Friday, October 28, 2011

Restorative Versus Retributive Justice?

Our recent discussion about the Torah/Talmud and Biblical texts reflects the difference between the religious retributive justice and our own U.S. premise of restorative justice, from the English common law tradition. It argues not only against a belief in any God given right regarding weapons, it argues against abuses of the judicial process like this.

What this boy did is horrible; what his mother did is, in my opinion far, far worse. I question the capacity for this boy to understand the right and wrong of what he was doign adequately to construe it as murder, and his capacity to have adequate intent to do so. It is a miscarriage of justice for him to be tried for murder.

On the other hand, while his mother did not commit the originating injury, she is the one responsible for it being a fatal injury, not her 12 year old son.


  1. Well, it IS Florida, what should we expect?

    Florida, Texas, Alabama and Louisfiana should form a quad-states Gulf Coast Tourism Alliance. Their "brand's" tagline could be:

    "You don't have to jet thousands of miles to some third world shithole--just come visit us!"

  2. It's not "justice" at all, it's just "get tough on crime" no matter what the consequences. Many 12 year olds are still not capable of understanding the full implications of their actions. And still being in the formative stages of development, it doesn't mean they'll always be murderers, either.

  3. This case is one of the saddest and sickest stories I've seen lately, and we all know there's no shortage of tragic stories. Something about that boy on the video I just found heart rending.

    I usually tend to blame the parents when the kids are young.