Sometimes you hear about murderers being sentenced to hundreds or more years imprisonment for their crimes. As far as I understand, this is done so that factors that would lower the sentence are taking into account for the entire sentence, and not for just the time for 'life in prison', which would only be 40-60 years on average.

But what if you have a society that doesn't die of old age? Like the Elves from Lord of the Rings, who would die from diseases and wounds, but would retain their age after reaching adulthood.

A sentence could be carried out to its fullest, but it would still only be a fraction of the person's life.

However, eternal imprisonment would be unfitting as well, as that would, by definition, be unfair against what is still a non-eternal crime.

I appreciate thoughts and insights on this.

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You stay up nights thinking about this?

Well, once the idea hits me...

No, not really. But it does make me ponder during the day.

I'm also baffled by the fact someone would pose a question like this. But I'll bite.

Technically speaking, in such a society, if an elf killed another elf, he or she would have taken away the other's 'eternal life', thus it would have been an 'eternal crime'.

I see your point, but should one also take into account that fact that, since there is a chance that an elf will die from causes unrelated to age, the elven lifetime is still limited?

As time goes on, the chances of accidents happening add up, so elves would still have an average life-expectency of a certain amount of years based on how careful they are.

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