A Myth Called "Justice"
I once had a friend with whom I shared many hours of joyful playtime. We played together just about every day. One particular occasion we got into an argument and my friend made me furious. With my anger I took a brick and heaved it at my friend. It landed on his back with a crack. I sent him home crying. I was six years old at the time, and this occasion has been burned in my memory for over 10 years. Was this justice? Was releasing my anger dealt in a just way? The "Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the short story "Earthly Justice" by E.S. Goldman would argue my action as just. However, I am thoroughly convinced that there is no such thing as "earthly justice." There is only satisfaction.
Throwing the brick at my friend only satisfied my anger for the moment. I did not deal with the situation in a just way. I simply satisfied my anger for the moment, now I am ashamed and do not look too highly back at that decision. The same incident occurred with Ben Dewaine in "Earthly Justice" when he decided to serve justice himself. If the jury would not take care of the death of his sister he would. In "The Scarlet Letter" Roger Chillingworth serves his justice by secretly, and cruelly punishing Reverend Dimmesdale for the adultery he committed with Hester Prynne. This is not justice! It is simply an imperfect human being who satisfies a problem he has, in his own way.
Justice is a delicate subject as said in "Earthly Justice," "I often reflected about justice, but I never allowed myself to discuss it with my father, fearing that one word would take me to another until I reached one that I would regret." (Earthly Justice, page 96) With justice there should be no chance of feeling regret. When jury serves its verdict, it really isn't true justice. The jury consists of imperfect human beings the same as you and I. They have the same margin of error as anyone. They did not witness the crime; they do not know how much punitive damages are really worth. All they can do is...