Essay by IcewolfJunior High, 8th gradeA-, April 2004

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A culture without strict law and justice would not last long. Criminal activity would prevent a flourishing economy. Trade with other cultures would not exist because there is a great chance of being murdered and having your goods stolen by the person you're trading with. Before long, the culture would collapse, and a new culture would take its place. This culture would have actual laws, and the courts would deal with all cases in a just manner. This culture would begin to grow, and spread. Trade would prosper, because all deals are done fairly, without the risk of losing your money or goods.

So, which do you think would be better? Before you answer that, examine three examples of how real cultures dealt with their criminals: one from the culture of Babylon, another from the culture of the Persians, and lastly from my own country, Canada.

The Babylonian king Hammurabi is well known for his laws called The Code of Hammurabi.

This set of laws lays down the basic rules of everyday life: No stealing, kidnapping, murdering, and the list can go on and on. The code comprises of 282 articles, of which 35 are missing . For most crimes the "eye for eye" principle is used, as Article 196 states.

"If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. [An eye for an eye]"

For more severe crimes, such as murdering, stealing, and kidnapping, death is the penalty.

"If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death. "

A form of judging was also thought of by Hammurabi, called "trial by water". The accused was thrown into the water, and, if they floated, they were innocent. If they sank, they were guilty. This form...