Question: If a judge believes that an innocent person is guilty and sentences him to death, does the judge suffer?

Sri Chinmoy: According to his understanding, according to his wisdom, according to his illumination and light, if he is one hundred per cent sure that he has done the right thing, then he will not be severely punished. If sincerity looms large in his decision, if he is convinced that he is doing the right thing from the moral point of view, then he will not suffer much because of his mistake. If he is using his own standard of morality as his inner guide, if he is following what he considers to be the voice of his conscience, this may not be the real conscience; but it is the truth that he has so far achieved and embodied. He has not received or become the highest truth, but he is trying to reveal the truth according to his own capacity and his own standard. So, from the Cosmic Law he will have some retribution, but he may not even be aware of it. In his future incarnation he will try to do something and his progress will be hampered; but the punishment or retribution will be very limited. But if he knows that he is not doing the right thing, if he is sentencing the person to die because of outer pressure or because of some other forces, then naturally his punishment in this life or in his next life will be extremely severe. If he deliberately does something that he knows is wrong, then the punishment, without fail, will be very severe.