- Showing 3 posts filed under: Retribution [–], Theory [–] published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
Panel: Tribunals as restorative justice
from Erin Walrath's blog:
Just a day ago I attended a panel titled Tribunals as Restorative Justice. The purpose behind this attendance was to orient myself with the judicial side of tribunals. Technically, I would argue that there is not another side of tribunals but I am sure that others would disagree with me. (Assuming that some others see tribunals as a sort of a SA Truth and Reconciliation equal, though they are quite different).
The panel was a number of Korbel professors... with a range of knowledge regarding law, international law, and tribunals. Restorative justice was the primary concern. It incorporates a focus on victims, the harm done and the needs of those harmed, obligations and accountability, and participation of relevant stakeholders.
According to Susan Sharpe (in Restorative Justice: A Vision for Healing and Change) there is an aim to put key decisions in the hands of those most affected by crime, make justice more healing and, ideally, more transformative, and reduce the likelihood or future offenses. Restorative justice is more common in European court systems but it seems is making its way into the US, especially in juvenile cases... so I have heard.
To follow a true R.J. model then, the victim is involved in the process and feels heard and satisfied at the outcome, offenders must understand how their actions affect others and accept responsibility for them, outcomes must repair the harm done and address the reasons behind the offense, and both the victim and offender gain a sense of "closure".
'Pizza thief' walks the line
From the Los Angeles Times article by Jack Leonard:
If he ever returns to prison, Jerry Dewayne Williams knows he'll probably never get out.
To stay clear of trouble, he has left behind the Compton neighborhood where police knew him and cut ties with friends from wilder days. Once a hard partyer, the 43-year-old says he prefers the company of a mystery novel or a "Law and Order" episode on television.
Williams is one of more than 14,000 felons who, under California's three-strikes law, face a possible life sentence if they commit another felony. But few, if any, grasp the reality of that threat better than Williams.
The world is not as it should be: Punitiveness as a response to societal change
....As a policy, three strikes does a lot more than provide harsher punishment. It also takes discretionary authority away from the judiciary, who traditionally have had the flexibility to vary sentences in response to judgements about the nature of crime, the victim and the offender. In the United States, studies showed a long-term trend toward increasing skepticism and lack of confidence in the legal authorities. This in turn had led to:
- A tendency to ignore judicial orders and the law;
- Greater tolerance of vigilantism or extralegal behaviour of citizens;
- Jury behaviour which nullifies the law.