may even yet not be

lenguyen190298

Member
Vietnamese
This is from a speech given by John Stuart Mill to the British House of Commons in April 1868. In it, Mill argues that a proposed ban on capital punishment by that legislative body should not be approved. The full sentence goes:

"When there has been brought home to any one, by conclusive evidence, the greatest crime known to the law; and when the attendant circumstances suggest no palliation of the guilt, no hope that the culprit may even yet not be unworthy to live among mankind, nothing to make it probable that the crime was an exception to his general character rather than a consequence of it..."

I can't understand the italic part. Does it mean even when they mitigate the punishment the criminal still shouldn't be living among mankind (because he's not worthy)? Please help!
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Too many negatives, huh? :D I read it as: ... no hope that the culprit may even yet be worthy to live among mankind.

    So we're talking about a situation when the culprit is not worthy to live among mankind.
     

    lenguyen190298

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Too many negatives, huh? :D I read it as: ... no hope that the culprit may even yet be worthy to live among mankind.

    So we're talking about a situation when the culprit is not worthy to live among mankind.
    Too many negatives, huh? :D I read it as: ... no hope that the culprit may even yet be worthy to live among mankind.

    So we're talking about a situation when the culprit is not worthy to live among mankind.
    Now that's a little clearer :D Thank you ^^
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    This is from a speech given by John Stuart Mill to the British House of Commons in April 1868. In it, Mill argues that a proposed ban on capital punishment by that legislative body should not be approved.
    By the way, kudos to you for providing this important piece of context! It's always helpful to know what the author's views are because when we stumble upon something that's not very clear, instead of thinking really hard about what the grammar suggests it means, we can just by default assume it's consistent with the views the author holds.
     
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