Justice Justice, as defined by Webster's Dictionary is the quality of being fair or just. This implies that justice would have something to do with being fair. I thought that if one of the things the law and legal system are about is maintaining and promoting justice and a sense of fairness, they might not be doing such a great job. An eye for an eye is fair? No, that would be too easy, too black and white.
I could cite several examples where I thought a judge's or jury's ruling was unfair, however I will not simply due to the fact that this is to be about what justice is to me and not what justice was to the particular courtroom situation. I actually do believe in our legal system and I believe in justice. I believe justice is the ideal that we as a society strive to achieve. The legal system, when looked at closely, is not just but judgment. You can be punished when found guilty in a number of way, but who knows if they are "fair" punishments, an example might be is it fair to the mother of a man who is sentenced to death for his crime or crimes when she herself did nothing wrong and was in fact, quite possibly, a model parent? Is it fair that a convicted murderer may serve 30 years in prison and walk out at the end of his sentence to live out the rest of his life while the victim will never take another breath or see their children or grandchildren live? It is all a matter of opinion, both personal and public.
Why is justice important? Justice is important because although the legal system is not always right, it needs the ideal of justice as something to strive for; the hope of every victim or person affected a crime of any nature. The seeking of justice is a tiring and long quest akin to the seeking of truth, for they are closely linked and without one there may not be the other. Without the understanding of what really happened in an event or place and time, justice is not being sought out and cannot be dealt to those who need it. We have all, at one time or another, felt wronged in some way, shape or form and I feel that is why we all have a common interest in seeking justice. When we see and hear the unfortunate stories of others, people who have had murder or assault, petty theft or vandalism, committed against them or ones they love we hope that our idea of justice is served. We hope that the people who commit the crimes "get what they deserve" and we have a common belief and hope that justice can occur in the form of a jail term, a fine, probation, etc.
We have this "hope" for others because we know that if the same situation occurred in our lives, we would like to have some comfort in that the "system works." This is why justice is important and sought after it give the community a common ground and to some degree a sense of security. While not all justice is delivered conventionally via a jail sentence or any means the courts deem appropriate it is a comfort to know that there are those willing to give their time and energy to help attempt to reach the goal of justice. Justice can be hoped for and occasionally achieved, even though the means used to accomplish such are not always agreed on by all. We cannot lose faith in our justice system for without what would we use as a guide or how would we cope without the possibility, however slim, that the world can be better. The fact that justice is our ultimate goal is hope in itself.