The question of the legal system has always been whether or not it strived to produce the right outcome for all participants, or whether it simply worked to offer a solution in which each member of the population was equally unhappy. Martha Minow suggests in her essay "Seeking Justice" that attempting to find fairness is something to be endeavored, whatever the cost, and that the legal system ought to be about giving fair treatment to each individual. Likewise, in "Is Tolerance enough?" David Hollenbach also defines justice and morality, describing what he terms the "common good," and how our society ought to be concerned with finding it. Though opinions abound regarding the proper treatment of a just court system, one must commit oneself to understanding that the simple diversity of viewpoints on the idea is enough to deter any lone person from ever enacting thorough justice in our legal system.
The definitions of any non-physical word are always diverse, easily manipulated. To begin to decide where morality and justice fit into democracy, they must first be defined. The justice of law, suggests Minnow, is "promoted by the consistent application of known rules, which in turn can guide conduct and make punishment predictable." (Minnow, 57) The purpose of having a legal system at all is to regulate the chain of command, where individuals are not seen as such, and each case is treated with the same constraints, in the same manner, regardless of the victom or the wrong-doer. It should stand to reason that the United States' system of crime and its warranted punishment is, in itself, justice, since it takes the accused, decides his guilt or innocence, and then decides the punishment from there. However, Minnow questions whether or not punishment equates to justice. In a specific case of a murdered friend, Minnow notes that the true justice would be in returning her from an untimely death, which cannot be done.