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67. Injustice in a Judge

1. It is unlawful for a judge to pass sentence upon anyonewho is not subject to his jurisdiction, whether this beordinary jurisdiction (belonging to his station andoffice) or delegated jurisdiction imparted to the judgeextraordinarily by competent public authority.

2. A judge in a court of law does not pronounce sentencein accordance with what he, as an individual, thinks, or evenknows; he passes sentence according to the evidence brought beforehim. Of course, a judge may use his private knowledge to guide himin insisting on a rigorous sifting, and re-examination, ofevidence, when he knows that justice is about to miscarry. But ifhe cannot so reject the faulty evidence, he must follow it inpronouncing sentence.

3. No judge can sentence a man who is not accused, for ajudge exercises his proper office in interpreting the way ofjustice between two parties, accused and accuser. Scripture (Acts25:16) indicates this fact in these words: "It is not thecustom of the Romans to condemn any man, before that he who isaccused have his accusers present, and have liberty to make hisanswer, to clear himself of the things laid to hischarge."

4. The judge passes judicial sentence. Once delivered,this sentence passes from the lawful power of the judge whopronounced it. The judge is not capable of revoking the sentence orremitting the penalty it has imposed. Such remission may be made bya higher court, and especially by the highest court in a country,if thereby no injury is done to the accuser (whose cause was provedand decided) or to the common good. Of course, in things that liewithin the power of the judge's discretion, and are not amatter of law applied by judicial sentence, there is room for thejudge to exercise mercy.

"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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