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Of course I looked ?justice? up in the dictionary before I started to write this
paper and I didn?t find anything of interest except of course a common word in every
definition, that being ?fair?. This implies that justice would have something to do with
being fair. I thought that if one of the things the law and legal system are about is
maintaining and promoting justice and a sense of ?fairness?, they might not be doing
such a spiffy job. An eye for an eye is fair? No, that would be too easy, too black and
white. I could cite several examples where I thought a judge?s or jury?s ruling was not
fair, but I won?t because frankly, we?ve all seen those. I actually believe in our legal
system and I believe in justice. I believe in justice as an ideal that we strive for and that
is what it means to me.
The legal system, when looked at closer is not justice but instead – judgment.
You can be punished when found guilty, in a number of ways, but who knows if they?re
?fair? punishments, it?s all a matter of opinion. Is life in jail, say 25 years, going to be
enough punishment for the parents charged with brutally murdering their daughter Farah
Khan? Her life was brief, but whoever killed her also mutilated her body parts. The
possibilities for her life were endless, she could have lived to the old age of 95. So is 25
years enough for her killers? They?ll be able to walk free at the end of their term, and
perhaps few will remember them then and what they did.
Why is justice important then? Because although the legal system is not always
right, it needs that lofty ideal of justice as something to strive for, something to hope gets
accomplished, the hope for every victim of a crime of any nature. The seeking of justice
is a tiring and long quest akin to the seeking of truth, for they are closely linked and
without one there may not be the other. Without the understanding of what really
happened in an event or place and time justice is not being sought out and can?t be dealt
to those that need it.
We all have felt wronged, at one time or another, in one form or another and I
feel that is why we all have a common interest in seeking justice. When we see the
unfortunate stories of others, people who have had murder or assault, petty theft or
vandalism, committed against them or the ones they love, we hope that our idea of
justice is served. We hope that the people who commit crimes ?get what they deserve? at
one time or another and we have a common belief and hope that is as soon as possible
and justice can only occur in the form of a jail term, a fine, probation etc. We have this
?hope? for others because we know that if the same situation occurred in our lives, we?d
like to have some comfort in knowing that the ?system works?. That bad guys go to jail
and the like. This is why justice is important and sought after, for the common interests
of the people.
I truly believe however, that justice as an ideal of a form of punishment does not
always come in the conventional ways of a jail sentence, or any other means a court uses
to punish criminals. Justice is almost divine to me in that I?d like to know that if I see a
victim who has been wronged, the person who committed this crime against them might
feel the same pain and anguish as the victim. That they too feel loss and betrayal, would
be as close as I could come to feeling a sense of justice has occurred.
Justice can only be hoped for though, can only be striven for and although we
may not feel it is always served – we cannot lose faith in our legal or ?justice? system.
The fact that at least justice is looked at as what would be ideal and striven for in every
courtroom might be good enough, I think It might just be good enough for me.
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