The entire point of having a legal system, rather than vendetta, is to make justice depend on public principle, not on private feelings. Those feelings ought not to influence legal decisions at all. At present, victims and their families are urged to express strong emotions about verdicts and sentences in a way that encourages them to cultivate vindictive malice, since forgiveness is (rather strangely) much less popular. This habit is deeply injurious to them personally, as well as to the legal system, and it ought surely never to be allowed to influence the courts.
- Mary Midgley