Source: (2000) Kaleidoscope of Justice: Highlighting Restorative Juvenile Justice. 1(3): 6, 8. Fort Lauderdale, FL: Balanced and Restorative Justice Project, Florida Atlantic University. Downloaded 21 January 2005.

On February 4, 1999, New York City police officers shot to death Amadou Diallo as he stood in the doorway of his Bronx apartment building. The police claimed they thought he had a gun. He was in fact pulling his wallet out of his pocket. At trial, the jury found the officers not guilty of any crime. Many in response thought justice was not done. But, Hanneman observes, the jury carefully deliberated and decided no law had been broken by the police officers. This is the issue, says Hanneman. In our current criminal justice system, the question of doing justice has to do with determining whether a law of the state has been broken, who has broken it, and what sanction should be imposed on the offender. Hanneman, in contrast, argues for her belief that justice can occur only when the focus changes from being centered on law-breaking to being centered on the harm done one person against another. This would involved the pursuit of genuine justice – restorative justice.


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