Main Disproportionate Retribution Discussion

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06:07:42 PM Jul 17th 2017
What's the difference between this trope and the idiom "Jersey justice"?
07:36:03 AM Oct 11th 2011
Are there any examples of Disproportionate Retribution resulting in crossing the Moral Event Horizon? I ask because I have that as an example out of the Eagle Eye Mysteries game series.
07:39:48 AM Oct 11th 2011
Syndrome from The Incredibles murdered dozens of superheroes and was willing to kill children to show up Mr Incredible. I'm pretty sure that counts.
06:26:50 PM Oct 6th 2011
I think that the final Real Life entry should be removed (didn't want to do it without gathering opinions first.)

It's a not so veiled piece about the the World Trade Centre bombings with several roblems I can see or predict.

1. It should be clearer, not a euphemistic, veiled piece, no matter how obvious it is. All the other examples are 'Here's what was done, here's the retribution', the WTC one is 'something happened to a country a while back, and their supposed crime? Arrogance.' If it's going to be on, it needs to be explicit.

2. It's inviting flame wars and edit wars. America has had other crimes, and others against Midle Eastern nations in specific, for several years, so no, their only crime is not 'arrogance' and to suggest that is in itself arrogance. Yes, the destruction of the WTC may or may not have been an act of disproportionate retribution for America's past crimes (see how this could become an argument easily?) but trying to determine whether it was or not would be a task in itself, and one that not even fully fledged historians and scholars and politicians have yet been able to sort out. It's easy to say that the Nazis were bad, but trying to come down hard on something as grey as the War on Terror is a little beyond this website.

3. All it would take is for someone to respond thus 'And for the 3,000 innocents dead at WTC, America has killed 34,000 innocent Afghanis' and you've got the makings of an ugly flame war.

Like I say, I think it should be removed before it causes trouble, but it's a sensitive topic, and I didn't want to cause trouble over it, just point out the issues I saw.
07:01:10 PM Mar 27th 2013
It's gone now.
02:25:22 AM May 29th 2013
its a shame that it is gone some people find that interesting
07:55:15 PM Aug 28th 2011
I think that this should be a YMMV trope. Whether or not the retribution was proportionate to the original transgression can be subjective.
08:22:39 PM Aug 28th 2011
Example: Eugene was bullied endlessly in high school. Ten years later, Eugene goes on a massacre, killing all the people who bullied him in high school.

Troper 1: I think this was a Disproportionate Retribution. Seriously, killing someone just because they bullied you? Come on.

Troper 2: Nuh-uh! I think that Eugene's actions were justified. The bullying caused lots of emotional trauma to poor Eugene, and he was practically insane ten years later.
02:26:28 AM May 29th 2013
i agree with troper 2
07:56:09 AM May 29th 2013
No, bullying does not justify massacring people. This isn't YMMV. It's about the scale of the offense vs. the scale of the response. Those things can be measured.
01:48:42 PM Jun 1st 2013
edited by
Reading the OP, if i understood the opinion of the OP, i guess that this can be expressed of a different form comparing the reactions to a person killing someone that tortured them out of pure sadism:

Troper 1: I think this was a Disproportionate Retribution. The guy tortured him, not killed him neither tried kill him but they killed him.

Troper 2: Nuh-uh! I think that his actions were justified. The torture caused lots of scars and left him in the brink of the insanity.
09:56:04 PM Aug 26th 2011
NEVER knock out my Level 1 Pichu in Pokemon just because you felt like it, or my Rayquaza will be found sitting on my couch Ten minutes later, Using your pokemon's flesh as a NAPKIN
07:54:09 PM Aug 28th 2011
That's nice.
09:21:44 PM Aug 28th 2011
Your fault for sending him out in battle. Now give me that napkin back, I've got to get it to the Pokemon Center!
07:55:03 PM Jun 4th 2011
Isn't there an Opposite to Disproportionate Retribution? i mean somthing like "Do a little thing and being treated like a king"?
01:32:19 PM Jul 3rd 2011
The next one in the index bar: Disproportionate Reward.
07:03:51 AM May 7th 2011
Just gotta say, I love the picture for this trope. It captures it so perfectly.
03:46:11 PM Mar 27th 2011
I don't know about the Disproportionate Retribution in She-Devil, most of what she did was legitimate first to get back at her ex and his mistress. Second she found out he had been embezzling and set it up so he couldn't charm his way out of trouble. Sound about right for his crimes to me.
12:50:40 PM Mar 16th 2011
I think we need an entire page for Disproportionate Reaction, including:

  • Emotion: When a person feels the right emotion, he/she is just too emotional.
  • Celebration: When a person celebrates for something as trivial as Direc TV.
  • Retribution: So many examples that it needs its own page. When someone receives big-time payback for doing something trivial, like getting the vengeful person fired or something.
  • Reward: So many examples that it needs its own page. When someone is rewarded greatly for something trivial.
01:31:21 PM Jul 3rd 2011
Take it to YKTTW. That's what it's for.
12:03:33 AM Dec 30th 2010
edited by Prowler
On Drag Me to Hell...

"It wasn't that he was cursed for stealing it. The idea is that the necklace he stole was already cursed, just like the main character's button was cursed. The person who the necklace belonged to was the one who was going to be dragged to hell, but then the kid stole it not knowing what it was."

Erm...source? It was stated that a cursed object had to have a gift made of it to get rid of and pass on the Lamia, so that doesn't make sense, IIRC.
08:47:35 PM Sep 27th 2010
I think the disproportionate retribution entry on children 'sexting' should be removed. By law this is a crime, by conscience children under the age of 18 should not be sending such material, regardless of whether they themselves are the subject matter. The exception in that case would be because the child is consenting, but the whole basis of child pornography law is that CHILDREN CANNOT CONSENT, they lack the mental development necessary to be in a state of consent. In a perfect world, both themselves and the holder of the cell phone contract should be charged with possession of child pornography, and forced to register.
09:33:35 AM Nov 14th 2010
edited by GrrrrForgotMyPassword
I second removing this section. It completely fails to consider the consequences for adults who unwittingly come upon the materials produced. Law enforcement is, shall we say, less than forgiving of circumstances, to the point where the FBI recommends that you turn yourself in and simply accept your fate should you happen to stumble upon it by accident. For example, if one of those teens drops their cellphone and an adult turns it in as a lost item, or if their parents sell or give away their old computer without - at the very least - overwriting the hard drive with random data multiple times and it gets searched after somebody taps into the new owner's unsecured wireless network to do something illegal, that person's life will then be completely and utterly destroyed due to the actions of those minors. It isn't disproportionate at all for the real perpetrators to be punished for placing adults at serious risk of such dire consequences.
01:49:15 PM Jul 3rd 2011
Your argument fails basic logic and wouldn't stand up in court. A person has only one mind, and thus is one single legal entity, a fact that is so obvious that it normally goes without saying; clearly you cannot split a person into multiple "persons" and charge one of these hypothetical "persons" with stealing the property of another of them. Now, onto the issue of consent. If a person takes a photograph of somebody, then the act requires consent on the part of the subject. However, if they are the subject of their own photograph, you can't consider that consent independently of the act of taking the photograph, since that would be effectively changing one person into two; so, the act of taking the photograph and consenting to it being taken become one and the same. This is where your argument breaks down completely: asserting that a child was responsible for X but not Y, when X and Y are the same action is equivalent to saying "X is not X", which is a logically meaningless statement and falls foul of the Doctrine of Absurdity. Since the law states that a child cannot consent to being photographed, the only valid conclusion to draw is that the child cannot be held responsible for the act of photographing themselves, because if they were, that would imply they had given consent (which they cannot do). Since the entire basis of the law, and its exclusion from the First Amendment, revolves around this inability of children to give consent, chances of a court finding that the child had given consent, but was still guilty of a crime, are next to zero, and would open the floodgates to a whole slew of potential defenses.

HOWEVER, I still second the removal of this section, for a completely different reason; it's an Urban Legend. Despite the media outcry over the past two years about this, I've yet to see a single case anywhere near as bad as described. One case was falsely reported by several news outlets as teenagers in PA being placed on the sex offenders registry for sexting, when in actual fact nothing had happened yet and the article was only referring to the theoretical worst case scenario (as it happens, the prosecutor was blocked from even filing charges by a federal court). The only times jail time and/or SO registration have been given as sentence for sexting have been in cases involving adults. As far as children are concerned, every case I've seen has been tried in juvenile/family court, and/or ended with a plea bargain or charges dropped altogether. Most prosecutors seem to be filing charges of harassment, distribution of harmful material, or misuse of electronic communications; charges of child pornography, if filed, are typically just used to push a plea bargain or educational program. Sentences given vary, but are nothing like the kinds of sentences given to adults committing sexual offenses, and involve curfews, probation, and counseling rather than prison and registration. Even the most controversial and widely criticized cases are nowhere near as bad as the media seems to suggest; one young adult who was placed on the SO registry was only placed there because his victim's father pressed the district attorney into withdrawing a plea bargain that would have avoided it - and he was an adult; the underage girl who had sent him pictures of herself in the first place was not charged. Which brings me to another important point, which is that most cases that end up in court at all are cases involving malicious intent; usually where a third party is either using a photo to harass someone or mass-distributing it. There's a good reason for that: many prosecutors won't even look at a case unless there's some level of malice involved. Also contrary to what some news articles seem to imply, very few children are charged with producing images of only themselves (there are exceptions, but they're a minority), and nobody has been convicted solely on that ground (in A.H. v. State, the defendants were found delinquent on charges of possessing images of each other, not themselves, after having each filed a complaint against the other). The vast majority of sexting cases don't even make it to court, let alone sentencing.

The typically sensationalistic media is blowing things out of all proportion by talking about what *could technically* happen (and even that's debatable, since there are several unresolved constitutional problems involved), rather than what usually does. To put this approach in perspective, consider that the average person breaks a number of laws every day, often without even realizing it, and could *technically* be subjected to some relatively severe punishment, but they aren't. Regardless of the theoretical penalties, in practice sexting by teenagers is treated not unlike underage drinking.

That's not likely to change either, because parents make up a significant proportion of voters, and inflicting disproportionate sentences for minor juvenile mistakes made by their children is not going to go down well. It's already happened: one district attorney who caused a nationwide controversy by being foolish enough to actually try persuing child pornography charges against girls who's photographed themselves (and not the people spreading the pictures and harrassing them) lost his job the same year - and he'd been DA for 20 years, so I think it's safe to assume the corellation does imply causation in this case.
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