i believe that john locke's defense of the right to punish is in tension with his defense of human equality. the main purpose of this article is to show that this tension could be resolved if locke's justification of the right to punish is based on the concept of trust. this concept is clarley employed by locke to justify the right of resistance. i think that it is possible to use it also to justify the existence of the right to punish. but, even if this justification were succesful, some problems remain.