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The (12) Mercy Seat

Updated on March 2, 2010


'And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.'
Nick Cave
The Mercy Seat

Probably the most difficult thing for me being in the criminal justice program of the educational system is the whole concept of judgement. It seems so utterly flawed, with absolutely no ability on the part of us human beings to objectively pass judgement on another. Every step of the process is subjective in nature, from the commission of the 'crime' through the process of arrest on up to the punishment doled out. Here's to hoping we can come up with something better (more humane perhaps) in our lifetimes.
That's why The Mercy Seat's constantly playing in the back of my head.
I listen to everyone talk about right and wrong as is if they had some kinda personal copyright on the words and their meanings.
I realized a long time ago that I have absolutely no right to judge another; there are too many unseen factors. Factors I personally can never fully understand; empathize with, yes, but understand, no.
Often I can't even judge myself.
That will only be done once the fullness of time yields perspective to my descendents.
Sorry, just venting.


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    • dyonder profile image

      dyonder 8 years ago from Colorado

      Thank You, Shazwellyn, for your words. Funny, as I was responding to Internetwriter62's comment I chanced upon your hub; I loved it! It brought to mind what I've always taught my son: to keep things light when discussions get tense, just view the others sitting on their porcelain thrones.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Well... my friend, I agree - everyone has their reasons for being and behaving the way that they do. In their heads they are justified but it might be deemed as socially inacceptable in the realms of their actions.

      I cant judge. I can only concern myself with my actions and to attempt to live life with good intentions. Sometimes these good intentions come off right, other times it goes pearshaped. Sometimes, life is a lottery and it is all the luck of the draw.

      What a bad lottery win it is for the souls that have been tried and executed when they hadn't done the crime and was in the wrong place at the wrong time?!

      Thank you for writing... I am too influenced by Nick Cave's song too. Have you read my hub on the mercy seat? It is a different slant! hehehe x

      The Mercy Seat - The Worlds Most Travelled Loo!

    • dyonder profile image

      dyonder 8 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you for taking the time to read my work (observation/opinion), Internetwriter62. The justice system is a beautiful, ornate work of architecture, born of traditions almost as old as our species, yet I can't help but feel that, though flexible in design, our interpretation of justice has become archaic, specifically with the knowledge of how far we have come, especially in the last century, technologically and socially. The one development which sticks in my craw more than anything else is the manner in which media has been permitted to incite and influence public opinion over a defendant's guilt, before a judge or jury of 12 (in capital cases) has dictated judgement. The subjective nature of mankind (or at least for most of us) cannot help but allow the dregs of judgement to trickle down from public opinion into legal sentencing. I don't have any easy answers as to what would be better (barring actual memory reconstruction of the accused and accuser) to ensure objective justice is attained. I simply feel we need to focus more on the very flexibility of justice rather than on traditions which no longer have a place in this new world. Perhaps if this were done, situations like this one would not occur:

      This went on for years, due to iron clad traditions.

    • Internetwriter62 profile image

      Internetwriter62 8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      That's True, only God is truly qualified to judge us. Mercy is important. On the other hand, what do you feel would be a better way of resolving crime? I understand there are no easy answers, but you and I are protected by the law and like you said unless we can find that more humane solution, we find our selves in a difficult position as a society. You are right, we do need to be more merciful as a people, especially to children.