The Rationale of Punishment

Book I

General Principles

Chapter VIII

Of Analogy between Crimes and Punishments

Analogy is that relation, connexion, or tye between two objects, whereby the one being present to the mind, the idea of the other is naturally excited.

Likeness is one source of analogy, contrast another. [*] That a punishment maybe analogous to an offence, it is necessary that the crime should be attended with some striking characteristic circumstances, capable of being transferred upon the punishment.

These characteristic circumstances will be different in different crimes. In some cases they may arise from the instrument whereby the mischief has been done; in others, from the object to which the mischief is done; in others, from the means employed to prevent detection.

The examples which follow are only intended clearly to explain this idea of analogy. I shall point out the analogy between certain crimes and certain punishments, without absolutely recommending the employment of those punishments in all cases. It is not a sufficient reason for the adoption of a punishment that it is analogous, other considerations ought to be always regarded.

[RP, Book I, Chapter VII] [RP, Book I, Chapter VIII, §1]