“The quality or characteristic of being just, impartial, or fair: conformity to truth, fact, or reason,” is how Merriam Webster defines justice (Merriam Webster, 2002). One could look in hundreds of different sources only to find a multitude of ways in which to define justice. Justice, in my opinion, is simply doing the right thing at all times, so that individuals and society, as a whole, are impacted and influenced in a positive manner, obeying the laws that have been set forth, and applying those same laws as they were intended without bias or prejudice. Doing the Right Thing.
Justice is a matter of rightfulness and impartiality. In order for a person to embody true justice, certain acts must take place. If an illegal act is taking place, such as a drug deal, and the parties involved are friends of the witness, in order for justice to be rightfully administered, the witness must do what is right and lawful. This would entail reporting the act to the proper authorities. The witness must be able to put himself or herself in a place of impartiality and take a stand for what is right. This ensures that a drug dealer is taken off the street which, in turn, positively affects society.
Obeying the Laws In order for a person to be considered a law abiding citizen, he or she must do just that, obey the law. Although much debate that obeying the law can be overturned if extenuating circumstances are prevalent, one would have to agree that a moral duty and obligation exist to see that the laws are practiced and obeyed (Patterson, 1996). Obeying the laws of the land exceed far beyond stopping at stop signs and driving the speed limit. Obedience is the moral and civic duty of every citizen to uphold the highest standard of the law and not deviate from what is right and just.
Applying the Laws Gloria Killian served time in prison unjustifiably. She was imprisoned for a crime she did not commit and it took 16 years of prison time before her conviction was overturned and she was released (Wrongfully accused, 2003). Although this may not always be the case and, more often than not, criminals are convicted of crimes they did commit, one must note that people have spent time in prison unwarrantedly. Had justice been applied rightfully so, without bias or prejudice, the possibility exists that Gloria Killian would have never served one day behind bars.
Martha Stewart was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice and only served five months in prison while some of the leaders in the WorldCom and Enron scandals are serving life sentences for similar acts (Schmalleger, 2007). So in an instance such as this, justice becomes an issue of extended debate and fair and just punishment seems to be overruled by celebrity status and one is left to wonder if the law was applied the way it was initially intended? My Intended Profession In my intended profession as a Probation officer, I will aspire to see that justice is served in every facet of my job.
I will work closely with those who have had negative encounters with the law and work closely with them to ensure rehabilitation. I will also commit to see that those who have had altercations with the justice system learn the responsibilities and importance of obeying the law. As a Probation Officer, I will also see that those who have become a part of the justice system have been treated fairly and have not been wrongfully accused or treated unlawfully. Criminals are criminals, but that in no way makes unethical treatment legal or acceptable. Conclusion “Justice should be a thing, we as people, should all try to achieve.
It is the only way to make society better, to help victims, and make sure punishment is fair” (Shadow, 2003). In order for this generation to see a change in the way justice is perceived and administered, every person must do his or her part to embrace the simply philosophy of the true and absolute meaning of justice. Justice may have diverse meanings to everyone in this society, but essentially justice exemplifies doing what is right, obeying the law, and applying the law fairly.
References “jus·tice” Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged.
[Accessed December 15, 2008]. Schmalleger, F. (2007). Criminal justice today (9th ed. ). Upper Saddle River., NJ: Pearson – Prentice Hall. ISBN: 0131719505. Shadow, Marillyn. (2008). What justice means to me. Retrieved December 14, 2008, from http://www. socyberty. com/Law/What-Justice-Means-to-Me. 227593 Smith, M. B. E. (n. d. ) The duty to obey the law. Retrieved December 15, 2008, from http://www. socyberty. com/Law/What-Justice-Means-to-Me. 227593 Wrongfully accused. (2003). Retrieved December 15, 2008, from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2003/08/26/48hours/main570187. shtml.