A courtroom was filled with convicts who were waiting to be tried, and also with lawyers, prosecutors and spectators. A judge was presiding over everything. One after another, cases were being heard to determine who was guilty and who was not guilty.
A murder case came up. The accused was a young man who was very thin but spirited. He was seated behind his lawyer. The judge asked this young man, “Tell me, how could you kill someone with only one blow? Many witnesses have said that it took only one blow to kill the deceased. They say they saw you give him one hard blow and then he fell down on the ground unconscious. Shortly afterwards, he died. With one single blow, how could you do that?”
The young man replied, “Your Honour, may I show it to you?”
In the courtroom, some people began roaring with laughter. Others became frightened and quickly left the building, while others were very curious to see the young man’s technique. And what did the judge do? The judge ran away!
Then the accused jumped over the bench and started chasing the judge! He soon caught the judge and the judge begged him, “Please, please do not harm me! I dismiss the charges. I will not punish you. You are free, you are free. Do not hurt me!”
The young man said, “No, I want to show you how it can be done.”
The poor judge fled for his life. He knew that if the young man demonstrated his technique, then his own life would end. In the meantime, another judge had come to replace this judge. The new judge ordered quite a few guards to go and bring the culprit back into the courtroom. Still there were many spectators remaining in the courtroom. They were eager to see how the new judge would deal with the case.
When the culprit was brought back, the judge said to him, “Now you can demonstrate how you killed your victim.”
The young man said, “No, I will not be able to show it.”
The judge said, “I am ordering you to show us your technique.” Then the judge held a mirror in front of the young man and said, “You will strike this mirror and not any human being. In this way I will be able to see what you do and I will also be able to see your own face reflected in the mirror.”
The young man struck the mirror with tremendous force and smashed it. But his hand was badly hurt and it began bleeding profusely. The judge said, “You deserve this kind of punishment. You have killed someone and you will go to jail. But first I wanted you to feel the suffering of your victim.” Then the guards took the murderer away.
This is how two judges tried the same case. The first judge was stupid — he ran for his life. The second one was wise — he made the murderer inflict the injury on himself.