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Esse non disarmano che i non inclinati né determinati ai delitti, mentre coloro che hanno il coraggio di poter violare le leggi piú sacre della umanità e le piú importanti del codice, come rispetteranno le minori e le puramente arbitrarie, e delle quali tanto facili ed impuni debbon essere le contravenzioni, e l’esecuzione esatta delle quali toglie la libertà personale, carissima all’uomo, carissima all’illuminato legislatore?
Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty so dear to mankind and the wise legislator?
–Cesare Beccaria, Dei delitti e delle pene, cap. xl (1764)(A. Caso transl. 1770)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”