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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: 35
Latest Activity: on Saturday

Welcome!

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

www.deathpenalty.org  factsheet.

www.deathpenalty.org  main page

deathpenaltyinfo.org  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

ThinkProgress/Justice

Discussion Forum

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

Secret courts for Corporations

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 30, 2013. 1 Reply

US suffers split economy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 19, 2013. 0 Replies

Anal probes for rolling stop at a stop sign

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Nov 18, 2013. 31 Replies

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Comment by Sentient Biped on May 31, 2012 at 8:55pm

Joan, I can usually find something on audible.com.  I don't have much chance to read (tho I seem to have enough time to get on the internet - let's be honest and call it poor attention span), and I need to get my mind off work when driving or going to sleep, so I listen to an audible book.  I often have to listen multiple times because I get distracted or fall asleep, but that's OK.  Since I listen to topics I like, it lets me learn them a lot better.  I get one title per month.  There is a history of slavery (Inhuman Bondage) that I really learned from; a history of Jim Crow (Slavery by another name); a history of food, and a lot of biographies and novels.  I might down load a novel next time.  I usually spend a month thinking about what the next title will be.  Also, each item is a $10.00 "credit" even tho some are priced from a couple of dollars to 20 dollars, so I usually do the more expensive ones with my credit, and if I want a cheaper one I buy it outright.  You can go to the audible site and browse without buying.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 31, 2012 at 2:00pm

S.B. Does Audible have a selection of topics that appeal to you. I have been relatively unsuccessful in finding audio and video that suits my interests. Of course, the internet has many options, but one has to hunt to find some obscure piece that is loaded with good, valid, reliable information. Google Alert has been my best resource, even as it gives me far too much information, at least I have a chance to find the obscure. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 31, 2012 at 12:30pm

"The New Jim Crow - mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness".  Each month I get new credits to spend on Audible.  Listening is my main way to read now, although I usually have to listen several times to get the full impact.  This book looks interesting- Im wondering if someone has already read it.  This is from the book description on Amazon.com linked above:  ""Jarvious Cotton's great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.  As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status--much like their grandparents before them."

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 15, 2012 at 12:23pm

Now that the media  15-minutes of interest is passed, it will be difficult to follow the Trayvon Martin case until there is a trial.  Feds considering hate crime charge, which could include death penalty if found guilty.  video here.  I wonder - even if he was not conscious of his profiling / phobia, it doesn't mean it's not there.  If subconscious  "black phobia", would that make him less culpable than if conscious?  I think there is a point where there is social responsibility.  The "young black man in a hoodie" scaremongering needs to be debunked regardless of whether Zimmerman stands trial for hate crime.

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 3, 2012 at 3:42pm

Not sure what to say about this situation.  Nov 19th, 2011, Robert Champion was beat to death in a college band hazing incident.  He was 26 years old.  This petition is closed due to being too old.  It does not appear that hate crime charges, or civil rights violations have been filed.   Sadly, his attorney appears so antigay he can't even say "gay" - he says "Robert had a sexual orientation" and "Robert had a lifestyle", and only on being asked about his "sexuality".  His statement is the beating death was possibly retaliatory because Robert was antihazing, not gay.  Either way, he's dead.  What was the real motivation.....  well, for me, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck last week, so I can guess.  But I was also not a fly on the wall on that deadly bus ride.  Makes me sick.

 

 

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Comment by Sentient Biped on May 1, 2012 at 10:32pm

On exonerations - "Since 1973, there have been 140 people in 26 states released from death row with evidence of their innocence"

Death Penalty Information Center

also of interest - executions despite doubts of guilt.  Imagine what it must be like, to be headed to your execution, all the while knowing you did not commit the crime!

Comment by Sentient Biped on April 22, 2012 at 6:41pm

No surprise, I'm sure, but Texas has the most executions.  thinkprogress.org.  I don't know what that means - there are other states with as conservative politics.  There is a predominance of executions in the US Southeast.  The article does not speculate about underlying causes, or about potential solutions.

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32 states have had no executions in the past 5 years.

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It's interesting to read the comments associated with the article. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on April 21, 2012 at 1:02pm

I guess that's why I'm not a philosopher.  I spend a lot of time trying to convince people to do things they are not motivated to do - quit smoking, take their pills, eat better, be responsible, quit listening to woo woo.  If they don't have the ability to make choices, it seems even more futile.  But people do sometimes make changes.  Maybe we need an expression other than "free will."   I don't think there is  soul or that we are not part of nature, but we still make decisions.  We are not automatons.

Comment by annet on April 21, 2012 at 12:53pm

I know what  you mean Sentient, the notion of free will is pretty nebulous. But it seems to assume a human exceptionalism.  Like we can outsmart nature and are somehow separate from it.

We want to think our choices matter and that they are "ours" (aka a soul) rather than a product of our biology. 

It reminds me of Oliver Sachs and "the man who mistook his wife for a hat" .  

Comment by Sentient Biped on April 21, 2012 at 11:18am

AnneT, I too will never have curly hair (or any hair to speak of), be a dancer, or a lot of other things.  So it's true that there is an environment, physical/genetic/social/mental/financial/emotional that we all live in and decides many things for us.  But I can decide whether to be mean to someone, or whether to eat those french fries (especially the rosemary shoestring fries at Burgerville), or whether to go out with a gun and follow that guy with a hoodie in my neighborhood.  Or that animal that just killed my best chicken, but that's another story.  Honestly, I don't know what "free will" really is, but I do make decisions.  We can always say, "I made those decisions because of my inborn temperament, and how I was raised, and my nutrition, and my genome" and that's true, but a piece of that is that we are all human beings with thinking brains, and can still make choices within the constraints and opportunities of our existence.  That's where I think "free will" is an impossible concept, because even if everything has a cause outside us, we still have choices.

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Oh yes, "You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars." and I also like the thought that we are all made of stardust, and one day will be stardust again.  Or compost.  I like that I might someday nourish a tree.

 

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