In the beginning of this excerpt when Synge relates the anecdote of the Connaught man who killed his father, he suggests that this experience relates the “primitive feeling of these people…that a man will not do wrong unless he is under the influence of a passion which is as irresponsible as a storm on the sea…[and] they can see no reason why he should be dragged away and killed by the law.” While this seems to be an accurate assumption for the majority of cases, this is a potentially dangerous statement. The premise of this argument rests on the notion that the accused murderer feels remorse and is forever changed by their action. Yet this argument falls apart and would be frankly naive if the person who committed the crime is deranged and knowingly and unreservedly killed the person. If this were the case, then it would be illogical to say that this person should not be punished or detained for his actions because they may be a risk to the rest of society. Moreover, if someone is capable of taking another person’s life, whether it be in cold blood or in a passion, on the basis of frivolous motives, or in other words, everything but self-defense, then they are a danger to the rest of society and should be held responsible for their actions.
Subsequent to this the villagers claim that with respect to their experiences “if you suggest that punishment is needed as an example, they ask, 'Would any one kill his father if he was able to help it? ' The notion that punishment is needed as an example asserts that the punishment for murder, or the punishment any crime for that matter, should be employed as a deterrent and to inspire fear that will prevent others from fulfilling the said crime in the future. This illustrates a depressi...
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... a crime and is something they know is against the law and they consent to following those laws when choosing to live in that society, then family members and friends should step forward to protect the rights of the person who was harmed. If this is the case, then the notion that the loyalty and kinship result in greater injustices and a corruption of the justice system, then this is a false assumption because in this case laws and justice are not failing and are dealing on a “false basis” but rather it is a failure in human nature of several individuals who place their emotions before doing the right thing. That being said, laws and the justice system must be shaped around the society they govern but given that in modern times testimonies are not solely based on testimonies, then this would be an inaccurate assumption and the justice system in place is appropriate.
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