Justice For All

Atheists have our own ideas about what is just and what is unjust.  This group will explore the elusive concept of justice.  Topics include racial injustice, death penalty, imprisonment, crime, and other aspects of justice in modern society and in history.  Without gods, what is the basis for justice?  What do humanists and others say about justice?  What do you think about current controversies and cases regarding justice or injustice?

Members: 38
Latest Activity: Sep 4


Troy Davis's photo was chosen as this original icon for this group.  Davis symbolized inequality of justice in the US.  At the time of his execution, 9/21/11, the evidence supporting his conviction was flimsy.  There was known evidence supporting his innocence.  He was executed anyway. Since then the icon is changed to represent justice in general.


There are different nontheist points of view about justice, punishment, penalties, death penalty.   There is strong support for retribution and execution in the theist community (in the US).


What serves as "justice" is not distributed evenly across communities.  The most egregious injustice has strong racial overtones.  If you would like to read about, and discuss justice, what it is, who gets justice, and who doesn't, and stories relevant to this topic, please join and contribute to the discussions.


Resources  factsheet.  main page  executed possibly innocent

amnestyUSA death penalty information

death row population (CNN)  sept 2011.

innocence project.  The innocent and the death penalty.

innocence project Wikipedia discussion

California innocence project

Chicago innocence project

Georgia innocence project


Discussion Forum

Black Panic

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by k.h. ky Sep 4. 7 Replies

Environmental Activist Hit Lists

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 30. 2 Replies

Harsher sentences increase crime

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jun 27. 4 Replies

Debtors Prison in the US

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 12. 4 Replies

Coal Ash contaminated water jail coverup

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 26. 0 Replies

"White Guilt" by Shelby Steele

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara May 16. 3 Replies

Wealth Redistribution during Climate Crisis

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by k.h. ky Apr 26. 20 Replies

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Comment by Sentient Biped on March 29, 2012 at 10:40am

Trying to follow the "fog of war" on the Trayvon / Zimmerman story.  The press, mainstream and nonpress internet continue to dole out little tidbits of information without going into detail about what to make of them.  Then people comment and argue in the comments depending on their biases, based on the tidbits that are like little Rorschach tests into our psyches and ideas about race, youth, guns, and political spectrum. 


So far, I've noted:

Zimmerman is still not arrested.

Trayvon was a skinny little teenager.

Trayvon was over 6 foot and a football player - but still skinny.

Zimmerman was a little fat humpty dumpty.

Zimmerman in police video looked rather fit, but still short.

Zimmerman's face was covered with blood.

Zimmerman in police video was not covered with blood.

Somebody "lightened" Trayvon so he would look less black.

Trayvon had a marijuana baggie.

Trayvon had jewelry in his back pack.

Trayvon was suspended from school.

Trayvon was a good kid.

Zimmerman was following Trayvon.

Trayvon surprised Zimmerman.

Stand your ground does/does not apply.


In all of this, many of the tidbits tell us next to nothing.  How many teenagers use pot?  How many teenagers get suspended from school?  Who was the adult in this altercation?  Why isn't Zimmerman charged, when there was clearly a killing and he was clearly the shooter - doesn't every killing require an investigation?


I know my own biases in this case.  It still looks to me like Zimmerman provoked an altercation that he was warned not to do, he brought the gun with him, he used it and Trayvon is dead. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on March 23, 2012 at 10:23pm

Tony, I think you are right.  The James Anderson murder looks as obvious as it can get - the perpetrators expressed their plan (not specifically to murder but "fuck with" a black person - but in more racist language) in advance, the murder itself was videotaped, and they bragged about it afterwards, all while using racist language.  On the other hand, Anderson's family asked that it not be the death penalty, citing their christian values. There are other cases where I question myself about the death penalty - there really are people who torture to death and murder for play.  Peewee Gaskins made a hobby of kidnapping teenage girls, torturing them to near death, tying them up with chains and throwing them into the swamp, watching until the bubbles stopped rising.  Or in one case, into a septic tank.  He also murdered a woman in front of her 2 year old, then raped and tortured the 2 year old before murdering her.  He claimed to have murdered 90 or more people.  Cases like this are extreme, but they are not hypothetical. 

Comment by Tony Carroll on March 23, 2012 at 8:05pm

Hey SB. I grew up in Mississippi. At 18, joined the USAF, left, never looked back. And I,m fairly certain  that he didn't get the death sentence because he was white. I'm mostly against the death penalty also. But sometimes...sometimes.

Comment by Sentient Biped on March 23, 2012 at 8:23am

Tony, I agree that there is some movement.  In the Mississipi case that you mention, James Anderson was brutally murdered by white teenagers, who were looking for a black man to harass (and kill, since that's what they did).  Mississippi currently has death penalty, and there are 66 people on death row in Mississippi.  In a case that was torture, premeditated murder, and hate crime as motivation, why wasn't the death penalty given here?  It's a complicated argument for me, since I am against execution.  This is one of the reasons why - it is meted out in a racially biased way.

Comment by Tony Carroll on March 22, 2012 at 11:44pm

Hi, SB. It can be done. Reaing, trying to catch up on some news, when I read about a 19 y.o. kid in Mississippi sentenced to a life in prison yesterday for killing an African American . Hate crime. Yes. You go, Mississippi! Florida, watch and learn.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 22, 2012 at 11:39pm

From Greg Laden's blog, 

Sanford Police Chief Steps Down!

Comment by Sentient Biped on March 22, 2012 at 12:21pm

I think this needs to be viewed as a hate crime.  Zimmerman may be protected by the "Stand Your Ground" law although there is controversy about that.

Comment by Tony Carroll on March 21, 2012 at 1:03am

Eternal vigilence. That is what we as a nation must do. The people we train and hire to protect us, police, lawyers, judges, must be held to a higher standard. We depend on them. They must be above reproach. They appear to be passing the buck on this case. Hopefully the grand jury will bring their sense of justice to bear on this case. Will keep close watch on this one.

Comment by David Philip Norris on March 20, 2012 at 11:48pm

As far as Zimmerman goes, the last I heard is that this case is heading to a grand jury on April 10th to determine whether there is enough to indite him with charges, which sadly sounds like a passing of the buck. This whole thing sounds suspicious, from police claiming that the guy's record is "squeaky clean" (if you can call charges of battery against an officer and resisting arrest clean) to him basically taking on the role of neighborhood vigilante. This case is not being handled well.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 20, 2012 at 9:06pm

"Im not sure what the federal case is - civil rights violation? "

Best case scenario is that it's it's a conspiracy angle as well, in regards to what's really starting to look like a cover-up.


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