It’s The Socrates Exchange on the question of Justice or Vengeance. Justice is often defined as fairness, the dispassionate rule of law, while vengeance is defined as a personal vendetta. But when justice doesn’t seem enough, is vengeance the answer? Does justice bring closure while vengeance is perpetual? Does justice require that victims feel avenged? We ask these and more questions on the Socrates Exchange.
Nick Smith, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNH, advisor to the Socratic Society at UNH, and advisor to The Socrates Exchange.
At the time of his capture in 2011, James “Whitey” Bulger was wanted for 19 murders, extortion and loan sharking committed during his reign over Boston’s Irish mob between the 1970s and 1995. During 16 years on the lam, Whitey became the subject of myth; characterized alternately as a “good bad guy”, and, in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film, The Departed, a venal sociopath.
Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen, a pair of Boston Globe journalists have drawn on 25 years of reporting to create a more complete and nuanced portrait of the restless boy from the Boston projects who became the most wanted fugitive of his generation. Tonight, Murphy and Cullen will be at the Red River Theatre for a screening of The Departed and at a pre-screening reception and talk.
With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in custody, the relief many Bostonians felt at his capture turns to anger. While prosecutors have only begun to build their case against the 19-year old marathon bombing suspect, the public has strong expectations of how Tsarnaev’s trial should proceed and how he should be punished.
Leon Neyfakh writes for the ideas section of the Boston Globe, he spoke to criminologists, legal scholars and academics who warn that the trial will likely fall short of the public’s wish for emotional closure, and justice.
Many low income or minority groups have learned to raise their voices and stand up against the discriminatory locating of hazardous waste sites, polluting factories and other sources of bad air quality and compromised waterways and soils. Pictured: an environmental justice rally in the Rogers-Eubanks community of North Carolina.
Dear EarthTalk: I understand that the “environmental justice” movement seeks to protect the poor and non-white communities from being unfairly targeted to host activities like sewage treatment plants, landfills and polluting factories. Have there been notable victories? -- P. Silver, Peekskill, NY
Recent dispatches from the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik have stirred politicians and online groups to urge Norway’s justice system to re-examine its maximum sentence of twenty-one years, given the severity of the charges.