20 August 2009

This Is Not Compassion, It Is An Outrage

Scotland has decided to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence officer who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill stated that the release was on compassionate grounds because al-Megrahi has terminal cancer and doctors have said that he has less than three months to live. It is likely that al-Megrahi will be back in Libya for the start of Ramadan.

So, apparently a life sentence in Scotland is not really imprisonment for life, but just until some judge decides to feel some sort of compassion for the prisoner due to that prisoner's illness. The sympathy by the Scottish Court also appears to extend to trying to make sure that the prisoner gets home in time for the holiday period of Ramadan, even though that same prisoner was convicted for his part in murdering 270 innocent people who were about to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones. Do you think that the dark irony of this is at all apparent to Justice Secretary MacAskill?

I usually do not have a problem when courts or prison boards grant paroles to prisoners who have been legitimately reformed, and I know that many countries release prisoners before the end of their sentences on the grounds of compassion or rehabilitation. But that being said, I do have a problem with the early release of a person who was convicted for taking part in the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed on U.K. soil, who showed no remorse for his actions, and who is now being released after serving only eight years of a life sentence due to a Scottish judge who wants to display his version of "Scottish values" to the world.

With all due respect, Justice Secretary MacAskill, I fail to see the merit or value in releasing a remorseless murderer just in time for him to spend his final days celebrating his religious holiday with his family instead of spending those final days in prison serving out the remainder of his life sentence, especially when one considers that the actions of that very same remorseless murderer ensured that the families of 270 innocent people would never be able to celebrate their religious holidays with their murdered loved ones ever again.

May God have mercy on you, Kenny MacAskill, because I most certainly never will.


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