“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” this statement is always what they say when justice is being talked about. Is this really an effective kind of justice? Mahatma Gandhi once said that “An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ends in making everybody blind.” He is right, if one does seek for retributive justice everyone will be left hurt and shattered, not only the offenders but the victims as well. Restorative justice is the answer to a better way to handle justice.
Restorative justice is a process, in the world of justice, that the offender gives restitution to the victims or to the community. Justice is about paying back to the things that the offender did. It should not be in relation to vengeance at all. The punishments given to the offender is controlled by revenge, by this the principles of proportionality and consistency is being violated. The degree of anger aggravated differs thus, the punishments led by revenge will vary. As said by Minow, Martha in her Between Vengeful and Forgiveness that “The victim should not seek revenge and become a new victimizer but instead should forgive the offender and end the cycle of offense.” (Minow, Martha. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1998). Revenge seldom gives the relief that the victims look for. The victim gets caught up in the situation (crime) which makes him or her full of loathe, rage, and hatred. This results into vengeful motives which will add more tension and violence. Then, the cycle of revenge and escalation will go into the picture.
This world will be a better place if revenge and justice would be separated from each other. Restorative justice is the answer in which all of us in the end will be left with a sense of sight. The people are the ones who can only break or shatter the cycle so it should be done right away to avoid having all blind people in this world.
Revenge and justice are words that should not be associated with each other because they have very different meaning.
-Mantes, Angela Camille M.