Justice is Objective

jodi-ariasJodi Arias is guilty of murder and a jury is deciding whether she should receive the death penalty.

If the jurors decide to punish Jodi Arias for her crime of murder and implement the death penalty what should happen to the jurors?
Should the jurors receive a severe punishment, a minor punishment or should they not be punished for seeing justice done?

Hopefully, you agree with me and think the jurors shouldn’t be punished for seeing justice done.

Now imagine that the mother of the murder victim were to take it upon herself to see justice done and she killed Jodi Arias what should happen to the mother?
Should the mother receive a severe punishment, a minor punishment or should she not be punished for seeing justice done?

There would be no objective difference in the two scenarios and if this were to happen then the mother shouldn’t be punished for seeing justice done.

23 thoughts on “Justice is Objective”

  1. In the state of Nature she would be executing Natural justice. Utu.
    And this existed in Biblical times… before the invention of the Police.

    It is only because of this right to Natural justice that we can delegate this power to the government… otherwise there would be no just foundation for the state to have any such power. We can only rightfully delegate powers to the state, which we rightfully have as individuals.

    And the whole principle of Justice has nothing to do with petty vengence, or expedience, but has to do with the fundamental reality of *Divine Justice*.
    Judgement is a far bigger subject in the Bible than Salvation.

    See below.
    Avenger of Blood.

    Biblical Data:

    (Hebrew “go’el”): The Hebrew name for the clansman, “next of kin,” upon whom devolved the duties: (1) of avenging, on the person of the murderer, the blood of a murdered kinsman—in this capacity the more specific term “go’el ha-dam” (blood-avenger) was generally used—and (2) of redeeming the property or the person of a relative that had fallen into debt.

    Among Primitive Peoples.

    (1) Among primitive peoples of low political development—such as the ancient Greeks, Germans, and Slavs, some North American tribes, the modern Sicilians, Corsicans, and Arabs—the clan or family had to assume the right to protect itself. One of the most important clan duties then was plainly for the nearest of kin to hunt down and carry out the death-penalty on a person that had slain a member of the sept or family. That this idea of family retribution—which even to-day is by no means extinct in some comparatively civilized communities—was also current among the ancient Hebrews may be seen from Gen. xxvii. 45, where the existence of the custom is clearly taken for granted. It appears, furthermore, from Josh. vii. 24, and II Kings ix. 26, that, in the most primitive period, such a vendetta was extended to the entire family of the murderer, as is still the custom among the desert Bedouins. The Hebrew religious justification for the system of family blood-revenge was undoubtedly the firm belief that God, in order to insure the sacredness of human life, had Himself fixed the deathpenalty for murder (Gen. ix. 5 et seq.; Lev. xxiv. 17). In the earliest times blood-money was not accepted either for murder or for excusable homicide. Such a payment would have made the land “polluted by blood” (Num. xxxv. 31 et seq.). Una venged blood “cried out” for vengeance to God (Gen. iv. 10; Isa. xxvi. 21; Ezek. xxiv. 7 et seq.; Job xvi. 18). The Avenger of Blood, then, was regarded as the representative, not only of the murdered man’s family, but of Yhwh Himself, who was the highest avenger (Ps. ix. 13 [A. V. 12]).

    Modification of the System.

    Such a stern system, however, could not, of course, survive unmodified after the community had begun to advance from the purely savage state. Abuses of the privilege of blood-revenge must have soon become evident to the tribal chiefs, as one finds in Ex. xxi. 12 (compare Gen. ix. 6) that the commonly accepted formula that a life must be given for a life is modified by a careful legal distinction between wilful murder and accidental manslaughter. In order to establish a case of wilful murder, it must be shown that weapons or implements commonly devoted to slaughter were used, and that a personal hatred existed between the slayer and his victim (Ex. xxi. 12; compare Num. xxxv. 16; and Deut. xix. 4). The law enumerates three exceptions to this general principle: (a) The slaying of a thief caught at night in flagrante delicto is not punishable at all; but if he is captured by day there is blood-guilt which, however, is not liable to the blood-revenge (Ex. xxii. et seq.). (b) If a bull gored a human being to death, the punishment was visited upon the animal, which was killed by stoning. Its flesh in such a case might not be eaten. If gross contributory negligence could be proved on the part of the animal’s owner, he was liable only for blood-money(Ex. xxi. 28). (c) Where the master kills his slave, the offense is punishable only when the latter dies at once, and then probably not by the death-penalty, as some of the rabbinical writers thought (Ex. xxi. 23).

    Six Cities of Refuge.

    The later codes develop at some length the very just distinction between wilful murder and accidental homicide (see Murder). Six Cities of Refuge were appointed for the purpose of affording an asylum to the homicide, where he might be secure from the hand of the avenger (Deut. xix. 12) until the elders of the community of which the accused was a member should decide whether the murder was intentional or accidental (Num. xxxv. 9-34; Deut. xix. 1-13; Josh. xx.). According to the later procedure, at least two witnesses were necessary to establish a case of wilful murder (Num. xxxv. 30; Deut. xix. 15). In case, however, it was not possible to apprehend the murderer or manslayer, the adjudication might take place and a verdict be rendered in his absence.

    It appears from Josh. xx. 4 that the elders of the city of refuge chosen by the slayer had the right to decide as to whether he should be permitted to have a temporary asylum or not. If the case were simply one of unintentional manslaughter the slayer was immediately accorded the right of asylum in the city of refuge, where he had to remain until the death of the reigning high priest (Num. xxxv. 25), whose death, in ancient Hebrew law, marked the end of a legal period of limitation (Num. xxxv.; Deut. xix.; Josh. xx.). If the “go’el ha-dam” were to find the slayer of his kinsman outside the limits of the city of refuge, he had the right to kill him at sight.

    The Family Executioner.

    In a case in which the verdict against the slayer was one of wilful murder, the murderer incurred the blood-revenge without any restrictions. If he were already in a city of refuge, the elders of his own city were obliged to fetch him thence by force if necessary, and to deliver him formally to the Avenger of Blood, who thus became little more than a family executioner (Deut. xix. 11 et seq.).

    Two very important restrictions should here be noticed: (a) Although the entire family or gens to which the murdered man belonged were theoretically entitled to demand the blood-revenge (II Sam. xiv. 7), still, in the practise of later times, only one member—for example, the next of kin, who was also legal heir—might assume the duty of carrying it out. According to the later Jewish tradition, when there was no heir, the court had the right to assume the position of the “go’el.” (b) The law expressly states that the blood-revenge was applicable only to the person of the guilty man and not to the members of his family as well (Deut. xxiv. 16; compare II Kings xiv. 6). This is a most significant advance on the primitive savage custom that involved two gentes in a ceaseless feud. Anent this advance, it is interesting to note that, in the time of the kings, the king himself, as the highest judicial authority, was entitled to control the course of the blood-revenge (II Sam. xiv. 8 et seq.).

    It is difficult to decide exactly how long the custom of blood-revenge by the “go’el” remained in vogue among the Hebrews. According to II Chron. xix. 10; Deut. xvii. 8, the law of Jehoshaphat demanded that all intricate legal cases should come before the new court of justice at Jerusalem. It is not probable, however, that this regulation curtailed the rights of the “go’el ha-dam,” which must have continued in force as long as there was an independent Israelitish state. Of course, under the Romans, the right of blood revenge had ceased (John xviii. 31).

    The Redeemer of His Kinsmen.

    (2) As indicated above, the term “go’el” had also a secondary meaning. From the idea of one carrying out the sentence of justice in the case of blood-shed, the word came to denote the kinsman whose duty it was to redeem the property and person of a relative who, having fallen into debt, was compelled to sell either his land or himself as a slave to satisfy his creditors (compare Lev. xxv. 25, 47-49). It would appear from Jer. xxxii. 8-12 that the “go’el” had the right to the refusal of such property before it was put up for public sale, and also the right to redeem it after it had been sold (see Ruth).

    From the Book of Ruth (iv. 5) it would appear that the duty of the nearest of kin to marry the widow of his relative in case of the latter’s dying without issue was included in the obligations resting upon the “go’el”; but inasmuch as the term is not used in the passage in Deut. (xxv. 8-10) in which this institution is referred to—the obligation resting upon the brother to marry his deceased brother’s widow—the testimony of so late a production as Ruth can not be pressed. The usage in the book may not be legally accurate.

    From this idea of the human “go’el” as a redeemer of his kinsmen in their troubles, there are to be found many allusions to Yhwh as the Divine Go’el, redeeming His people from their woes (compare Ex. vi. 6, xv. 13; Ps. lxxiv. 2), and of the people themselves becoming the “redeemed” ones of Yhwh (Ps. cvii. 2; Isa. lxii. 12). The reference to God as the “go’el” and as the one who would “redeem” His people was applicable to the relationship between Yhwh and Israel in the exilic period, when the people actually looked to their God to restore their land for them, as the impoverished individual looked to his kinsman to secure a restoration of his patrimony. Hence, of thirty-three passages in which “go’el” (as a noun or verb) is applied to God, nineteen occur in the exilic (and post-exilic) sections of Isaiah—the preacher par excellence of “restoration”—for example, in xlviii. 20, xlix. 26, lii. 9, lxii. 12, etc. See Asylum; Cities of Refuge; Job; Murder.

    From here: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2162-avenger-of-blood

  2. “thinking” – lol

    If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.

    Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed.

    This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or non-existence, A or non-A, entity or zero.

  3. Reed said … “By definition all laws of governments are legal.”.
    The word Legal has several different meanings.
    That ‘laws’ are by nature ‘legalistic’ is but one meaning.
    There is another sense in which *all government Laws which violate a constitution are Illegal*.

  4. Reed – Due process means that there needs to be a process for meting out justice that is publicly accountable.

    Due process would find the mother guilty of not following due process.

  5. [without due process] justice would be subjective – and we could all do what seems just in our own eyes.

    I don’t see how this follows.

    Justice is done if justice is done.

    Due process is a process to ensure that mistakes are not made but if a person is deservedly killed then justice has been done irrespective of due process.

  6. Reed, if we view justice as objective (as I do), then there is a public interest in ensuring that justice, and not something else, is done. That process is called due process. To reject the need for due process is to reject the notion that we need objective checks and balances on seeing that justice, and not something else is done. To be comfortable with this is to assume that it doesn’t matter whether one thing or another is done, which is in turn to treat justice like a subjective, rather than an objective thing.

  7. Oh sorry, I missed you question.

    The victim would be the daughter. This is why, for example, some constitutions are careful to protect the right not to be punished or deprived without due process. The daughter has been denied that right if we throw open the role of deciding that justice has been done to vigilantes.

    Also, as this would be a crime that struck at the very process of ensuring that justice, and not something else, is done, it harms everyone in society who is potentially the subject of justice for a wrong they have done.

  8. Glenn
    I’m not rejecting due process but a vigilante might.

    If a vigilante happens to achieve justice then it would be unjust for them to be punished for that.

    Due process should find a justly acting vigilante (as per my hypothetical situation) not guilty of murder.

  9. The victim would be the daughter…

    There’s no daughter in my hypothetical. There is…
    1) Jodi Arias (murderer)
    2) her ex-boyfriend (murder victim)
    3) the murder victim’s mother

  10. Also, as this would be a crime that struck at the very process of ensuring that justice, and not something else, is done, it harms everyone in society who is potentially the subject of justice for a wrong they have done.

    Are you proposing that for the good of society we ought to punish some who are not acting unjustly?

  11. Syndicated:


    My editor’s note (which is my take on the issue):

    The TDJ does not condone the initiation of violence. It does affirm the individual’s right to self-defense; by lethal force, if necessary. It is the personal opinion of this editor that every attempt should be made to resolve issues through legal channels, rather than taking matters into one’s own hands. That having been said, should the justice system within the government be lacking in sufficient legitimacy as to be expected to bring about justice fairly, with due cause, and with due process, then this editor refrains from meting out moral judgment on a person who exercises the motivation to achieve justice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *