Childrens' book philosophy 18: Retributive justice in Lord of the Rings
[Frodo:] "I can't understand you. Do you mean to say that you, and the Elves, have let [Gollum] live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death."
[Gandalf:] "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
- From JRR Tolkien, "Fellowship of the Ring"