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    Bound by ethics, twisted by compassion

    by | Aug 24, 2009

    lockerbie_0822Justice Secretary of Scotland Kenny MacAskill:

    “… the perpetuation of an atrocity cannot and should not be a basis for losing sight of who we are … Mr. Al-Megrahi now faces a sentence imposed by a higher power. It’s one that no court … could revoke or overrule. It is terminal, final and irrevocable. He is going to die.”

    Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi is the convicted terrorist responsible for exploding a bomb on a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. 270 people were killed. His was the sole conviction in a case that paralyzed and terrified the world community. Mr. Al-Megrahi was released after serving only eight years of his life sentence. The Scottish government felt it necessary to release him on compassionate grounds. Mr. Al-Megrahi has cancer, and it was deemed appropriate to allow this man to live out the rest of his days with family, in the seclusion of his home back in Libya. Are you outraged yet? I am. I am completely baffled and incensed.

    Let me unequivocally say that I believe in compassion. I believe that all of us have an inherent feeling toward righting wrongs done to our fellow man or woman, and meting out humane justice when necessary. I also believe in ethics. I believe that we should recognize certain rules of conduct and apply them for certain human actions. The society of man has moral principles and laws that should be obeyed. We need ethics to keep our society from crashing into the abyss and to prevent complete anarchy. Scotland and Great Britain, in my estimation, have made a grave error in judgment and divine presumptuousness. Here are two reasons for my opinion:

    1. If Al-Megrahi’s sentence was a death sentence, it was fairly safe to assume that he would die in prison. I would imagine that there are no allowances or variations on how he should die. It could have been old age. It could have been prison food, or too much sunlight. It could have been by a crudely-made sharp object lodged into the base of his skull. Or, it could have been his cancer. His conviction on 270 counts of mass murder made his sentence what it was.  Compassion aside, he deserved his fate. I do not know how Kenny MacAskill arrived at his decision. I don’t know what ordained light shined brightly in his mind, giving him the authority from on high to pardon this man. Perhaps this “sentence from a higher power,” as MacAskill put it, was God’s retribution. I am too insignificant to say, but I’m sure the victims of Al-Megrahi’s ruthlessness wished to the heavens that they had such divine intervention. Then maybe their loved ones would be alive today.

    2. Speaking of the victims’ families, how must they be taking this news? Not well, I assureDestruction you. I wonder if Scottish and British authorities spoke to the families about this decision?  I can’t help but wonder where the compassion was for the families and victims of this tragedy? Surely Mr. MacAskill believes proper deference should have been paid to those still reeling from losing their family. This decision, however, does not reflect that in the slightest.

    This decision has sparked clear outrage throughout the world, a clear example of how cohesive and necessary our ethical code is. We must live by these rules, lest we be cast into the fiery pits of madness. Compassion should have its place, but never at the expense of our ethics, and never at the expense of a just society. Al-Megrahi should die in prison.

    Update:  Maybe there is another reason for his release.

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    ###
    Matthew Wright

    Matthew Wright

    Matthew Wright, originally from Connecticut, is a blogger and budding freelance writer. He is heavily interested in politics and public policy. His aim is to encourage real debate between real people. Real change begins on the grassroots level, not in the media. He attended the University of Hartford in West Hartford,Connecticut, and now makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia. He also makes a mean lasagna.

     

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    • C Smith

      Mr. MacAskil may have to live with the blood of even more lives on his hands if this “dieing man” decides to take more infidells with him. What’s to stop him now from strapping on a vest of explosives, walking into a crowded venue and pull his trigger. Al-Megrahi should have been put to death and buried with a pile of swine guts.

    • http://wrightandleftreport.wordpress.com Matthew Wright

      Totally agree Mr. Smith.

    • http://www.viscerality.com Mike Copeland

      I oppose the death penalty. That is a simple statement and true. This kind of compassionate release given a convicted mass murderer makes my position so much harder to sustain. If future public officials can overturn a life sentence, how can anything short of a death sentence bring assurance that criminals guilty of horrendous crimes, like the Pan Am bombing, will be removed permanently from society?
      This kind of compassion undermines the arguments of those of us who believe the state should not murder people as punishment.
      My heart goes out to the families of the victims in this bombing. Whatever closure they had been given has now been taken away.

    • C Smith

      While reading the update you provided as to the reason for his release it came to me that I would imagine Ronald Regan is not just rolling over in his grave but “spinning” because the USA is dealing with Qudafie and if that is not spelled right good I don’t want to know how to spell his name. I am sure he is sorry he missed.
      I must put a footnote to my last comment as to buring swine parts with the body of a person that is a radical Muslim was the idea and statement of General John J. Pershing when asked how he dealt with radicle Muslims that were not afraid to die.
      This evidently makes the virgins old and ugly

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