justice for one may not be for all

Oct. 24, 2014

To really understand the term "justice" one needs to look beyond the simple dictionary definition, beyond the simple attainment of that which is just. Moral rightness based on law, religion, ethnicity, and rationality is often different among those that view a 'just result".  Currently, two cases are before the court of public opinion with a widely diverse answer as to what is "just". In South Africa, the world watched as an ex-olympian pulled the curtain off his private life and careless disregard for human life. In a country where apartheid ruled for so long, the average person knowledgeable in the politics of Africa might well conclude that a black, female judge would surely convict him and proceed to hand out the harshest of penalties for participating in the death of his wife...another female. However, when the ruling was handed down, the media went into a frenzy about how unjust this ruling was.  Not being familiar with all the subtleties of South African laws or the other factors involved in the decision made, is this proper for the rest of the world to do ?  In Ferguson, Missouri we see another question of what is justice.  To most citizens familiar with our system of justice and grand juries, the correct approach is being followed. For those who believe in another form of justice, perhaps their religion (an eye for an eye), their ethnicity ( there is no justice unless it is our ethnic justice) or just plain irrational anger, due to actual or perceived past injustices, rules the day. Irrational reasoning cannot be dampened by facts. In the end, however, we all need to consider that of all the systems of justice in the world, what we use here in the United States remains the fairest. This doesn't mean it's always correct, but in our country, extraordinary efforts are put forth to minimize mistakes.  Perhaps rather than justice, we should be crying out for fairness...