It was 3am when the cell door opened. The occupant struggled to wakefulness as outside light streamed into the cell.

Two men both over 2 meters tall stood just outside. They wore smart, almost futuristic military uniforms. Another of the uniformly very tall men stood back a little ways, with him the prison warden and one of the senior guards. The latter two with heads bowed.

"Roy Harvey" said the not unpleasant voice of the nearest tall man "you were wrongly convicted of murder 25 years ago and are now free to leave this penal establishment at your convenience."

The small, now elderly, prisoner rubbed his eyes and began to stutter, trying to wake up enough to take it all in.

"The Brell temporary Justice Administrator of this world" the voice continued "has arranged for substantial compensation for the wrongs perpetrated against you." "Your remaining family has been notified."

With that pronouncement the tall men departed. They knew, with absolute certainty, that neither the warden, nor his guards, nor any other element of the justice or correctional services system would contravene their edict.

Doubtless there was something very mechanical in the way the tall men had acted but there was no doubting their recently imposed authority. Or their ability to enforce it.

At around the same time, elsewhere in the same city, a heavy knock came at the solid oak front door. The house was impressive even by the standards of the elite area in which it was located. The second knock was heavier and louder though it was not enough to disturb the sleeping occupants. The third knock was heavier and louder still and had the side effect of removing the door from its hinges and sending it crashing to the ground. It would not have been possible to sleep through that.

A frightened, ageing, red faced man in pajamas and dressing gown stumbled down the stairs. Behind him a slightly younger fadingly attractive women also in night clothing.

"Judge Donald Gruber" said the tall uniformed man. It was not a question. "In your role as judicial representative you have knowingly contributed to the wrongful imprisonment of 6 innocent men and woman." It was not merely an accusation but a statement of the incontrovertible truth. "Two of these innocents died during the time of their incarceration." continued the man "For your crimes you are to be taken from this place and face immediate and just retribution."

Over the next few days scenes not dissimilar to these took place over all industrialized countries. Wrongfully imprisoned men and women were speedily released, compensated substantially and reunited with loved ones and family. At the same time those that had contributed in any substantial way to the miscarriage of justice were dealt with as thought appropriate by a civilization higher than that of man. No one knew just exactly how many of the tall men were involved in the huge operation. By human standards it would have been an impossible logistical nightmare. Still the numbers of innocents released were, as a measure of the miscarriage of justice, far beyond the expectations of ordinary men and women.

As part of the same exercise the true perpetrators of the crimes. Those who, for whatever reason, had avoided prosecution, were dealt with. Sometimes directly placed in the same position, the same jail cell as the innocent party had been.

The less developed world took rather longer than a few days. The incidences where the justice system had failed being so very much higher.

All the flawless, perfect information that supported the innocents and damned others was left as a matter of inviolable, unchallengeable public record.

The tall men, those who carried out the release of innocents and righteous retribution against the not so innocent wore Brell military uniform. They were not of the Brell though. Here on Earth only the temporary Planetary Justice Administrator was truly of the Brell. However, whatever they were, wherever they came from, the tall men were clearly trusted agents of the Brell. More importantly they had the backing of the Brell. The power, all of the power, of the Brell lay behind them. If ever even the smallest fraction was needed.

Many upon the Earth rejoiced in the happenings. Obviously none more so than the innocents, and the friends and families of the innocents. There was a gathering groundswell of anger against the sheer volume of miscarriages of justice. An anger that began to be directed primarily towards the judiciary and parts of the legal profession. This was tempered though by the knowledge of what was befalling corrupt judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys, law enforcement officers and others whose actions had led to the imprisonment and sometimes the death of innocents.

The punishments visited upon those who had contributed to the miscarriages of justice was harsh but on a sliding scale dependant upon the degree of the contribution. As based on a system of values and of law demonstrably superior to our own.

It became clear to all that the various systems of justice in the countries of the world, even the Westminster system itself, would not entirely survive what had happened.

The visitors themselves offered a crude alternative. A starting point based on pragmatism and simple common sense. A time worn process that had served as a start in untold thousands of other worlds. Worlds that had already been "cleaned up".

Some queried the severity of the punishment of those who had knowingly and substantially contributed to the wrongful imprisonments. Though foremost among the critics were the friends and relations of those with the blood on their hands.

By Earthly standards the punishments may have indeed seemed harsh. But by the broader standards of our Universe they were most certainly not. The miscarriage of justice that leads to the conviction of an innocent man or woman and the subsequent waste of a life is seen most everyone among the stars as a crime of the most heinous variety.

Eventually the tall uniformed men, the agents of the Brell, left our world. But not before the last wrongly convicted man and woman were set free.

Under the new simplified system of law, and with the fear that the tall men, or other agents of the Brell, might return, it would be quite a long time before there would be any more major miscarriages of justice.

Anywhere in the world.

End