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The Right Decision From The Wrong System

There's been a lot in the news recently about Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing who has recently been released by the Scottish government.

So the experts are saying that he's "terminally ill" with his survival likely to be a matter of months and more importantly that he doesn't represent a risk, at which point surely it's totally reasonable to let him have compassionate release?

I've said before I don't believe in "life means life" as the justice system shouldn't be about revenge, but reforming these individuals. If, therefore, one of these individuals is deemed not to represent a risk to the population, why keep them locked up? I therefore think the Scottish Government has made the right decision.

However, I don't think this decision should have been in the hands of the government. Although the laws the justice system makes decisions on are decided by acts of parliament (and rightfully so) how these are interpreted and fit individual cases is up to the courts which are a separate entity. Justice should be separate for government and therefore so should a decision like this.

Things like international relations shouldn't be a factor in deciding an individuals freedom and the opinions of people like Barak Obama are irrelevant for this. As soon as you put a political influence in individual cases you start punishing people out of revenge, which just makes us as bad as them.

The one thing I feel disappointed by with this case is the fact that Megrahi has had to drop his second appeal in order to be released. If there is enough strength of evidence to suggest that an appeal is in order and that may put in the conviction in doubt surely this needs to be listened to in the interests of truth?

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
bananamanreject
24th Aug, 2009 12:26 (UTC)
Things like international relations shouldn't be a factor in deciding an individuals freedom and the opinions of people like Barak Obama are irrelevant for this. As soon as you put a political influence in individual cases you start punishing people out of revenge, which just makes us as bad as them.

Could not agree more!
helflaed
24th Aug, 2009 13:21 (UTC)
A deal has undoubtedly been done. Megrahi drops the appeal and gets to go home and die in peace instead of in jail waiting for the court date, the appeal magically disappears and prevents further embarassment to both the UK and US governments, Libya gets to act as though it has got one over on the West, the Scots get to show how merciful they are, the British government gets to wash their hands of the whole affair and blame Holyrood, and the US get to pretend that they knew nothing about any of it and be completely outraged by everything. Oh and if you tell me the Americans weren't in on it then I've got some lovely real estate in Louisiana you might be interested in.

Everyone wins except the relatives who will now never find out the truth and Megrahi who dies as a convicted murderer without the chance to clear his name.
forestofglory
25th Aug, 2009 00:41 (UTC)
Separation of Powers is good stuff (not that the UK really has any). Of course growing up in the US you get rather indoctrinated to believe that our system is best, so I may be biased.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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