Justice vs Revenge   2 comments

Justice vs Revenge 

It seems that not a day goes by that there is not an article, letter or news story about a conflict between individuals, groups of persons, or nations in the newspaper on on the airwaves.   On June 17, 2010 James Everett featured a letter, “Everett: Will the Utah execution be the last gunshot?”.   This article in in regard to the execution of Mr Gardner by firing squad in Arizona.   As I viewed the article on the Examiner’s web page I noted that there were comments by others critical of Mr Everett and the inference that he was more concerned about Mr Gardner than he was about those victimized by him.

 Here in the U.S. We have a justice system that, in many, if not most cases, tends to seek revenge rather than justice.   There is a huge differece.   True justice seeks to “make right” as much as possible the wrong done.   There is an attempt to bring in everyone involved with the conflict.   To restore what the victim lost.   To bring healing to those who were hurt.   There is also an attempt to involve the offender and to help him/her come to an understanding of what harm has been done.   There is much more than this to restorative justice.   More than can be explained in a short letter.

 The Unites States is far behind most of the rest of the civilized world in regard to this issue.  I would encourage anyone interested in learning more  to contact the Community Mediation Center at 1212 W Truman Road here in Independence, Missouri.   Their phone number is 816-822-4300.   There are also several good resources on restorative justice on line.   There are many good books that have been written on the subject.   One such author that I would recommend is Howard Zehr.   He has written Changing Lenses among several other good books.   It would be well worth anyone’s time to educate themselves on the topic of restorative justice.


Posted June 22, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Justice vs Revenge

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  1. The other rational for punishment is deterrent. I don’t think deterrence or retribution (or as you call it, revenge) are mutually exclusive of justice. Justice may call for some retribution for wrongdoings, just as it may call for punishment as a means of deterrence notwithstanding seeming unfairness.

    Restorative justice doesn’t mean “not punishing” but it certainly is better than punishing for the sake of punishment.

  2. I don’t disagree that there are consequences that an offender must face. An offender needs to acknowledge the harm, pain, suffering that he/she has caused. He/she needs to make every effort to, as much as possible, make the situation right or to restore that which was lost. Of course this can not be forced. Much work must be done to bring the offender to the point that he/she is ready to willing be involved in the solution. In regard to deterrant, there is much debate regarding how effective this really is. This is especially true with the death penalty.

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