BeccariaCesare Beccaria, (1735-1794) [Bonesana, Marchese di] Italian nobleman, criminologist, and penal reformer

Cesare Beccaria Quote

“For a punishment to be just it should consist of only such gradations of intensity as suffice to deter men from committing crimes.”

Cesare BeccariaCesare Beccaria
~ Cesare Beccaria

On Crimes and Punishments, 1764

Ratings and Comments

Bob, somewere

Well put

Peter Sihn, San Francisco


Mike, Norwalk

I'm not quite sure how to rate this (maybe closer to a thumb's down). As to the topic of a sufficient punishment being a deterrent or adequate scare tactic against crime — for a few or some that works but, is that thee, or even a definition of justice? Ancient Greek philosophy considered education as part of justice (maybe flogging, moral classes, etc.) Justice being in itself a part of virtue, is confined to things simply good or evil, and consists in a man's taking such a proportion of them as he ought (Bouvier's Law Dictionary). To the here quote, it would first have to be settled what is 'justice' then, how best to administer it.

Mike, Norwalk

oops, a p.s.  In defining justice, where or how does restoration or making whole the victim come in to play?  The perception of good or evil in an atmosphere of virtue would also have to be set in a secular domain of the law of nature and of nature's God  natural / common law.

Mike, Norwalk

Okay, maybe a last p.s. ;-) maybe: Mercy (love, truth, etc. NOT letting someone get away with something) would also have to play a major role in defining and administering justice. Justice is a separate domain outside religion.

The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land calls punishment for infractions against its demonic canons and dogmas just. Though compelled compliance, government license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, Social Security, police state confiscations, etc.), etc. are diametrically opposed to Constitutional / natural / common law, the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land implements Beccaria's here quoted principles as an application of justice (such is criminal injustice).

E Archer, NYC

Yes, it's a tough question:  when playing God, is there such a thing as going too far?  In Iran, theft is punished by cutting off a hand.  In the US, getting caught with a joint in your car can lead to incarceration and loss of the car and more.  Yet the big thieves like the Clinton's and others commit all sorts of heinous crimes with impunity.  The 'law' is in the hands of the rulers, and it is for 'regulating' the behavior of the populace  primarily to tax the people at every step and to keep them in their places.

Mike, Norwalk

Current world wide government administrations and examples of judicial systems remain within a scope man references as law (carnal man's canons and dogmas  "legal systems"). I know of no judicial system that enters a realm that would be recognized as a system of justice ("justice system"). Though justice is a unique topic and categorization outside law, equity, religion, and mercy  it is not addressed or administered in any of man's body politics anywhere. At nature, natural justice is recognized sometimes as a resulting karma, a natural consequence, a restoration of nature, etc. An administration by man of justice would also have to include such principles.

Mike, Norwalk
  • Reply
Mike, Norwalk Mike, Norwalk 6/19/24

Hmmm, a tad bit Draconian. As the story goes, Draco established capital punishment in Athens for all crimes (small to great). So few misdeeds occurred immediately thereafter that fellow Athenians showed their gratitude by showering Draco with hats, coats, clothing, etc. while on stage; so much so that he was suffocated. ;-) Again I say hmmm, so much for Draconian restraints.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Punishing in never just. We must be able to enable ourselves to understand, explain and express the correct manner of all behavior to become the necessary change for the emergence of civilized society to appear.


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