Final Word from Thursday, November 3, 2011

We allowed ourselves a moment of optimism last month whenwe pondered the possibility that the investigations againstMartin Roman and Miroslav Kalousek might mean that thingsare improving in the country. Tomáš Němeček also followedthis line of thinking in LN today, and he decided that some ofthe recent jail sentences in criminal cases are indeed a positivesign. But is this flurry of activity by prosecutors and judgestruly a sign of a sudden interest in justice? Or is punishmentbeing meted out arbitrarily or, even worse, in a calculated wayto benefit specific interest groups? To make an accurate assessment,the sample size is too small. True, a few bad guys aregoing to jail, but there are nearly as many apparent cases ofperverted justice as there are of deserved justice. For example,Respekt looked at the apparent frame-up of Jaroslav Štefec bythe very defense crooks he was hunting down. It will only befair to say with confidence that things are getting better oncejustice is not merely more frequent, but also more consistent.

Glossary of difficult words

to ponder - to think about something carefully before making a decision or reaching a conclusion;

flurry - a number of things happening during the same period;

to mete out - to dispense, hand out, apportion;

calculated - carefully planned or intended;

sample size - the number of observations included in a statistical analysis;

perverted justice - an instance of justice not being served because of acts taken by someone to prevent it;

frame-up - a conspiracy to falsely incriminate someone.

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