This is not "justice," this is disgusting!

Breaking from self-imposed lurk to object strenuously.

Bridget! I appreciate your degree of outrage, but think! This is not "justice," this is disgusting! Barbaric! If you want to get Biblical about it, the Lord says "vengeance is mine." God's early attempt to inform us that vengeance is not ours to exact. (It's a bit of divine humor, really, talking down to the primitive human soul, for we find in heaven that God is never actually vengeful like animalistic mortals; God can only be just.) That crazy homeless man who beheaded a woman in a supermarket this week, would you have the woman's relatives stab him to death and run down the street with his bloody head? Followed to its logical conclusion, why wait for the tedium of evidentiary hearings and all that delay of the courts? If thy neighbor offend thee, haul out the AK-47 and start blasting! That's the path you're praising! Mrs Webworker adds, the concept that this will be good for women, that she will be better off because she's done this to someone else is [I'll substitute the word, misguided].

Ameneh BahramiIt is precisely because such horrific offenses as this woman's mutilation blind us (no pun intended) with rage and affect our judgment that we have as a society moved beyond personal vendetta to (ideally) impartial judges and juries, standardized imprisonment or (in the case of the crazy homeless man) incarceration with whatever medical and chemical help he might need, if only to protect his jailers.

I'm not a Fundamentalist so I don't have to try to make God say "eye for an eye" out of one side of his mouth and "Turn the other cheek" out of the other. Without the scriptural literalists' strained exegesis, there's an obvious progression from "eye for an eye" to "turn the other cheek," representing, not a bipolar or capricious Deity, but rather the development — improvement — of human understanding of the justice and mercy the Spirit would reveal through us.

Once, justice was an individual matter. Later, courts — the will of the group — replaced personal revenge, a decided advance even if the forms of "justice" still involved vengeance. That's the level of society you're posting about & praising. Most of our "justice" system — and most of the population — has not progressed far beyond that desire for vengeance, but our rejection of "cruel and unusual" punishments represents a vast and Jesusonian advance over "eye for an eye." Fines, incarceration and not exacting eye for an eye have replaced bloody vengeance in modern justice.

Someday, our meager and in-name-only "rehabilitation" efforts may actually rehabilitate many who choose criminality but could be reformed. The criminally poor we will have with us always. Some few we might even really, in the balance of mercy and self-protection, remove as life forms from among us (merciful, painless state execution), but in no case should we step backward into the cesspools of this kind of mentality.

Want to walk that back a bit, darlin'?

Shirzad Bozorgmehr, CNN, 2011 July 31:
A woman blinded in an acid attack seven years ago said Sunday she stopped the "eye for an eye" punishment for her attacker because "such revenge is not worth it." … "I never intended to allow Majid to be blinded," Ameneh Bahrami told CNN. "... Each of us, individually, must try and treat others with respect and kindness in order to have a better society." … She said two men were instrumental in bringing about her change of heart: a doctor at a clinic in Spain and Amir Sabouri, an Iranian who helped her get medical attention. Sabouri told her to forgive Movahedi and prove to the world that Iranians are kind and forgiving, she said. … She said Sunday that she does not expect others to follow her example of forgiveness, but noted that if they do, "it would prove that they are great human beings." … However, she said Movahedi is unrepentant and has been rude to her, even after she halted his punishment.