Justice or Not?

Suppose a person you knew was murdered in front of your eyes but when the murderer was arrested he was acquited but everyone thinks he’s guilty like say OJ Simpson. Would you seek revenge? If you are arrested public opinion will be solidly for you and you will if convicted be immediatly pardoned by the President.

It was my wife or kids that were murdered. Sure. As long as that pardon is guaranteed.

So basically this is a test to identify pacifists, i.e. the people who won’t kill for revenge even if there are no consequences?

Heck, if I was guaranteed a pardon, I can imagine killing a guy who didn’t waste my family.

I can’t personally imagine watching anyone die by my hands on accident, let alone on purpose. However, under the circumstances you describe, I’m sure I wouldn’t miss the murderer if someone took care of him for me, so long as I didn’t need to know the bloody details.

There is a greater good to society served by avoiding vigilante justice no matter how reasonable it is made to be.

At a personal level, if someone unjustifiably murdered one of my own family members and got off scot free I would see to it that they are killed (assuming the evidence was absolute–not necessarily just an eyewitness), greater good and any other consequence be damned. But I am old and crusty and mean.

I think I should be found innocent of committing a run on sentence with no commas or other punctuation and that I should be let off because I’m really a good guy like Jack Ruby.

Sure, there’s a whole lot of people i’d happily kill if there was no consequences.

No. I don’t believe in vigilante justice. I don’t believe in the death penalty anyway, and I don’t like the effect that the murder could have on me. Like Nietzsche says–when you look into the abyss the abyss looks back into you. I don’t want to become a monster.

I’m prepared to say “monster me up!” myself.

To be perfectly pedantic, the OP did not say that the revenge necessarily had to come in the form of death, just that you can “seek revenge.” What if that revnge could be something short of murder, like say, cutting his balls off and sewing them onto his face?

Hmm. I just don’t feel right allotting justice like that. I think any time one person takes it on themselves to decide what justice is…well, then it’s not justice. It’s vengeance. That’s not the kind of world I want to live in.

With that pardon you have state sanction, so it’s not just you.

But you’re not being told by a justice system to commit the crime. You’re being pardoned after the fact.

Why should I be the one to seek revenge? No, I wouldn’t even if family had been murdered. And I wouldn’t wish the death penalty on anyone.

If the revenge would bring my family back…then, yeah. But if it’s just going to be me and revenge…I guess I just don’t believe it would bring me any happiness, or improve me as a person.

I’ll sling back to you what you once said to me (don’t deny it. I’ve got logs and everything) : all right, you, I like.

In fact, to my shame I can say that I know it to be true from experience. Don’t ask - the statute of limitation hasn’t expired yet :wink: All I can say is, I stopped myself partly out of spite, but mostly because I was watching myself the whole time and didn’t like it one bit.

Other than that, this whole topic springs a quote to my mind, and I’m sure some other Doper will pinpoint its origin 'cause I sure as hell can’t right now, not for lack of trying. My best guess is Neil Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. Anyhow, here goes :

A: [explains the last touches of his nefarious plan] and then, finally, I will have my revenge !
B : I really hate that word.
A : Which one ? Revenge ?
B : Yes.
A : Ah, but you have to be a King to call it “justice”.

I have to figure this is equivalent to being told your intended act of revenge has been officially sanctioned. Whatever hair you’re trying to split doesn’t matter.

“A Time To Kill”

Yeah, you’ll get revenge by making the killer watch it over and over!

Not a chance. Unless that would bring them back to life. Could you do such a thing and feel no guilt?