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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: 43
Latest Activity: Mar 11


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

On Burying the Torture Report

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Daniel W Dec 9, 2014. 3 Replies

Black Panic

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by k.h. ky Sep 4, 2014. 7 Replies

Environmental Activist Hit Lists

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 30, 2014. 2 Replies

Harsher sentences increase crime

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jun 27, 2014. 4 Replies

Debtors Prison in the US

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 12, 2014. 4 Replies

Coal Ash contaminated water jail coverup

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 26, 2014. 0 Replies

RSS for ThinkProgress/Justice

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Comment Wall


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Comment by tom sarbeck on February 26, 2015 at 4:44am

Daniel W et al (lawyers' talk for "and others'), SCOTUS has evolved since the 1790s. In early opinions the first paragraph looked like an argument for bringing cases to the courts rather than settling them by dueling. They succeeded; their opinions no longer persuade people to use the courts.

In my second year in college ('54-'55) I wrote a term paper on the court's church and state opinions and have been reading them ever since. Before I finished college I took the LSAT (law school admissions test) but did much better on the GRE and went to grad school. I did however learn how to use a law library.

SCOTUS has occasionally decided cases as if they were a super legislature and then, as if stricken by conscience, recognized that they were not elected and the Congress was. Critics say their many 5-4 and 6-3 opinions mark them as a political body rather than a judicial body. Earl Warren in 1954 worked hard to get a 9-0 opinion to desegregate the public schools.

About amici that look like propaganda pieces, an attorney told me they are. Witnesses in trial courts are under oath; people who write amici for appellate courts are not. Justices lean heavily on their clerks.

Comment by Patricia on February 26, 2015 at 1:07am


Comment by sk8eycat on February 26, 2015 at 12:47am
Comment by Joan Denoo on January 27, 2015 at 10:30pm

Daniel, it is no accident that "6 death row inmates were exonerated in 2014" and " 6 of them were black." Racism continues its monstrous reality.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 27, 2015 at 10:26pm

Thanks, Daniel, for the update on exonerations and the efforts to investigate old convictions. The fact that so many confessed to crimes they did not commit smells like the effects of incentives to put people in jail in order to keep the private prison populations high. Wrong incentives all the way around. 

Comment by Daniel W on January 27, 2015 at 8:47pm

6 death row inmates were exonerated in 2014.  6 of them were black. 

Comment by Daniel W on January 27, 2015 at 8:44pm

Record number of exonerations in 2014.

"A record 125 defendants falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated in 2014, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School. The figure represents a one-third increase in exonerations from 2012."

Major roles for Texas, and drug arrests.  "False guilty pleas were not limited to Harris County. In all, 38 percent of the defendants exonerated in 2014 had pled guilty to crimes they had not committed. The vast majority of them had been accused of drug charges."

"A bigger factor in the rising number of exonerations, writes Gross, is the expanding number of Conviction Integrity Units (CIUs) cropping up in district attorneys’ offices. CIUs are groups of prosecutors that review old convictions to determine whether the convicted party should be exonerated."

Our country's justice system is a mess.  I'm glad there are people holding them accountable.  Somewhat.

Comment by Daniel W on October 30, 2014 at 8:46pm

Autopsy Finds Black Man Killed By Utah Cops Was Shot 6 Times In The...

This is a pattern so repetitious, it's like saying "News reports claim the sun rose this morning".  Somewhere, I read that there is a banality to evil, or is it there is evil to banality.  The one good thing - there is not good thing, but saying it anyway, is that the more these reports are described and disseminated, the more everyone is aware that racism is not dead and especially for young black men, racism is lethal.

Autopsy Finds Black Man Killed By Utah Cops Was Shot 6 Times In The Back .

OK, he was dressed as a cartoon ninja-type character, and was carrying a fake sword.  In a state with and open carry law for guns, but apparently not for fake swords.  I can see how he would be a threat for walking - or maybe, running -  away from a cop.  (sarcasm), and therefore deserving of extrajudicial execution.

"Friends at his funeral called Hunt artistic, shy, and gentle."

Sorry...  This is one of the handful of things that leaves me feeling really angry, helpless to do anything, and not knowing how to handle.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 11, 2014 at 12:56pm

Daniel, it is wonderful to have you back on line. Your posts always contain something of substance or a laugh, sometimes both. I hope you are feeling better. I would very much like to learn of your mental and physical well being. Something like the "Participant Observer" telling of how you are doing. Don't spare the details. I know. Those things should be private ... we are family here and care a great deal about you and each other. 

Just don't do it if you don't want to. That is your right. And I am into rights just now. 

Comment by Daniel W on October 11, 2014 at 10:27am

Yet another one.  I am frustrated that, even in the internet age when everything seems to be everywhere, these terrible events happen.

""He was unarmed. He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.

I don't know what to think or do.  At my workplace, we have a "voluntary" - but pressured - community giving campaign.  We do have the option of selecting where the money goes.  Mine went to the Urban League.  I don't know if that helps.  I wonder if there would be something else - can an older white man do anything about these violent expressions of racism?  Or has it moved to a younger generation, and up to them?


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