Moral and Ethical Obligations and Responsibilities of Justice
“What can we do to create justice as a major contributor and upholder to a centuries-long course leading to the social sustainability of a democratic nation and society?”
The moral and ethical obligations and responsibilities of justice, (police, courts to include district attorney offices, and corrections), is to provide equal justice for all citizens; and to protect citizens from the ravages of criminal behavior and social predation.
Justice is the most visible upholder of the morality and ethics that emanate from the seven values. Through the functions of justice those values, morality, and ethics are acted out with daily regularity. The failure of justice is a moral failure of one of the most powerful arms of a moral government and society, and speaks to the failure of that nation. To support the ongoing social sustainability of a democratic nation, all justice organizations would include the core values, morality, and ethics in their vision statements, intention statements, operating philosophies, missions, and objectives to address those moral and ethical obligations and responsibilities.
In some ways the practices of justice will be much the same as they are today, but the intention of criminal justice will be greatly changed. The question that justice must ask is the same as it is for all social institutions and their organizations, “What are the intentions, operating philosophies, missions, and objectives of justice that can make meaningful and effective contributions to support the decision of the public to move toward the stable and steady state of social sustainability?” Again, the answers begin with understanding the seven values and how they affect justice.
Setting the Standards, Vision, and Intentions For All of Justice
The courts set the standards, vision, and intentions for all of justice whether for civil, criminal, domestic, or tort cases. Because the seven values, morality, and ethics are universal to all people, timeless, and irreducible, there will develop a much more consistent and in some aspects uniform judgments from the courts. This will provide the courts with an immense influence to create consistent progress of social evolution to support the development of a socially maturing society as it moves toward social sustainability.
In a democratic nation that has chosen to move toward the stable and steady state of social sustainability, the courts will create new interpretations of the laws based on the morality and ethics of the seven values. Because these values, morality, and ethics are common to all people of every city, state, and nation a new “common law” will come into being.
For civil, criminal, domestic, and tort cases this new common law will be applicable across all jurisdictions of that nation.
The Seven Values as They Relate to Justice
Life. For Justice, the implications and application of the morality and ethics of the seven values are much more immediate than any other social institution, and it has the burden of the long term responsibilities and obligations to make meaningful contributions to the long term social sustainability to local and national societies.
For justice, there are two intentions attached to the value of “Life.” The first is for the life of the individuals that come before the court. Second, particularly for the court, the intention is to also protect the course of social sustainability by dealing appropriately with social predators. As has been discussed earlier, there are positive influences in society that support the intention of society’s decision to move toward social sustainability. There are also negative influences that retard the course of that society to move toward social sustainability. It is the court’s wisdom and full working knowledge of the morality and ethics of social sustainability that will come to bear upon those social predators who impede the social inertia of society to move toward social stability and peace.
Equality. In a democracy, equality of fair and impartial treatment by police, courts, and corrections is the evidence of democratic principles being acted out in good faith. For police, this means there is no evidence of bias or prejudice toward racial, ethnic, cultural, and gender groups; and neither is there evidence of bias and prejudice in hiring and firing practices. For the courts, that means applying the values and proactive morality and ethics that provide fair and equal treatment to those who come before the bench. For corrections, that means fair and equal treatment of prisoners and others who come under the umbrella of criminal corrections.
Concerning the sentencing of social predators, (all forms violence as murder, robbery, rape, and assault, as examples; and including life-altering crimes as incest and financial crimes against humanity), the moral position of the courts changes from the personal to societal. The moral positions changes immensely because the actions of the predator are considered “self-defining” as being non-human. While peace-abiding individuals can be considered non-human because they do not or are unable to express the spectrum of the seven values, those who are social predators have self-defined themselves as predatory non-humans. The appropriate sentence is their permanent removal from society, or incapacitated in such a way that they become non-violent non-humans.
Because the seven values, morality, and ethics are so clearly defined, equality in all cases that end in conviction is applicable to every person regardless of personal financial status, social status, political affiliations, or special relationship to justice. With a proactive morality and ethics, equal treatment before the law becomes clearly defined.
Growth. Growth as it will be applied in the justice system leads us in the direction of proactive application of the seven values so that all citizens have protections to assure their efforts to grow into their innate potential. The moral imperative of growth directs justice to support the growth of the individuals and groups who enter that system; to the public as an aid to guide the moral and ethical decision-making of citizens young and old; and to protect citizens from those who are predators who cause life-altering events in the lives of innocent citizens and their children.
Quality of Life. “Quality of life for whom?” is the question that guides us to appreciate the long arc of social evolution that leads to social sustainability for all future generations. Of all the social institutions, justice has more leverage to effect the desired culture-change at the level of the individual by maintaining the perspective of the long arc of social evolution.
* Empathy (*Secondary Value) This value bears upon the “humanity” of justice. In a society that has chosen to move toward social sustainability, in the humanitarian perspective of the three divisions of justice, there is no evidence of a condescending, superiority, or arrogance toward the individual as their case moves through the justice system.
* Compassion. Through compassion the efforts of justice express its mission to also guide and support those in its care to grow into their innate potential as a fully socialized, moral, and ethical citizen; and as actions of compassion toward the long term protection of society from social predators.
* “Love” for Humanity. In contemporary developed democratic societies, a generalized “love” for humanity is not often recognized as a needed or desirable value in the justice system. Yet, for societies that have made a commitment to move toward stable and peaceful social, political, and economic sustainability, the perspective of the work of justice is toward the fair and equitable treatment of those individuals who have fallen into the justice system. This value requires the necessity of reframing the individual in the system as a symptom of the failure of their family, education, health care, the government, and democratic processes.
Priorities of Decision-Making
The actions of the three divisions of justice will be far more visible in the public’s awareness when the seven values, their characteristics and the morality and ethics begin to be applied by them.
Concerning the Disposition of Predators. One of the primary and most difficult decisions for society that has chosen to move toward social sustainability will involve the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and the permanent removal of social predators from that society.
For the courts, in the cases of “predation” that includes all forms of violence against others including for example murder, robbery, rape, and assault and other life-altering social predation against others such as incest and financial crimes, the moral position of the courts changes from personal morality to societal morality.
In a society that is moving toward social sustainability, lengthy incarceration is an immoral option. It is immoral because it denies the convicted person opportunity to experience life equally as those in free society; it denies that person the ability to grow into their innate potential that they brought into life; and it denies them the ability to experience a continuing improvement of their quality of life. It is also unethical because incarceration consumes public funding that could otherwise be used to help empower free citizens to grow into their potential and to improve their quality of life.
The fundamental reason that the moral position of the court changes so immensely from personal morality to societal morality is because predators by their behavior have self-defined themselves as being predatory non-humans. By their actions they have chosen to live their lives by a set of values that are dangerously detrimental to the stability of society and to society’s ability to become socially self-sustaining.
The appropriate sentence for those who have made a continuing life habit of predation is their permanent removal from society. Readers may equate “permanent removal” to the death penalty, but in the case of predators, there is no penalty, because the long term multi-generational damage they have inflicted upon individuals and their families far exceeds that of the permanent removal of the predator.
When predation occurs, lives, even multiple or countless lives as is sometimes the case, may be ended, shattered or reduced in potential. Elimination of the predator who has demonstrated by their actions that they cannot or will not reform themselves is thus a net saving of future innocent lives and a gain of individual and social potentials. Conversely, when a social predator continues free or again becomes free, the outworking is inevitably more and more future predation with a net loss of innocent lives and loss of growth potentials.
Just as “the death penalty” is a misnomer, the traditional perspectives of “corrections,” “vengeance,” and “setting an example” are also misnomers. Society is not out for revenge or to make a public spectacle or example of the predator’s removal. The societal moral actions of the permanent removal of a predator is a moral action in behalf of all future generations who are not present to protect themselves. Permanent removal of a predator is a safeguard to future generations. Removal of a predator should be done as peaceably as possible, such as by an overdose of morphine or fentanyl just as a hospital may administer it to end the agony of an dying and suffering patient.
The primary question that must be proven by justice is this, “Did the predator’s actions lead to the damage of the victim?” No mitigation is inferred with this morality, as there is no mitigation for the victims of the crime, and no mitigation for the multi-generational damages to the victim, families, friends, and others. And for those victims, the permanent removal of the predator is no victory, as the damages done to the victims will remain. Sometimes indelibly for generations.
For justice organizations, the priorities of decision-making are clearly defined for a society that has chosen to become socially sustainable. The actions of police, courts, and corrections must first support the species, then second the individual/family, and not of just this generation but all future generations as well. It is the individual/family that is the foremost social institution where socialization and enculturation occurs to establish each new generation as morally and ethically competent to make their contributions to their generation.
In the Organizational Context
During the early eras of the introduction of the seven values and consequent morality and ethics, the three divisions of justice will each need to have its own internal Design and Validation Team to create design improvements to the processes of justice.
Peripheral organizations and agencies will also come under the values, morality, and ethics of justice and will be deeply changed. These may include all human resource agencies, health and welfare organizations, and all private criminal legal firms and attorneys.