Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why Revenge Isn't Justice, but Neither is "Justice"

The most horrible thing a person can experience in life is the death of those they love most. If the death is accidental, it makes it that much worse. The "what if's" never go away. Yet even worse is the death of a loved one at the hand of another.

We've commented many times that friends and family of victims can never, no matter their education or maturity or morals, be objective. We here at Shoalanda sometimes become personally involved with victims and their families even though we never met them or even knew they existed before the crimes that changed their lives forever.

We'll add that we often receive e-mails from others these miscreants have hurt over the years, so we do have a better idea of the perp's character than those who may only read a short account in a local newspaper. We know of those beaten and stabbed by a man who received only two years for killing a young father. We know of the women harassed and sexually abused by a teacher accused of rape. At that point, we are no longer unbiased, but we do not deny that fact.

We've also commented on the unfairness of Capital crimes in Alabama. There is no justice in the world if a wicked man, who even uses the name "Wikkid," kills and dismembers a young mother and gets only Life With Possibility of Parole, but a frightened man who accidentally kills someone is tried for Capital Murder.

Yet, while we know "justice" can be very dissimilar among the various states, we've never commented on it or even delved very far into it for our personal edification. If you think justice isn't different from state to state, just check out the various penalties for possession of child pornography. We promise you'll be surprised.

Today we read of a man who murdered Sheffield native Joseph Glen Pruitt. The crime took place in New Mexico where the killer was sentenced this week to life in prison. We don't know the specifics of the crime, but what little we have read causes us to think the killer deserved the sentence, or possibly even a stronger one.

The killer Lawrence Tarbert will be eligible for parole after 30 years, yet the investigator interviewed stated: “No one has ever paroled out of New Mexico state prison on a life sentence.” We have to assume than many who have received such a sentence are "less guilty" than Mr. Pruitt's killer.

No, we only approximate "justice" no matter what state we live in. That's why it's important to lobby for what you think is fair. Remember the parole hearings coming up this month. There's a doozy we haven't yet mentioned, but we will. Keep reading...


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