Read the next
If any man while violently and illegally seizing another shall be slain
straightway in self-defence, there shall be no penalty for his
Here are other conditions of
lawful homicide. If any man, while violently and illegally seizing another,
shall be straightway slain in self-defence, the legislator ordains that there
shall be no penalty for his death. I beg you to observe the wisdom of this law.
By adding the word “straightway” after indicating the
conditions of lawful homicide, the legislator has excluded any long
premeditation of injury and by the expression, “in
self-defence,” he makes it clear that he is giving indulgence to the
actual sufferer, and to no other man. Thus the law permits homicide in immediate
self-defence; but Aristocrates has made no such exception. He says, without
qualification, “if anyone ever kills,”—that is,
even if he kill righteously, or as the laws permit.