Equality and difference in sentencing
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Propositions (reported disapprovingly)
As crime is often caused by "vainglory," many pretentious (especially intelligent, rich, or well-born) people think they should not be punished equally to the “poor, obscure, and simple”.
Of the passions that most frequently are the causes of crime, one is vainglory, or a foolish overrating of their own worth; as if difference of worth were an effect of their wit, or riches, or blood, or some other natural quality, not depending on the will of those that have the sovereign authority. From whence proceedeth a presumption that the punishments ordained by the laws, and extended generally to all subjects, ought not to be inflicted on them with the same rigor they are inflicted on poor, obscure, and simple men, comprehended under the name of the vulgar.
Therefore it happeneth commonly that such as value themselves by the greatness of their wealth adventure on crimes, upon hope of escaping punishment by corrupting public justice, or obtaining pardon by money or other rewards.
And that such as have multitude of potent kindred, and popular men that have gained reputation amongst the multitude, take courage to violate the laws from a hope of oppressing the power to whom it belonged to put them in execution.
Hobbes, Lev XXVII 13-15