DiA joins the death penalty debate:
I think "revenge" is a well-defined term, whereas "justice" is a bit of whatever you think it means. Justice certainly requires that guilt be certain, the crime clearly defined, and the offender aware of the law and its general consequences before committing the offence. Malice of forethought, and all that. All those being present, the question of punishment is an argument over values, and many answers are possible. William Petit Jr wants the death penalty for the men who tortured and killed his family in his presence. The death penalty remains on the books in the state of Connecticut, though it is rarely enforced. Perhaps this should be one of those rare cases. But if so, we do need what Sonny Bunch suggests: a generalised way to distinguish between cases where guilt is truly certain, and those where it is probable. And that doesn't seem to be on anyone's agenda for legal reform.