Quantcast

Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

July 19, 2013

Justice Is Not Always Moral

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/justice_is_not_always_moral/

Photo

By Harriet Rossetto

The Zimmerman case has confronted us, once again, with a basic flaw in our judicial system. “Justice” is the result of what is legal, not what is moral. Due process is not to be tainted by issues of right and wrong—this is irrelevant! I heard Justice Anthony Scalia say (with my own ears) that if someone is convicted and sentenced to die, proof of his innocence cannot be considered if due process was honored.

Ekow N. Yankah captured “The Truth about Trayvon” in today’s NY Times. Racial disparity cannot be mentioned in the court of law although it is always the Big White Elephant (excuse the racial metaphor) in the room. He points out wisely that “reasonable doubt” and “reasonable suspicion” cannot, by definition, be free of bias. Despite the legal instructions to the jury to disregard their feelings, their certainties and doubts are rooted in their conditioning and personal experiences. We are not color blind. The same evening I heard Justice Scalia say that innocence or guilt is irrelevant in a court of law, I heard Rabbi Adin Steinsoltz talk about Jewish justice; a justice that includes both mercy and morality; a justice more restorative than retributive.

There is no justice without morality, without the nuances of right and wrong. Justifiable or non-justifiable can only take place in the Higher Court. As a person of conscience, I am horrified by a system of justice where due process overrides innocence, where moral monsters escape consequence.

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2014 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.2341 / 49