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Saturday, March 30, 2013

'The Case for Revenge'

By way of Kathy Shaidle: Thane Rosenbaum (in 'The Chronicle of Higher Education', no less!): Eye for an Eye: The Case for Revenge


Drew said...
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Drew said...

I agree with the majority of what this author says. However, the one key point that he overlooks in his critique of American justice systems is that our sentences are largely divorced from lex talionis, anyway (as he seems to acknowledge earlier in the article). Hence, his argument that people would receive proper punishment but for plea bargains is faulty. There are certainly reasons to object to plea bargains. But they do not necessarily limit justice. The only time they necessarily limit justice is in a capital case.

Drew said...

Which, incidentally, is why the Bible specifically prohibited plea bargains in such cases:

Numbers 35:31
Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

Ilíon said...

And, of course, I don't agree with everything he says.

For instance, the silly notion that our sense of what justice is, and indeed our *need* to see justice done, is an evolutioniary byproduct is a big part of the root cause of whet he's complaining about. Either our ideas of (and need for) justice accord with something real, something beyond mere matter-in-motion, or they do not. To assert that they are evolutionary byproducts is to say one of two things:
1) they don't accord with anything real -- and thus, they can be ignored, or changed at whim (for there is no right or wrong about the issue);
2) or, if they do accord with something real, the accord is accidental ... and we have no way to know whether they do or not -- and thus, and thus they can be ignored, or changed at whim (for whether there is a right or wrong about the issue, we cannot know what it is).

Plea bargaining is both a major cause of the injustice built into our "justice system" and a symptom of a deeper problem.