Category: justice

  • Schadenfreude, Irony, and The Defense Function [Update: Photo Added]

    Prosecutors Lester Blizzard and Kayla Allen, however, asked Ellisor for life sentences to send a message to anyone who would drive while intoxicated. (KHOU.) Howard is an unsympathetic character. Because he is an unsympathetic character, it’s easy to send him to prison for life. Blizzard and Allen were arguing for general deterrence: “send a message.” […]

  • Justice, Injustice, And In Between

    Clay Conrad writes: [A]lmost nobody denies that, say, executing an innocent man would be a substantive injustice. So, if there can be a substantive injustice, then there must be, by elimination, substantive justice. Why does that follow? Say that it’s unjust to execute an innocent man. Does that mean that every time an innocent man […]

  • The Hunting of Justice (An Agony in Eight Fits)

    We have heard talk of “justice.” Is there anybody who knows what justice is? No one on earth can measure out justice. Can you look at any man and say what he deserves—whether he deserves hanging by the neck until dead or life in prison or thirty days in prison or a medal? The human […]

  • Hover Through Fog and Filthy Air

    I’ve long mistrusted the argumentum ad lexicon. English-language dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive, so any argument that relies on a dictionary definition is showing a weak hand to begin with. Then, a good dictionary will show enough different definitions for a word that the arguer can base a sophistical argument on the one that he […]

  • Thoughts on Nobility, Justice, and Frblniz

    If you’re the sort of person who needs anyone other than your dog to think you’re noble, criminal defense is the wrong line of work for you. Still, it’s nice that former criminal-defense lawyer and now prosecutor Ken Lammers thinks that the criminal-defense lawyer who takes the job of defending a “Reviled One,” and does […]

  • Justice vs. The Law

    Defending People reader “Ryan”, writing at Plain Error, the official blog of the Innocence Project of Florida, responds to my “Law and Justice Explained.” post: As someone with the status just above armchair philosopher (disclosure: I will be attending graduate school for a PhD in philosophy in the fall), I have a few words on […]

  • Law and Justice Explained.

    I just stumbled upon this, in comments to a long-ago Ann Althouse post: One of the most annoying things about lawyers is the way they casually conflate “law” with “justice.” To clarify: justice is a concept in philosophy; also to some extent in psychology, sociology, economics, etc. Law is what a bunch of mostly long-dead […]

  • Sent to me by a Smiling Judge

    A DAY IN COURT By James Kavanaugh © 1979 (From his collection, Walk Easy on the Earth) The unsmiling judge with wet, flapping jowls, Dismissing the tears of husbands and wives, Spitting out consonants, rolling his vowels, Tearing out hearts and carving up lives, Slicing the children apart at their bowels, Believing that justice latterly […]

  • The Fallacy of Godlike Wisdom

    From today’s mailbag (the correspondent somehow tried to post it to the version of this post that lies on my long-defunct blog on WordPress; he left the name “Michael” and an email address, but the email address failed): From the standpoint of justice, what matters is whether the factually guilty are found legally guilty, and […]

  • Naivete

    From Western Justice: If we are truly concerned about the guilty being punished and the innocent being let free, then why encourage one side to hide the truth from the other side? Is the system about winning more than it is truth? and (apropos of reciprocal discovery): I know that defense attorneys are immediately concerned […]