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中國哲學書電子化計劃
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經典文獻 -> 尚書 -> 周書 -> 呂刑 -> 8

。」'(In the case of others not exactly defined), you must class them with the (next) higher or (next) lower offences, not admitting assumptive and disorderly pleadings, and not using obsolete laws. Examine and act lawfully, judging carefully, and proving yourselves equal (to every difficulty). Where the crime should incur one of the higher punishments, but there are mitigating circumstances, apply to it the next lower. Where it should incur one of the lower punishments, but there are aggravating circumstances, apply to it the next higher. The light and heavy fines are to be apportioned (in the same way) by the balance of circumstances. Punishments and fines should (also) be light in one age, and heavy in another. To secure uniformity in this (seeming) irregularity, there are certain relations of things (to be considered), and the essential principle (to be observed). 'The chastisement of fines is short of death, yet it will produce extreme distress. They are not (therefore) persons of artful tongues who should determine criminal cases, but really good persons, whose awards will hit the right mean. Examine carefully where there are any discrepancies in the statements; the view which you were resolved not to follow, you may see occasion to follow; with compassion and reverence settle the cases; examine carefully the penal code, and deliberate with all about it, that your decisions may be likely to hit the proper mean and be correct - whether it be the infliction of a punishment or a fine, examining carefully and mastering every difficulty. When the case is thus concluded, all parties will acknowledge the justice of the sentence; and when it is reported, the sovereign will do the same. In sending up reports of cases, they must be full and complete. If a man have been tried on two counts, his two punishments (must be recorded).'


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