Stories & Reflections
According to the dictionary: from the Latin justitias: conformity with the law; act of giving to each what belongs to them; equity; group of magistrates and the people who work with them.
According to Jesus Christ: You have heard that they were told, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist injury, but if anyone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other to him too. (Matthew 5: 38-39)
According to Bankei: during one of Zen master Bankei’s classes, a pupil was caught stealing. All the disciples demanded he be expelled, but Bankei did nothing. The following week, the pupil stole again. The others, irritated, demanded that the thief be punished.
“How wise you all are,” said Bankei. “You know what is right and wrong, and you can study anywhere you like. But this poor brother – who does not know what is right or wrong – has only me to teach him. And I shall go on doing that.” A flood of tears purified the thief’s face; the desire to steal had disappeared.
According to a man condemned to death: Death row is the arena where the politics of Power, Retribution and Violence are applied to a man using concrete and steel. Until this man turns into steel and concrete. And yet, although steel can be hard, it is still capable of being flexible, and although the heart can turn to concrete, it is still capable of beating. (Justin Fuller, executed in Texas on 24/08/2006)
According to the Spanish Inquisition: In the 15th century the Inquisitor priests went from town to town gathering the inhabitants together in the main square. After a sermon was preached, they would choose at random six or seven people who were then interrogated about the life of their neighbors; in every case, these people always accused someone, for fear of being considered heretics.
According to the tea ceremony: We see evil in others because we know evil through our own behavior. We never pardon those who wound us because we feel that we would never be pardoned. We tell others the painful truth because we want to hide it from ourselves. We take refuge in pride so that no-one can see how fragile we are. That is why, whenever you are judging your brother, bear in mind that it is you who are on trial. (Okakura Kakuso, The Book of Tea, 1904)
Looking for proof: Despite being inefficient as a means of proof and method of investigation, for centuries torture was the juridical method to discover the truth of facts. (Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Professor of Political Science)