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Understanding What Justice Is for the Prisoners, Essay Example

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Individuals who are accused of having committed a crime are considered criminals whether or not they have been convicted. Judged by their actions, most of these individuals are seen to have lesser value than others living in the same community. Is this a specifically warranted reaction towards individuals who are accused of having been able to commit misdeeds against others? Is their action [may it be confirmed or not] enough reason for them to be treated with disrespect and their integrity as humans to not be recognized accordingly? The case on Abu Ghraib Prison or the Baghdad Central Prison has raised several questions with regards the need to consider both ethics and the clauses of human rights in deciding whether or not prisons should be treated with respect or should they be allowed to undergo mistreatments and still consider the matter justifiable. In the discussion that follows, an indicative presentation on how justice was rather twisted by prison officials in Baghdad as they subjected alleged terrorists into conditions that are at some point beyond the limits of what legal assumptions allow.

Zimbardo’s (1973) written documentation on the analysis of the condition of treatment of prisoners provide a clear indication on the Milgram obedience experiment that has been done in the past which intended to measure on what particular reaction oppressed individuals would impose in the face of authority. Zimbardo noted in this writing that individuals who were accounted as participants to the study were noted to recognize authority with full dependence to the role that they play in relation to the position that they hold in the organization. Relatively, individuals acting under the command of a higher authority specifically become highly affected by the thinking and the perceptions of the one in higher command. In the case of the situations that occurred within the constraints of the Abu Ghraib Prison center in Bhagdad, the argument over the possibility of the officials operating under the command of Lynddie England (the officer in command) has been considered accordingly.  Being simply in the position of following what they were commanded to do so have been heard and examined by those who are appointed to manage the case’s briefing.

It seems that the Milgram Obedience Experiment, as defined by Zimbardo, has proven several times that individuals under the command of a higher official. Nevertheless, a relative aspect of the experiment shows that a particular percentage of decision making on the part of the participants specifically show that even though there is the existence of a certain upper hand command, there is a particular aspect of decision making that do not necessarily become affected by the demand of the authority involved. Ethics and personal principles on humanity, although becomes vague, is still in strong effect especially when it comes to deciding on matters that define the constraints of actually asking their conscience of what is right and what is not. In this case, the argument on the complete obedience to the command of the higher authority cannot be fully assumed acceptable. The margin of difference on the response of the participants specifically point out that the decision making process of a person can be altered even in the presence of a higher authority.

Marianne Szegedy-Maszak’s report on the matter specifically points out that the reaction of the ones under the command of England in the case notes that the photographs captured with the officers posting beside the inmates that they tortured and mistreated shows another story apart from simply following instructions of their officers. Relatively, as posted in several internet news resources and as shown in television, the media visual aids presented as proofs to the matter specifically show how the officers enjoyed what they were doing as if imposing that they were even the perpetrators of the matter. The hard evidence collected to define the situation of the inmates apart from that of the condition of thinking that the officials have in consideration to their reputation and their position in the society indicates that the motivation of the officers to deal with the inmates in such a disrespectful manner is supported accordingly.

Relatively, officers see the inmates in Abu Ghraib Prison as somewhat ‘monsters’ who care for nothing but to kill people in the desire of completing their mission relating to Jihad. Terrorizing cities and innocent people in the hope of clearing the world from the impact of the ‘evil capitalists’ or the infidels who are living in the world today [specifically pointing out to Americans and other white capitalists]. The officers who have been appointed to handle the need to see through the needs and the care of the inmates specifically have their own grudges against the inmates and their people. The thinking of the officers have been affected by the idea that they have also seen what the inmates could actually do especially in recognition of the supposed mission they have in relation to their religion. The supposed disrespect that the inmates have in recognition to the life of others actually motive the officers to become less concerned with regards the welfare of the inmates.

On the other end, the inmates [assuming that they are Muslims] are taught that their mission is to save themselves from the impact of the white capitalists. In relation to this, they are also commissioned to consider the need to save others from the said situation imposed by the evil members of the society. The death of those who are considered as their victims are the ones whose lives they save from the effect of the capitalist way of living. It is as if they are saving their souls from the supposed influence of the evil.

True to its sense, the people involved in the case relating to the Baghdad Central Prison have their own reasons of why they did what they did. Notably though, the question is, does any of these particular reasons justify the condition of treatment that either of the said sides impose on others? The alleged terrorists, do their religious reasons identify the justification of their act towards terrorism and the disrespect that they have towards the life of others? On the part of the officers handling the care of the inmates, does the supposed belief of the inmates be used against their right to respect and proper treatment? The ethical consideration over the desire to seek a balanced identification on the position of the parties involved in the matter raises a sense of assumption on what is more acceptable in relation to the reasons of the individuals involved.

Any prison house, although it serves as a home to people who have committed crimes, is still noted as a place where ‘humans ought to be treated with respect’. Instead of treating the place as ‘hell’ for those who have committed crimes, they ought to stand as rehabilitation areas that could support the need of the people to change their ways. Nevertheless, such a definition is considered by many as rather idealistic and is something that is almost close to impossible. The reality, although sad as it is, cannot be denied to have been tattered by the imperfect thinking of humans. The desire to take revenge [at times even excessive] have specifically grounded the condition of thinking of others into accepting torture and irrespective treatment of others to be a relative source of justice especially if the people receiving such treatment also have no respect of their fellowmen.

No wrong can correct another wrong. Notably, nothing that is bad can right another bad thing; this is a universal matter that is accepted and yet hardly practiced accordingly by humans. The desire to take revenge to likely get the justice needed from the society and the systems that define it takes a greater command on how people react to misdeeds done by others. The case of the Baghdad Central Prison creates a distinctive indication on how humans tend to be humans and how at times they leave such conditions behind and just go on with their unwarranted actions so long as they would satisfy the desire to take revenge.

References:

Szegedy-Maszak, M. (2004). The Abu-Ghraib Prison Scandal: Sources of Sadisun. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum.

English 310: Ades. Obedience to Authority.

Tucker, Bruce and Sia Triantafyllos (2008). “Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib, and the New Imperialism”. Canadian Review of American Studies 38 (1): 83–100.

Zimbardo, P.G. (1973). The Stanford Prison Experiment. New York Times Magazine.

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