What Justice Means to Me

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Justice can be defined many ways. The American Heritage Dictionary (2003) defines justice as the quality of being just and fair. But what is just and what is fair? Everyone in today's society could define justice in their own way, and in a way which best matches their own moral and ethical character. As a police officer in these modern times, one must view justice as the equal way we uphold our laws while following an ethical set of standards. In other words, police officers do not serve out justice but they must do their best to see that justice is achieved by following a set of guidelines that protect them and the community. They must also remember, as well as the rest of society, that our system of justice is not always perfect and will not always produce the outcome we desire.

Each of us has a different definition of what is considered "just and fair". Based upon our moral and ethical up bringing, what one may feel is morally just may be completely different from your neighbor. To provide an example of this, one might feel public hangings might be "just and fair" for the crime of theft. While another person feels it is only justifiable for a capitol offense. However, another person may feel it is completely wrong to allow someone to receive capitol punishment no matter what the crime.

Police today have lost the respect they once had 30 years ago. Police were once viewed as a respectable symbol of authority by the general public. Today however, society feels the police sometimes go to far with the amount of force they use when apprehending criminals. Some police officers are viewed as using "street justice" when contacting criminals. This so called "street justice" has long been an unapproved form of policing in the United States. The idea of using excessive physical force on criminals during police contact has been used by police officers because of their feeling that our court system does not administer justice appropriately. It is viewed more as a...
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