Saturday, August 22, 2009

I gotta agree with the FBI guy here

Click the post title to see what I'm talking about. This is a strange position for me to take, but based on the little I know I agree that releasing the Lockerbie bomber, Megrahi, was ridiculous. The man was convicted of killing hundreds of people. Innocent civilians. And he did it to make a point. Assuming his conviction is valid (and nobody involved in this decision, as far as I can see, said it wasn't) what the flying funcake are they thinking with this "compassionate" release thing? When someone is sentenced to prison after killing a few hundred people, it is kind of assumed that this will be a hardship for them. That they will not see their family or people they care about. That they will, in fact, die alone. That is the punishment, the sentence, and it is imposed, or supposed to be imposed, with good reason. So if you find out it's really very hard on them, that they're very sick and wish they could be with their family, it makes sense to have compassion but it also makes sense to STICK WITH THE SENTENCE. You can regret that their actions have put them in a situation where they are ill and dying, alone. But you still stick with the sentence. Otherwise, what's the point? Has he suffered "enough?" Is it possible to suffer "enough" to account for so many deaths? Probably not. And probably the sentence was never intended to make him suffer "enough." They didn't kill him, after all. But the sentence was imposed because it was what the law said it should be, and it was some comfort, however scant, for some of the families who lost loved ones to this person. So to change your mind, to take that away, makes little sense to me. Justice is not supposed to be nice, it's supposed to be fair. In this case it is "nice" to one person, but not nice to a lot of others, and not at all fair.

To tell you the truth I feel weird writing this - I am usually very much on the side of compassion, and shades of gray, and flexibility. So perhaps I'm missing something. I have to admit I have done almost no research on this topic. But based on what I know, that's how I feel.

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