Newspaper column on 'one-size-fits-all' justice ludicrous, simplistic
December 5, 2001
To the Editor;
Christina Currie’s column about the deficiency of the American judicial system to provide equal justice (Nov. 29) is both simplistic and naive. The system was not created to hand out swift and harsh punishment. In fact, nowhere in the definition of justice is punishment mentioned. It does say, however, that justice is the upholding of what is just, fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards or law. The reason for military tribunals is that the same standards do not apply in war as in peace.
She seems to suggest that our civil courts should be run as tribunals. I can only assume that she is in favor of scrapping jury trials and replacing them with courts that are run by some sort of state police.
What Ms. Currie perceives as flaws in our current system are in fact safeguards to the very freedoms we enjoy. I will admit that some times individuals that should be punished are not. But innocent people have been convicted of crimes they had nothing to do with ( see page 23 of the Nov. 29 Daily Press). The problems of the system are inherent of the problems of all things run by human beings, the humans themselves. Many things in life are not fair or just, but we can try and do our best.
Ms. Currie goes on to talk about the problem of illegal drugs and how its dealers slip through the cracks of the system. But what of the dealers of alcohol and tobacco? They kill many more people. They can even lie to Congress, and are they held accountable? Is this just or fair? She would have drunk drivers swiftly and harshly punished, maybe make such an offense a felony, of course, then you would have two felons running the country.
I do not believe that Americans are calling out for any certain brand of justice. Justice is not like a pair of jeans. What Ms. Currie is calling out for is a certain brand of vengeance. Her one-size-fits-all solution to the wrongs of the world is ludicrous to say the least.