Monday, September 6, 2010

Ignoring the plank in our own eyes: prisoners in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia

A week ago one of my favorite blogs, Aid Thoughts, blogged about how a Saudi court tried to have doctors paralyze a man from the waist down as punishment for him having done the same to another man during a fight. An eye for an eye as the Bible says...

Aid Thoughts was appalled and appealed to another blog, Wronging Rights (another good read) for some "pithy" witticism that could, in a comedic fashion I suppose, capture the barbarity of this punishment.

I responded that the West is should spend more time sorting out its own judicial systems and less time on coming up with pithy remarks about other systems. And then I find this article in the Atlantic that nicely details the mess that is the American judicial and prison system.

Here in Korea foreigners often loudly complain about the Korean legal system. I usually sympathize in substance, but there has to be a greater recognition by said complaining foreigners that judicial systems are reflections of the societies that create them, not protectors of universal human rights as laid down by the United Nations. Changes cannot simply be "logically" argued for by reference to some supposedly universal standard.