We live in a society that holds equality as a paramount value. Most, if not all, of the Western World generally believes in equality for its citizens, not as a privilege but as a fundamental right, and not to be infringed upon except for under the most egregious of circumstances. Not only is it a right, but it is a necessity, as claimed by philosopher Simone Weil, “Equality is a vital need of the human soul” (Simone Weil, 1940). In her essay “Equality”, Weil attempts to reconcile mankind’s need for equality with the preexisting inequalities in our societies. She does this by explaining two types of equality that she has defined: quantitative inequality, the inevitable inequalities due to the conditions of privilege or disadvantage under which we are born or find ourselves victim due to no fault of our own, and qualitative inequality, the inequalities contributed exclusively to the values which we have placed on one another as a result of our quantitative inequalities. By this definition, then, Weil communicates to the reader that equality is, in many ways, a function of the respect we express to one another and that every person is due the same amount of respect from individuals as well as institutions and customs; however, though contrary to intuition, Weil’s argument that there may be a certain level of inequality essential to creating the balance between the two types on inequality has altered my understanding of the justice system.
The criminal court system is a primary