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Weak punishment
Punishment that is weak compared to the crime committed.


(permanent link) added: 2011-05-13 03:33:23 sponsor: Fallingwater edited by: HiddenFacedMatt (last reply: 2012-03-24 09:55:17)

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Smithers, for attempting to kill me, I'm giving you a 5% pay cut.
- Mr. Burns, from an Alternate Ending to Who Shot Mr. Burns

EDIT: This YKTTW was declared Up for Grabs by Madrugada, and I've decided to grab it. The former description (which for now I'll keep) seems to be more like a forum-post-esque description of an example than an actual trope description, so a counterpart for the latter is as follows.

An inverse of Disproportionate Retribution, this is when the punishment or retaliation is considerably milder than what one is being punished for.

Of course, whenever the punishment is different from the crime, whether it is disproportinate, a slap on the wrist, or almost equal is a matter of opinion, but stories stating in-universe, or even canonically, whether or not something is milder, are more than enough for this to be objective.

Former description is as follows.

While editing Altered Carbon, it came to mind that the most severe type of punishment in the books - that is, being frozen unconscious for decades - does not seem like too bad a punishment. Sure, you tend to lose most of the people who are dear to you, but once you're unfrozen - with no time for your mind to change - you can just go on rebuilding your life, maybe going immediately back to your evil ways if you so desire. Compared to actual prison, where you're actually conscious and alive for decades, it seems very weak.

I want to add this to the trope page (for that and other works that have similar situations), but I can't seem to find a proper trope for it. Suggestions? Do we really not have it?
replies: 30

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