xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr">

Transcribe Bentham: A Collaborative Initiative

From Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk

Keep up to date with the latest news - subscribe to the Transcribe Bentham newsletter; Find a new page to transcribe in our list of Untranscribed Manuscripts


Jump to: navigation, search

Click Here To Edit

Of two Crimes of the same motive and opportunity
it concerns the Legislator to know
which is the greatest — why? because the a
person under temptation has his choice to make between
them: and by By setting therefore a heavier punishment
on that which is less most mischievous
the Legislator may determine that choice
in favour of that which is least mischievous.
Of two Crimes not of the same motive and
opportunity a person tempted has not his
choice — Is it Does it follow therefore that to know which
is greatest is no part of the Legislator's concern —
By no means — Perhaps not The person
tempted that is a person once actually fallen into the conjuncture of things which gives birth to from where arises the temptation may not have to choose between
them — but the Legislator himself may
have his choice which temptation he will make it most difficult for men to run into.

This is one reason — there is yet another
It respects the obligation the Legislator is under
to pay attention to popular sentiment: at least ( tho' not to be absolutely
governed by) popular it. The people A man

---page break---

casts their an eyes over the penal System — every
now & then they he will be forming his comparisons
They He takes 2 crimes with their punishments & brings them together
They He How like perceives, as he thinks, a disproportion — How unlike equal
these two crimes, say they, in their malignity
& yet how unequal their punishment! — How
unlike these two crimes in their malignity
& yet their punishment how equal!
they are he is dissatisfied —

In vain would you observe, that those the
2 Crimes in question being such, that a man never has
to choose between them, that nothing that
the Legislator can do with respect to one
having any influence on the other, they are
disparate & the proportion in their punishments
is a matter of no consequence —
What this man sees people the people see is the disproportion:
what they he does not see, nor can be made to understand, are, the reasons
for neglecting it.

I have brought this consideration into notice
merely as a matter of to compleat the Theory, without considering
whether there be any cases or practices

---page break---

to which it can be applied: and it must be
acknowledged to be a supposition not very likely
to be realized, that in a System perfectly
proportioned in other respects with respect to all Crimes that can
come into opposition, the people should be have
so sharpsighted just that degree of penetration as to spy out a the slight disproportion
there can subsist between The the punishments of two crimes
not coming into option, and at the same time
not enough to enable them to see the reasons for neglecting it.
It is of us to necessary however to guard a theory
from [intrusive] objections drawn from
within itself.

This is a situation state of things supposable —
I don't know whether it is any where realized —
I don't know that there are
any where any two crimes so conditioned
as that 1st that they themselves are apparently
equal nearly upon a level in respect of their apparent malignity. 2dly
Their punishments are well proportioned with adjusted to

---page break---

respect to their respective crimes as well as
all other crimes of the same motive & opportunity:
yet at the same time 3dly That
the disproportion between their punishments
adjusted after such adjustment can be striking.

I only mean that if any such there are,
the consideration I have mentioned is fit
to be attended to, & for the reason I have

If it be the case with respect to every two
crimes acts the not of the same motive &
opportunity that the Legislator may
the frequency of one of them tho' not
but upon the terms of augmenting that of
the other (which if done at all, must be
done by Indirect Legislation) this gives
him a concern in finding the ratio of
their malignation. mischievousness.

AESTIMATION. Proportion whether worth observing between [BR][ ] Offences not of the same motive and opportunity.

Identifier: | JB/096/152/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 96.


Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings


Folio number


Info in main headings field

aestimation proportion whether worth observing between offences not of the same motive and opportunity





text sheet

Number of Pages




Page Numbering


jeremy bentham


[[watermarks::gr [crown motif] [britannia with shield motif]]]


Paper Producer


Paper Produced in Year

Notes public

ID Number


Box Contents

UCL Home » Transcribe Bentham » Transcription Desk