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: 41
Latest Activity: Dec 9


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. 3 Replies

Black Panic

Started by Daniel W. 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

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Comment by Daniel W on August 7, 2012 at 11:15am

Donald, it would be easy for me to say "Oh, that's just Texas, that's how they live there" except the people, who are wrongfully convicted and wrongfully executed, are not to blame for their victimization.  Given Texas' size and population, it could be a sizeable, if backward, country.  Plus, it IS part of the US, so what happens in Texas is happening in America.  Not to mention the occasional president that Texas gives to the country.

Actually, I think Texas might be more progressive than some other states of southeast and southwest.


I heard they do have electricity in some districts of Texas - used it for executions. 


Apparently Marvin Wilson is still breathing, but probably not for long.  Execution planned for later today. 



Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 7, 2012 at 7:25am
I live here and try to ignore Texas, but it is exceedly difficult when I have to cross moats, battle with dragons and suffrer burns from peat fires. I heard electricity is coming soon.
Comment by Daniel W on August 6, 2012 at 10:41pm

Donald, thanks for commenting.  I try not to concentrate on Texas but it's hard not to.  For some reason execution is part of the Texas culture.  Then there's Florida.....  Exoneration sometimes tells us how flawed  the system is.  They let wrongfully convicted people go free (sometimes) but those people should not have been convicted anyway.  In some cases the poor soul could write another Kafka novel.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 6, 2012 at 10:40am
I have to comment because I covered exonerations extensively in my book just t make a point. I only coverer death penalty cases, but that makes the findings even that more important. Currently, Texas has exonerated more than 30 death-row prisoners. One was exonerated posthumously (I'm sure he was pleased about that). He was not executed--he died in jail after his appeals ran out. Texas lead the nation in executions. It also leads the nation in exonerations. Unless these guys are Lazurus and work with a magician named Jesus, they ain't comin' back. If they want punishment, revenge or retribution a life sentence is cruel if not unusual punishment. Suffering isolation, deteriorxation by age, disease, physical abuse and self-abuse through drugs and psychological means is horrible. I'd rather they just shot me. However, there is one thing to recommend it and that is, if they are wrong, they can let you go; something that is exceedingly difficult to do at the onset of death.
Comment by Daniel W on August 4, 2012 at 10:42pm

Exonerated after 16 years in prison.  Faith kept him going.

"A Tulsa judge exonerated a man convicted of a 1995 burglary and armed robbery in east Tulsa. DNA testing of evidence has excluded Sedrick Courtney as a suspect in the crime. Courtney served 16 years for the crime"

Sometimes I'm at a loss for words.  This is one of those times.

Comment by Daniel W on August 4, 2012 at 10:30pm

Not wanting to seem too jaded, but is it possible for Americans to hold two thoughts in their heads at the same time? 

Fried chicken sandwich.  Fried chicken sandwich.  Execute developmentally delayed prisoners.  Fried chicken sandwich.


Wait - what was that? 


Marvin Wilson has an IQ of 61.  He will be executed in Texas on tuesday.  The supreme court already declared unconstitutional, the execution of mentally retarded persons (their term, not mine). 

Photo from death row site here.seeking pen pal (a bit late now)

From here - on death row 18 years. 

Also in

Wilson is convicted of killing a drug informant, Jerry Robert Williams, in 1992, during an altercation.

Marvin Lee Wilson

 "It is not known for certain whether Wilson was the shooter or simply a party to the crime."

I wonder if his execution will be on the news?

Fried chicken sandwich.  Fried chicken sandwich.  Fried chicken sandwich. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 3, 2012 at 1:14pm

@Sentient Biped, excellent video of David R. Row with important lessons. He makes sense, economically and politically. Also, liked National Registry of Exonerations and your comments. 

Comment by Daniel W on July 3, 2012 at 12:16pm

David,  I agree with you on legalization.  Once we have "Marboro Greens", there would be far fewer drug convictions.  I don't even smoke either.  Caffeine is my drug.  And chocolate.

Comment by David Philip Norris on July 3, 2012 at 11:51am

The legalization and regulation of marijuana would do much to free up our prison system, save otherwise decent and law abiding citizens from having the stigma of a criminal record, and save billions of dollars spent on enforcing current drug laws, not to mention the revenue that could come out of government regulation. (I should mention, btw, that I don't even smoke!)

Comment by Daniel W on July 3, 2012 at 11:38am

National Registry of Exonerations.    Over 2,000 exonerations.  Among their findings (from Huffpost article):

Among the findings by the database researchers:

  • Perjury and false accusations are the most common causes of a bogus conviction, accounting for 51% of the cases included in the database;
  • Men make up 93 percent of the exonerated defendants;
  • African Americans represent 50 percent of the names on the database; whites make up 38 percent. Latinos account for 11 percent, and Native Americans and Asians make up 2 percent;
  • The most common crime on the list is murder, representing 48% of the exonerations. Sexual assaults are the 2nd most common at 35%... robberies equaling 5%... drug, white collar & non-violent crimes... 7%;
  • There have been 101 death-row inmates freed.


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