On Wed, Jun 6, 2012  meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> > If he axed you because he has a brain tumor that caused him to see you
> as an alien monster, we wouldn't hold him culpable.

What's with this "we" business, speak for yourself I certainly would hold
him culpable, I don't understand why that particular reason for his action
would render him non-responsible but another reason for his action would
render him responsible.

> We'd operate on him, remove the tumor

If you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that had fixed the problem
(most unlikely) then I would be satisfied with that solution.

> If he were coerced into axing you by a hostile government that was
> holding his wife and children hostage and going to kill them if he didn't
> do you in, we would consider him much less culpable

In that case it would be very unlikely he would ever again chase people
with a ax and his punishment would be unlikely to deter people in a similar
predicament from doing the same thing in the future, and so punishment
would be pointless  and be nothing but cruel.

> If he did it on an impulse because you offended him (e.g. you told him he
> spoke gibberish) we'd consider him less culpable than if you he had long
> planned to kill you for money.

Again with this "we" business! I'd consider him MORE culpable if he did it
on impulse over some trivial insult because that would mean he is a very
very dangerous man; he is certain to receive other trivial insults just
like that in the future likely causing more chasing with axes. And I would
consider him LESS culpable if he did it for a large amount of money and
planned the crime for 5 years because then he would be far less likely than
the impulsive homicidal jerk to do something like that again.

> "culpability" is roughly equivalent to how likely the perp or people in
> his situation are to do it or similar again.

That's how it should be but that's not what society does nor how you
explained it in your post.

  John K Clark

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