You know how some criminals, guilty of a relatively minor crime, will shoot a witness, risking murder charges? That always struck me as not only stupid, but against survival, because murder can get you life in prison.
But just now, one of my characters in the latest Lyria story is thinking, "Hung for a loaf or hung for a fortune, I'd be hung either way." Which got me thinking, what if the above described behavior is somehow due to the old historical methods of dealing with criminals? That, until recently, the punishment for theft was often either losing a hand or losing one's life? It's been that way, with variations, for thousands of years, maybe tens of thousands of years. What if humanity has evolved from that just enough to explain why modern criminals would risk a harsher sentence for murder? That the reason was because in the past, all crimes had similar punishments. And murder was, until recently, something you had to have witnesses to prove. If no one saw you do it, and you had no known motive, you got away scot free.
Not saying it's true, but it's something to ponder, at least.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org