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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.

"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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