Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Legal Love

So since Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is more or less guaranteed to be sent back to Libya I've been thinking about the role of compassionate grounds for release within a modern judiciary system (because I'm just that cool!) I was born in the year of the Lockerbie bombing, it holds no great emphasis for me anymore in comparison to others closer to home or events I may have more personal connections with. The liberal (read:soft touch) in me is screaming "aww c'mon, send him home to die with his family" but there's some niggling doubt in my mind. It was only in 2001 he was charged and he's meant to serve a minimum of 27 years, for killing over 200 people, mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters. Yes the man is dying, but he caused an insurmountable amount of grief for the families and friends of the people he killed. I'm in a state of extreme ambivilance over the entire issue, just how does one decide where compassion is warranted and where is isn't? What precedent must be set that other appeals are weighed upon? I'm going to claim ignorance on the actual legal processes involved in meriting compassionate release (or transfer in this case) but I can only imagine it's too subjective to have a set of criteria to be met, yet equally I'd imagine it occurs regularly enough for there to have to be some sort of guidelines, however strict or open to interpretation. Morally I have serious qualms with putting a value on anothers misfortune, no matter who the individual is.

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