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A question of Law and Punishment

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  • A question of Law and Punishment

    I have a question for one who is wise and learned in Law.

    I observe that the capitularly assigns a heavier penalty for theft by stealth than for theft by threat of violence. This is writ in Chapter III, title III.

    I must confess that my understanding here is lacking, for I would have perceived that threat of rough violence alone is a greater crime than stealthy theft, and theft through threat of rough violence viler still.

    I do accept that some stealthy theft may be tantamount to treason, but this seems an unseemly reason to so punish all theft above rough violence.

    I would that someone wise and learned may enlighten me in this matter.

    In desire of truer understanding,
    Ser Salain

  • #2
    Threat of violence is not the same as violence itself. Were the thief to actually strike the victim, the punishment would be far harsher.

    Keep in mind... Threat of violence alone is not a crime. You may threaten to kill another and if they are of similar or lower station, it is frowned upon but not illegal. Threatening one of high station might be considered treason.

    When you steal by stealth, you are commiting both the act of unlawful entry, and that of theft. Either unlawful entry of a room, or of a person's property.


    • #3
      Your point is well taken, Ser Cody, and I thank you for your insight.

      Nonetheless, it does not address my core confusion: why is theft by threat of violence a lesser offence than theft by stealth?

      Ser Salain


      • #4
        It is simple. A person threatening violence can be defended against. A person sneaking out of your view cannot be. Stealth is far more dangerous than a person simply trying to scare you.


        • #5
          I would also add that in a place where the dead can be brought back to life, violence, while still something to be punished, is less of an offense. The one doing the stealing is known, and will be cought.

          But to steal by stealth is to hide the thief. His identity might never be known, and thus when cought, tis a more serious crime. Punishment needs to be swift and sevear or others will start to skulk in the shadows.

          With respect for the laws of the Castle,