Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Models of Justice

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Wed May 17 21:59:00 2006

One more note, that I missed. :-)

On 5/17/06, Terence Purtell <> wrote:

> Scott, on the other hand, thinks (and if I'm wrong, my
> apologies) that the purpose of justice is to "get past"
> isolated incidents so that both parties can move on with
> their lives. According to him justice has no power
> whatsoever to teach, whether by violence, moral dictums,
> discussing, or otherwise.

Close. I think that justice *may* have the *power* to teach.
But the attempt to consciously *imbue* justice with lessons
is, in my opinion, a mistake. It makes the justice-giver
into a moral -- rather than legal -- authority. In the real
world, I find it is best to leave people to recognize
morality as ephemeral, fleeting, and something that requires
thought and effort, and over which no person or office (or
judge) has any especial authority.

Again, I think that the clearest examples of justice systems
that attempt to teach, are in unfree societies where the
justice system is something to be feared and despised.

> Did I state the argument correctly? Am I too high in the
> sky about justice's ability to make us smarter people, or
> is Scott's outlook on justice too modest?

Yup, I think you expressed my thoughts about right! Much of
my belief in freedom, stems from having little faith in
those who try to do things to us "for our own good."

I think that the desire to have justice "teach a lesson"
comes from very sincere, caring motives. But I think that by
it's nature it is an invasion of privacy, and creates a de
facto master-servant relationship between the giver and
receiver of justice.

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
The mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner
uncertainty as to whether or not he is right.
-- Justice Learned Hand
Received on Wed May 17 2006 - 21:58:41 EDT

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