An eye for an eye

Consider the case of Ameneh Bahrami, an Iranian woman blinded by the acid attack of a spurned suitor, Majid Movahedi.

Ancient Loophole: In the case of Polyphemus vs Odysseus, the defendant would only loose a single eye and thus retain his sight.

ANCIENT LOOPHOLE: In the case of Polyphemus vs Odysseus, the defendant would loose only a single eye and thus retain his sight.

She is demanding retributive justice and so far the Iranian court has agreed to enforce old Hammurabi’s punishment. ‘An eye for an eye’ is a very ancient and common judicial theory and I won’t tarry long on debating its merit. Frankly, a big part of me is eager to hear that the corrosive acid has been put into the perp’s eyes. It’s not even exact reciprocity, since Majid supposedly will not suffer facial disfigurement. But it is exact ‘eye for eye’ law in practice and that sounds like something to see!    ahem.

But something sticks in my craw. Ms. Bahrami says, “I don’t want to blind him for revenge… I’m doing this to prevent it from happening to someone else.”

Think about this now, she wants to blind someone so that someone won’t be blinded. What’s more, she specifies that she doesn’t want revenge. Oh sure, of course! After all, how would you live with your forgiving self if you didn’t blind this guy with acid, and as a consequence he put acid in someone else’s eyes.

Logically speaking, although perhaps it isn’t legally strategic, I think she would have done better to just say she wanted revenge.

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