How should a judge treat a repeat offender versus someone who has never committed a crime before? However, the answer, in my opinion, is very clear according to this chapter. The chapter lists impartiality as one of the three keystones of justice in any discussion. The fact that anyone and everyone must be treated equally in a court of law applies both ways; in order to treat everyone fairly, the two criminals must be held equally responsible for the crime they committed, regardless of prior record.
Though the issue of one of the boy’s clear record prior to this case is important, I do not believe that it holds any standing in a court of law. The chapter then continues to talk about the blindfolded statue of justice. This is to ensure that no one is treated differently from anyone else. If the judge were to give the man with a history of juvenile delinquency a harsher sentence than the friend who had not committed any crimes before, the victim may be unhappy. The chapter states that in some forms of justice, punishment is given to make the offender suffer as the victim suffer.
According to this, only the victim should have the right to lessen the punishment of the delinquent’s friend. Otherwise, the judge has to deal with both equally, because both were involved with the burglary. While, in this case, it would be heartwarming to absolve the young man who had never been in trouble before from the brunt of applicable punishment, justice is not concerned with compassion (p. 96). It would be nice to decide guilt and punishments on a case-by-case basis, but this would not be justice.
The system that followed would be “‘unsteady’ and ‘wavering’” (cited in Feinberg and Gross, 1977). Essentially, the concept of mercy should be absent from the system unless the victim wants to absolve the friend of his crimes. To do otherwise would violate the impartiality keystone of justice, and thereby dilute the system into an unsteady, unjust, case-by-case catastrophe; therefore, the friend should be sentenced to the same punishment as the man with the history of juvenile delinquency, unless the victim objects.
Courtney from Study Moose
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