Friday, October 6, 2017


"Justice" is an interesting and coveted word. But try looking it up.

I grew up thinking justice was more or less and equation: Do something wrong and there was an agreed-upon penalty after which the wrong would be considered righted. An eye for an eye according to current social standards. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

But people who get out of jail these days are penalized beyond the agreed-to penalty. In my neck of the woods, for example, sex offenders' names are transmitted into whatever neighborhoods they choose to inhabit after the jail term is complete. Sounds like double-jeopardy to me. And then there are other dangling modifiers (can they vote, drive, etc.) that seem to exceed the agreed-to and "just" penalty.

So justice may be an equation, but it's an equation on a sliding scale. Justice is not exactly blind.

Under sharia, I understand, a thief's hand shall be cut off. But do you penalize the thief who stole in order to feed his family in the same way you penalize a man who stole for selfish gain? I don't know.

I just wonder if "justice," a word so freely bandied about, has any nail-it-to-the-wall meaning ... or is it purely social Jell-O?

I don't know.

1 comment:

  1. I imagine justice is another human fiction, like the straight line. But law on the other hand, is whatever the guy in the robe says it is on any given day.