Thursday, March 16, 2017


by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

It is not often enough that I look back at history and the words used by our forefathers and the interpretation thereof.  Just is in my nature to understand and look from all sides.

Crime and criminals have the upper hand, though they should not have or be allowed to.  Budget cuts, reductions in staffing and a social difference toward public safety and especially law enforcement all add up to a dire situation.

So let us examine.  Bear with me, it will become clearer to all.  We introduce background from all major sources of religion first in a simplistic format.

Lex Talionis (Latin for "law of retaliation") is the principle of retributive justice expressed in the phrase "an eye for an eye," (Hebrew: עין תחת עין) from Exodus 21:2327.

The basis of this form of law is the principle of proportionate punishment, often expressed under the motto "Let the punishment fit the crime," which particularly applies to mirror punishments (which may or may not be proportional).

At the root of the non-biblical form of this principle is the belief that one of the purposes of the law is to provide equitable retaliation for an offended party. It defined and restricted the extent of retaliation. This early belief is reflected in the Code of Hammurabi and in the laws of the Old Testament (such as Exodus 21:23–25, Leviticus 24:18–20, and Deuteronomy 19:21). 

In reference to torts, the Old Testament prescription "an eye for an eye" has often been interpreted, notably in Judaism, to mean equivalent monetary compensation, even to the exclusion of mirror punishment. In other cultures, notably Islam, the code has been taken more literally; a thief may lose his left hand in punishment.

In the New Testament, Jesus corrected the literal interpretation of the passages on the law of retaliation. Matthew 5:38-39 says:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and a tooth for tooth’; But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (cf. Luke 6:29)

Talmud is ostensibly the corpus juris of the Jews from about the first century before the Christian era to about the fourth century C.E. But Talmud was always much more than this. The very word "Law" in Hebrew, Torah, means more than its translation would imply.

In the Talmud or Torah, the Jew interpreted his whole religion in terms of the law. To explain what the Talmud is we must first understand the theory of its growth, more remarkable perhaps than the work itself.

The Divine Law was revealed to Moses, not only through the Commandments that were found written in the Torah but also through all the later rules and regulations of post-exilic days. These additional laws it was presumed were handed down orally from Moses to Joshua, thence to the Prophets, and later still transmitted to the Scribes, and eventually to the Rabbis. The reason why the Rabbis ascribed to Moses the laws that they later evolved was due to their intense reverence for Scriptures.

The Qur’an regarding the historical context of Sura 5: 45 (Hilali and Khan, 2002) is discussed since the sura was received from on high when Muhammad has established his authority in Medina and in many regions in the Arabian Peninsula, so he lays down various laws for his community. Thus, judging personal injury is one of them.

The literary context finds Muhammad rebuking and exhorting the Jews “to listen to their own sacred Torah and to judge wisely, and they must not sell verses in it for a paltry price.”

Which verses? One includes the law of retaliation, Lex Talionis. Sura 5:45 speaks of the Jews ("them") and their Torah ("therein"). The law of retaliation is carried over to Islam:

And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for an eye, nose for nose, and ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers). (Hilali and Khan, 2002)

Three considerations are involved in interpreting the Lex Talionis:

First, considering the Arabic rewording and transliteration the sura means literal retaliation: a physical eye for a physical eye, and so on.

Second, the injured party has the option to remit or forego retaliation and take blood-wit or an indemnity or compensation in money or in goods or livestock in an agrarian economy. This option is known as "diya."

Third, later jurists combine this verse with other verses and the hadith and see a third option: forgiveness. This means that the injured party forgoes retaliation and monetary compensation. However, it is difficult to find this option actually being taken in the hadith and into classical legal opinions at all.

Phew… that is a lot to read I know!

Why am looking at Lex Talionis?

Simple it is about illegal retaliation which is happening across the world against law enforcement agencies and the officers and deputies that serve their communities.

The uniform is a symbol of authority which is having more disrespect thrown, stabbed and shot at than ever before!

Legal retaliation is perfectly alright when someone has broken the laws of the land, not God’s law’s, the human law of the nation whence the person resides, then you have the approved right to challenge, arrest and allow the courts to dispense justice for all.

‘The People Are The Police and The Police Are The People’! 

Why are you attacking them? You are both on the same side for goodness sake!

Public Safety employees are working for the betterment of society. Sure, there are bad apples and they eventually are found out, just like in the work environment you are employed in, even within your own family. Human failings have been there since the beginning of time.

It is time to utilize the pent-up emotions with the understanding between all and fight the criminals and let the courts do the work they were charged with.

To achieve the goal we must have the tools to complete the actions in the most communicative manner. That is us!

CommSmart Global Group is a LexisNexis Risk Solutions Partner and delivers the needed information be proactive in all community actions with data and information at the fingertips that demand and require to solve the crime, predict issues and map the criminal actions, all by socially communicating.

copyright 2017