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Boston University School of Law




Professor Seipp's Paper transports us to the Middle Ages to discover a society that views crime and tort quite differently from the way we view these categories today. Yet our discovery of that society offers a perspective about our own. In Professor Seipp's world the victim of a wrong had a choice: demand revenge by determining how the wrongdoer would be punished, or demand monetary compensation. These two entitlements were mutually exclusive. The victim could choose either one, but to some extent, especially in earlier times, the right of revenge was considered a higher right that the victim was expected to exercise, and sometimes even to administer. This view of revenge as a higher right may have reflected the mores of the community,' exerting pressure on the victim to exercise the right.



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