Justice comes from Latin through Old French into Old English to us as “administration of the law”.
Judge is from Latin to Old French to Middle English meaning “to say the law” and judicial means “relating to judgment and administration of law”. Whereas, jury comes to us from the root meaning “to swear” and evolved to mean “oath or inquiry”. All are related words and etymologies tied to jurisprudence (a legal system resulting from a theory or philosophy of law).
The Latin roots indicate that even in ancient Roman times (and in other cultures before them), words were created to define the parts of pursuit of justice. Systems were established. People with specific roles were identified so that the search for justice took on an identifiable form.
Justice is, or should be, the whole point of mystery or crime fiction. Even a not-very-admirable person murdered is still a person wrongly killed. Civility requires that someone be held accountable for the crime. That is what the American justice system is about.
It is not about making it right; a dead person cannot be righted, but making someone accountable through a process of putting together a “beyond reasonable doubt” case, trying that case, and providing appropriate punishment for the crime. That is what the American justice system is about.
It was not always the case in this country or others that the administration of justice included due process. And even with due process, every year finds cases of wrongful incarceration or execution. But we are better at this justice thing than we used to be.
My attorney son tells me that, unlike TV shows, the majority of cases are not tried in court. Rather they are settled out of court through a plea bargaining process. If indeed all cases went to trial, we would flood our judicial system. Plea bargaining is anathema to many victims of crime, but for the health of the jurisprudence system it is necessary. More importantly, someone is being held accountable to some degree so justice is served.
Keep reading. Part 10 of “The List” picks up where Frieda/Fran is responding to present #1.
“Just what have you done? Hmm?” she looked to Mort, a big grin on his face.
“Can you tell what they are? What they are the keys to?” he asked.
“Well, this smaller one says ‘Lexus’ on it, so I can only assume it is a car key,” Frieda replied. “And perhaps it goes to that ostentatiously red convertible across the road?” Her voice reflected a tinge of trepidation despite her best attempts to conceal her anxiety. Frieda didn’t like changes.
Mort reached over for her hand.