Who should decide the punishment for a crime? Is it for a government to set the limits on a group’s rights, responsibilities and actions? Or should there be a separate, independent, objective force for justice?
Perhaps the role of justice should be in the hands of the victim, or the victim’s family — clearly setting out a punishment in line with the pain of the crime on them as a unit. Perhaps there should be some representation on behalf of the accused, and thus the punishment should be set by peers or friends or acquaintances.
Surely something has gone wrong in a society where someone can receive a longer jail sentence for robbing a bank than for taking someone else’s life?
The Easter story is about a variety of groups wanting to make sure that ‘Justice was done.’ Those out for justice included governments, religious authorities and passers by. It is about a criminal called Barrabas, whose sentence was quashed. It is about two robbers who had the chance to turn their sentences around. It is about a crowd of people acting as judge and jury. In a situation where everyone wants blood, how was justice to be done correctly and fairly?