By Jonathan P. Burnside

What makes one crime extra severe than one other, and why? This booklet investigates the matter of "seriousness of offence" in English legislation from the comparative point of view of biblical legislation. Burnside takes a semiotic method of convey how biblical conceptions of seriousness are synthesised and communicated via numerous descriptive and performative registers. Seven case reviews convey that biblical legislation discriminates among the seriousness of alternative offences and among the relative seriousness of an analogous offence whilst dedicated by means of diversified humans or whilst played in several methods. ordinary components contain place and the offender's social statue. The ultimate bankruptcy considers the various implications for the present debate approximately crime and punishment.

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