Ruminations on the crazy people we are, by a retired teacher/musician. Can't get the "requests" out of my system after years of barroom/lounge/restaurant/party gigs mining 100 years worth of the musical mother-lode.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Revenge and Moussaoui

I see Rudy Giuliani has shown up at the Moussaoui sentencing trial. It must really be important.(just a bit of tongue-in-cheek, if I may.)
But what's going on here? One way to assess what's happening in public affairs is to ask the question: "Where would we be if they didn't do this at all?"
l suppose he would have been sentenced to life in prison, put away, forgot about, and that would be that. But there seem to be other things at stake here. Perhaps revenge? We all felt so helpless at the occurrence of 9/11, that we have been searching around for what to do about it. The glaring fact that a government with our massive resources and amazing technical resources has failed to nail terrorist #1, has put us into an emotional morass, causing an unconscious search for effective reactions that will settle our minds and souls on the subject. And so we have this seemingly endless sentencing hearing, instead of a definitive moment that was so readily available to us.

Think what you will: the only rationally justifiable response to crime is to protect the public from the perpetrator. Revenge may be satisfying to some, but it is counter-productive in a society that claims to be humanitarian. The quote escapes me, but someone once effectively indicated that revenge really only inflicts itself on the person seeking it. Yet, time and again, as to 9/11, or to other crimes, we see a parade of victims' family members showing up and sometimes venting themselves with the court's encouragement that they want to see the inflicter of their pain burn in hell, or at least know the pain they are feeling themselves. It makes emotional TV footage, and sometimes after-the-fact TV movies, but it confuses our system of justice.

There is clearly room for slimming down and clarifying our justice system, but making it more hateful is not the way to go.

Any thoughts ? Let's hear 'em.

Gray day today; nothing punny about it. If it bothers you, however, picture yourself living in some spot where it was this way all the time.

End of ruminations for 4.6.06


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Larry Grogan said...

You really hit the nail on the head. So much of what passes for modern "justice" is all about the "eye for an eye" standard. As far as 9/11 goes, the damage done to this country, via empty patriotic symbolism, jingoism and the damage Bush has been able to do using the magic words "nine eleven" as an invocation will be with us longer than the human losses of that day.


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