Are you confused about the difference between revenge and legal punishment? If you are, you are not the only one. For centuries revenge and punishment have been intertwined and used interchangeably by writers and in legalese. While the phrases were once used synonymously, modern language finds the connotations are rapidly diverging. Here are a few of the differences.
Most people would agree that revenge is an active emotional response to a situation. The reaction to the situation can be instantaneous, heated, or overwhelming. Sometimes, revenge simmers and becomes a dark force taking over someone’s life. Justice is considered to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. Legally, the court’s actions are designed to be rational, joyless,, and methodical. Seeking to create an unbiased reaction to a situation that is equal to the demand by community standards for fairness, the sentence of justice is considered unbiased and neutral.
When an individual is injured by the actions of another, there is a need for emotional closure. Some believe an eye should be taken for an eye, while others want to be made whole. Neither solution is perfect, but rather than allowing a vigilante form of justice to prevail, the courts can step in and demand a financial reward to the plaintiff that allows an emotional closure. This monetary punishment is called “compensation,” and is sought to replace any vengeance or hostile acts against the defendant.
Society demands punishment for individuals that harm others. Whether it is intentional or unintentional impacts the legal outcome, but every injury needs to be paid for. This social phenomenon allows the victim to become empowered and feel that the wrong he or she endured has been made right. The system is not perfect, and it is only acceptable when society agrees on culturally inspired resolutions to a problem.
There is a type of justice reserved for horrific injuries intentionally caused by an individual with no thought for the safety of another – punitive damages. Although some argue punitive rulings are vengeful actions by the court, other individuals claim the terrible acts of the defendant were so reprehensible that simple compensation is not enough to keep the offender from doing the same thing again. Punitive damages do send a strong message about what is socially acceptable.If you are injured through no fault of your own, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Johnston Martineau, PLLP, as soon as possible. He or she can help you understand your rights to receive compensation for your damages.