Hammurabi’s Code

Published: 2021-06-27 06:50:04
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Imagine this: Your purse or wallet has been stolen and you think you saw the person who committed the crime. You immediately go to the police to report this and you are scheduled for a trial. You arrive to the trial and you plead your case to the judge. You describe the person who you think it the criminal, but just when you are almost finish with your description, someone walks through the door and admits to the doing of the crime. All of a sudden, the trail isn’t in your favor. They charge you with falsely accusing an innocent man and your punishment is the removal of your hands, what would have been the accused’ punishment. This is an example very alike to some of the situations covered in Hammurabi’s Code. Much like the rest of the laws, a harsh punishment was served for a less severe crime (in this case it wasn’t even crime, but a misunderstanding.).
For this reason, Hammurabi’s code was unfair to all the victim, the accused, and society as a whole. Even given the time period in which Hammurabi existed, he still displays acts of brutality for minor crimes. Reviewing all of the documents you come to believe, that all of the people who follow Hammurabi were under the influence that he was given instruction by the gods (Doc A), however using the morals and values we treasure today, I conclude his code still unjustified.
The Code is unfair to the victim. This is shown in laws 209 and 213 which states that if a man hits a free girl and causes her to lose her child, he has to pay her 10 shekels of silver, whereas if you were a slave you would only get 2 shekels of silver!(Doc E).In no way is this just. A child is a child all the same, no matter which working class. Equal compensation should be proved for both women. Not only that, but how does money replace a baby, the gift of life? I believe a harsh punishment would be suffice, in this case.
Hammurabi was also unfair to the accused. This is shown in Laws 218, 129, and 195. For instance, in Law 218 it says, “If a surgeon has operated with a bronze lancet on a free man for a serious injury, and has caused death, …his hands shall be cut off.”(Doc E). I find this to be unjust because in no way was the doctor trying to do wrong. At times, there is nothing you can do to save a person. I feel as though Hammurabi didn’t take this into account.
The punishment is to harsh. Or in Law 129 how it states that if a married lady is caught in adultery, then both man and woman will be tied up and thrown in the water. (Doc C) This shouldn’t be considered a crime, however a person decision. This definitely shouldn’t be punished by death. Law 195 is unfair because the punishment for striking your father is cutting your hands off (Doc C). This too shouldn’t be considered a crime. It is simply a family dispute and shouldn’t be punished with a physical punishment.
Hammurabi’s code has also proved it’s self not just for society. Examples of this are shown in Law 23. For instance, Law 23 declares, “If the robber is not caught, the man who has been robbed shall formally declare whatever he has lost before a god, and the city and the mayor in whose territory or district the robbery has been committed shall replace for them whatever he has lost.”(Doc D). This is unfair to society because they didn’t commit the crime. The mayor shouldn’t have to replace the lost valuables. In no way was he responsible or could prevent the crime from happening. He could have had no control over the person who committed said robbery.
Although, a few of the laws in Hammurabi’s Code seem just, like Law 53, 54 which states that if a man has opened his irrigation trench and his neighbor’s field has flooded because of it, then the man who opened the trench must pay back the neighbor in crops (Doc E), are just and fair, overall Hammurabi’s Code of Laws are unjust. They display violent punishments for nonviolent crimes, and discrimination toward people of a different, lower working class. The Code goes against everything we have worked to become as a society and betrays some of our most important values and morals.

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