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Capital punishment makes an impression in prospect which, with all its force, does not fully meet that ready spirit of forgetfulness, so natural to man even in his most important concerns, and so liable to be accelerated by his passions. As a general rule, men are startled by the sight of violent sufferings, but not for long, and therefore such impressions are wont so to transform them as to make of ordinary men either Persians or Spartans; but in a free and settled government impressions should rather be frequent than strong.

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CHAPTER XLI. THE PREVENTION OF CRIMES鈥擮F KNOWLEDGE鈥擬AGISTRATES鈥擱EWARDS鈥擡DUCATION..
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This essay on the 鈥業magination鈥 was published soon after the 鈥楥rimes and Punishments鈥 in the periodical to which Beccaria alludes in his letter to Morellet. 鈥楾he Caff茅鈥 was the name of the periodical which, from June 1764, he and his friends published every tenth day for a period of two years. The model of the paper was the English 鈥楽pectator,鈥 and its object to propagate useful knowledge pleasantly among the Milanese, whilst its name rested on the supposition that the friends who composed it executed their labours during meetings in a coffee-house. The most interesting contributions to it by Beccaria are his 鈥楩ragment on Style,鈥 his article on 鈥楶eriodical Newspapers,鈥 and his essay on the 鈥楶leasures of the Imagination.鈥?
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There is a general theorem which is most useful for calculating the certainty of a fact, as, for instance, the force of the proofs in the case of a given crime:鈥.
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But although the laws of every country thus recognise in different degrees the retributive nature of punishment, by their constant attention to its apportionment to crime, there is another corollary of the desirability of a just proportion between the two, which has never been, nor is ever likely to be, accepted: namely, that from the point of view of the public interest, which in theory is the only legal view, it is no mitigation of a crime that it is a first offence, nor any aggravation of one that it is the second.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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