Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danger Zone

While I expected the decision to send the Lockerbie Bomber back home to die to be unpopular, I'm a little surprised at how overwhelming the opposition and outrage has been. (Here's a pretty strong official example from the FBI director.)

It makes one wonder if the damage will spread. Will any politicians be voted out? Will this hurt Scotland's relations with America, and the world? Will this even hurt Libya's standing in the word? Will people wonder if Britain, or even the U.S., should have known about this and done something to stop it?

I see this as a mostly symbolic fight (which lends itself to posturing), but that doesn't mean there won't be ramifications.


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

To me, the staggering part is that the man served 11 days per victim. If that's a legitimate exercise in compassion, would you support releasing a murderer who had killed only one victim after 11 days in jail?

I agree with the FBI guy: If I were a detective trying to find a murderer, and I was told that if I succeeded -- after much hard work -- that the criminal would be given 11 days in jail, I would quit the case.

On these things I always find myself without a "side". I oppose the death penalty, which puts me at odds with most of the "right". But then I find that the folks on the "left" who oppose capital punishment often do so because they simply oppose all punishment. For those who support this guy's release, I wonder: could there possibly have been a prison sentence so short that they wouldn't have found it sufficient?

9:50 AM, August 26, 2009  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The point here is not how heinous the crime is, or what's a sufficient punishment for it, but what should be done once the killer is about to die anyway. According to your logic, the more people a mass murderer kills, the less it's worth chasing after him since it means he'll serve less time per victim. In fact, he should keep killing people to make sure you give up the chase.

It's like your opposition to the death penalty. That opposition is based on a principle that applies to all prisoners, regardless of their crimes. Those who favor the death penality can ask you "how horrible would someone have to be before you're willing to have capital punishment?" and your argument is they're missing the point--how bad their crime was isn't relevant. (For those who don't get the death penalty argument, try applying the same logic to torture.)

10:37 AM, August 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he served 11 days per victim. If the authorities had kept him in prison, he'd have served 12 days per victim. Still worth chasing down?

11:46 AM, August 26, 2009  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I see your point -- I guess my argument was illogical.

Maybe I'm just prejudiced against the entire European justice system. Haggis-eating surrender monkeys, perhaps?

8:37 PM, August 26, 2009  

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