CHAPTER: 12345, 6789101112131415161718192021222324252627, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32EPILOGUE

Judd is now researching Restorative Justice. He has his books open in front of him, a bunch of notes covering several sheets of paper and multiple print outs. He couldn’t help but do a bit of research online once he started reading about it. He has found many papers, essays and debates on restorative justice and he has printed out each one to read through and make his own notes. Most seem to agree that restorative justice is the direction that modern law is heading towards. The more that he reads the more Judd likes the idea of this kind of justice. It isn’t traditional justice like Connie described. Restorative justice is much closer to what revenge is all about. It is the wronged, the victim who decides on the punishment that the wrong doer deserves, it’s the victim who decides how harsh the punishment is. It’s the old eye for an eye thing and Judd can get behind this completely.

The more and more that Judd reads on the subject the more he likes it. It’s exactly what he thinks of as justice. The victim doesn’t just explain what happened but shares how it’s affected them and how they think the wrong doer should be punished. It’s how Judd thinks the law system should be working already and it’s justice in its purest sense. The class that evening should be an easy one for him, he thinks, he already knows most of this and the topic is so interesting and exactly what he thinks that remembering everything he needs to know shouldn’t be hard.

Soon the clock ticks around to an hour before class and Judd decides to start getting ready. He likes to look good, look smart and you can’t look smart if you don’t take your time getting ready. First though he has to try and get all of his notes in the right order. It doesn’t take him long and within a few moments he heads into his bathroom.

When Judd gets to his classroom there is no one there and he’s glad for this. It means that he can sit wherever he wants and he takes the same seat that he had last time. He’s determined to make a good impression this time around and he gets his notes out ready to start wowing Connie. Slowly the other students start to file in and take their seats. Connie finally arrives, once more ladened down with files and books. She quickly sorts herself out, much quicker than she did the class before and stands before them all.

“Good evening everyone,” she says brightly, “Did you all do your research on Restorative Justice?” the group nods and she smiles, “And how did you all find it?”

A few hands go up and one by one Connie picks them out and they explain what they thought. A lot of the ideas are the same and Judd chuckles under his breath at the lack of the originality. To be fair though those thoughts that are being shared are much the same as Judd himself had originally, before he researched more and read around.

“Well I’m glad that you’ve thought about the subject,” Connie says, “Now, what is Restorative Justice? It is an alternative to traditional justice. The offender describes why she or he did what she or he did and then the wronged person describes how the crime committed effected them. This is the model of justice that most closely resembles that of the Vikings and it is also the direction that modern justice system is taken.”

The room is filled with the sounds of scribblings and all of the heads are bowed down. Judd stops looking around and takes his own notes. Connie’s voice fills the room.

“Through Restorative Justice the victim has the choice of how they are compensated,” Connie says, “The victims are given the chance to express what it is they need to return them to how they were before the crime was committed. They effectively choose what they need in order to restore them to a better place and restore any damages. They can request anything that they might want, whether it’s a public apology, a better explanation from the offender for why they did what they did or even compensation in some form. They can also request a prison sentence and even the amount of time the offender spends in prison.”

“So restorative justice is basically a more organised form of revenge?” Judd asks, putting his hand up, “Both sides have their chance to give their sides and then the person who is wronged gets to choose how the offender is punished. That sounds like revenge to me?”

“Well you’re right in a way… Judd, was it?” Connie says. Judd nods when she gets his name right, “It is a form of justice that is very close to revenge. Now who agrees with this form of justice? Thoughts on it anyone?”

“I think it’s a good form of justice,” Judd says simply, “The victim of the crime should always get the chance to determine the punishment. That way they won’t feel as though their pain and suffering has been ignored and that the offender has been punished enough. To do anything else just seems ridiculous to me,”

“Yeah but it can be ridiculously dangerous to have that sort of thinking,” another student says “It’s a slippery slope into vigilantism. If you get to choose how a criminal is punished in a court of law and they are punished how you want what’s to just stop you going and punishing the person without bothering with the courts?”

“Yeah but if the courts have this attitude then it makes sense to stick with them,” Judd cries out, “You get to choose the punishment and then at the same time you get the support of the courts so you know you’re in the right, It’s law appointed, sanctioned justice and no one can argue with it,”

“Yeah but it could really lead to vigilantism,” the same student says. He twists in his seat to look at Judd, “People could just not bother with the courts if they take too long. They’d just go after the offender themselves and ignore the courts. And if everyone starts to do that then it’s a really quick slide into anarchy and no one will bother with law or order at all.”

“And when it turns to anarchy it’s just Darwinian,” another student says, “It’s survival of the fittest. Those who are physically fitter will be able to seek their own justice and take down anyone who gets in their way. Why should it only be the physically fittest that have access to justice? It’s not fair. If people aren’t smart enough or fast enough or strong enough then they die or end up with nothing. That attitude is fundamentally flawed. We need difference in life and if it’s just survival of the fittest then we all end up the same.”

“That’s a good point,” Connie says, walking back and forth across the front of the class, “Does anyone else have thoughts on that point?”

The class all raise their hands in the air and Connie points out one of her students who starts talking. Judd watches and listens, making notes once more. He keeps glancing at Connie though, feeling as though there was something different about her today. He realises that she is dressed differently. She’s got her hair down, styled in loose waves that flutter around her face. Her make up is stronger, her eyes wider and more obvious, her lips perfectly painted and her entire face flawlessly made up. Her clothes are almost flirty. Her blouse is low cut, the tops of her breasts right there, in his face and as she leans forward to listen more closely to what the other students are saying Judd can see right down her top. The ruffles around the edge of her blouse draw his eyes right down to her cleavage. His eyes keep drifting down to look at it. He realises that he’s licking his lips slightly and that there’s a stirring in his trousers. He looks away and focuses on writing his notes. He doesn’t have time for this.

But he can’t help but look at her again. She’s walking back and forth in front of the class again and he notices that her skirt is tight. It’s a pencil skirt from what he can tell, it cups her buttocks and makes her legs look unbelievably long. He sort of wants to stroke them, run his hands up them and feel the softness of her skin. She sits on the edge of the table and crosses one leg over the other. A slit appears in the skirt, over one leg and Judd catches a glimpse of the top of a lacy stocking. Her feet swing back and forth and he sees that she has insanely high heels on, a bright red colour with a long, slender heel. No wonder her legs look amazing. He looks away, swallowing hard. It’s almost as though she wants him to look at her, wants him to see her as more than a teacher. And it’s worked.

Then, as the class continue to debate and discuss the pros and cons of restorative justice Connie begins to talk more and Judd pays attention, trying not to let his eyes get drawn to her body. Then, as he takes notes and looks at Connie from time to time he notices that she’s looking at him too. They’re quick glances that she’s clearly trying to keep hidden. But whenever she catches his gaze she lingers and a small smile seems to appear on her mouth. Judd keeps finding himself drawn in and keeps looking at her body but every time he realises what he’s doing he shakes his head and tries to focus again. He can’t let himself be distracted, he has to focus. He’s got his goal in mind, the aim of starting a business and getting as rich as he possibly can. He can’t let Connie or any other pretty face turn his head and take his attention and focus away from that.

He can’t help but feel flattered by the attention though. It’s been a long time since someone has looked at him like that or shown little more than a simple passing interest.

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