An eye for an eye [Punishment in Iran]


An Iranian man who blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face, has been sentenced to have acid put into his eyes. His victim will administer five drops of sulfuric acid into each of his eyes after he has been rendered unconscious at a ‘judiciary hospital’. Iranian officials have endorsed the punishment as an effort to reduce acid attacks. Human rights groups have asked the victim to pardon the offender, but she has refused.


Why in the hell would she pardon him? I can understand her agreeing to have him serve a long stretch in an unpleasant prison, but why would she just let him off?

Frankly, I think the sentence is a little soft. What if the drops fail to blind him?

Anyhow, if the current penalty for an acid attack isn’t working (and apparently it isn’t) I have no problem with blinding the offenders.

How is she going to aim the drops?


All things considered, 5 drops in each eye sounds way too lenient. And he’s not even conscious. Good for her, for not pardoning him.

I think it is barbaric. I’m quite shocked that there seems to be a general agreement to this in the responses so far.

I wonder how far some of you want to take this but then I consider that many of you may be from the USA and so already are happy to live in a society that takes this form of punitive justice to its logical conclusion.

I actually have a complicated set of feelings about the situation, that I’m still mulling over.

However I’d like to see what YOUR opinion is that the punishment should be, given you’re so ready to launch both boots in here in judgement of everyone else, without giving your own thoughts on the matter beyond “OH MY GOD YOU’RE ANIMALS”

How about a prison sentence and relevant damages?

And who mentioned anything about animals?. I did say it was barbaric though and I stand by that.

And what damages make up for physical disfigurement and permanent disability?

So this guy, Movahedi, throws acid in this girl’s face for refusing to marry him. She is left blind in both eyes and badly disfigured. He was convicted and sentenced to be blinded in both eyes by acid. His victim, Bahrami, is strongly in favor of the punishment (I think she can pardon him if she wants to) and for a time wanted to do it herself. Human right groups are saying that the punishment is inhumane and should not be carried out. What do you guys think? Is it wrong?

Personally, I would be against a widespread policy of this sort of retributive justice for the same reason I oppose the death penalty. Namely, as the severity (and irreversibility) of the punishment increases, the ethical cost of a wrongful conviction goes up. And with a ton of trials, you know you will have at least a few. But that’s boring. The interesting issue is whether this is permissible given perfect information. I don’t really understand the position of these human rights groups. Is it just that there are some things (actually a huge class of things) that no humans should do to any others no matter what? It seems to me pretty reasonable to hold a contrary view, that what is permissible to do to somebody is partially a function of what they’ve done. I think the punishment in this case is fair and just, especially if she does it herself.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that in the linked article, she tries to make some claim about how really the aim of the punishment is deterrence, but that’s BS. If you want deterrence, you could do anything that’s really bad to the guy. The whole point of “punishment in kind” is retributive.

It’s not justice it’s revenge, people often confuse the two.

I wouldn’t blame the victim for wanting revenge, I’d feel exactly the same way.

The whole point of “eye for eye” is not to enact or replicate the crime on the perpetrator, but what it means is to LIMIT the punishment.

In other words, eye for an eye means to limit the punishment’s severity.

For example if I steal a loaf of bread, I shouldn’t be hung for it. 'Cause stealing isn’t equal to death. Shooting someone to death may bring a hanging because it’s death for death

I’m from the UK and, in principle, I don’t see any problem with punitive justice whatsoever. My only objection rests on the inevitability of innocent people occasionally paying terrible physical penalties for crimes they did not commit. In this instance, however, as in many isolated incidents where the perpetrator’s guilt is unquestioned, I can’t muster the slightest ounce of sympathy, nor can I shake the feeling that true justice is being done. In fact, if it were up to me, I would revoke the sedation and mandate that the offender receive an entire flask of acid. And if the victim had to wait twenty minutes for medical attention, so should he. Fuck. Him.

I would leave the choice to the victim. IMO, he should financially support her the rest of her life but if she’d rather he be disfigured & blinded by acid, OK by me.

The way you worded this example made me realize that in some instances, “eye for an eye” punishment really wouldn’t work and would probably actually increase crime. What’s going to stop me from walking out of the store during my weekly grocery run if the the worst case scenario is that I’m forced to pay for them? In fact, that seems like a gamble worth taking.

According to Torah, if caught you should pay double.

You really want to hang/imprison/maim thieves?

Given how Iranian law usually works, I’m surprised the woman isn’t being publicly stoned or whipped for the offense of having a man throw acid in her face.

I have no idea. I leave that for cooler heads, unconnected with the case, to decide.

And in any case, in what way does any punishment “make up” for a physical injury? Nothing we do to the perpetrator will make this lady’s injuries go away. The only reason to do it is to exact revenge. I think that is uncivilised.

I remain unconvinced that “eye for an eye” or its big brother the death penalty is a sensible base for a justice system.

Oh I have no sympathy for him believe me. Part of me is happy that he is feeling the pain that his victim has felt.
However, the 21st century part of me realises that the institutionalised mutilation and/or murder of criminals is a bad idea. The modern world has moved away from such practices and very few countries (if any?) have reverted to them.
Theocracies are quite big on it and I’m really quite glad we in the UK aren’t part of that happy band.

Did I say that?
However, I do think there’s a middle ground between paying for what you stole and being hung for what you stole. There has to be a deterrent otherwise, as I said above, if the worst that’s going to happen is that you’re going to have to pay face value, it’s a risk I think most people are going to take since they’re going to get away with it at least some of the time.

I think paying for the goods, plus a fine is a good deterrent. I also think imprisonment for multiple offenders is a good deterrent.