Comments:Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi released on compassionate grounds

Latest comment: 14 years ago by Gopher65 in topic Ultimate Arguement

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What I think is deplorable about this is the abhorrent way in which the American government has behaved, openly standing against a legitimate decision made by the Scottish judiciary. If the U.S. government had any respect for these sovereign institutions it would respect the decisions they made, irrespective of their private opinions.

Al-Megrahi isn't a threat to society any longer, there were serious doubts over his conviction, while there was no time for the appeal to take place, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding the validity of his conviction. He is no threat, so the only reason one may wish to keep him in prison, is one of vindication and public retribution. I like to think we have advanced ourselves in Western European society from letting such primitive desires cloud our judgement, particularly where there are doubts over any conviction.

Michael Taylor, Leeds, England (Mtaylor848 (talk) 16:47, 20 August 2009 (UTC))Reply

In my view whether he is or is not a threat to society should not be the point. You could very easily say that about any criminal who is ill or has "changed his ways". He should have stayed in prison until he had served his sentence. There were no compassionate grounds for the 270 people killed or the families that have been destroyed because of his actions. Chandlerjoeyross (talk) 18:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
The Scottish justices who decided to allow his recently dropped appeal gave it the go-ahead because there were grounds to believe that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. Beyond that you're digging into the political situation surrounding this. Did Libya have a motive? Is it more plausible that Iran had a revenge motive - with the Ayatollah vowing that American planes would rain from the sky? Did the bomb go all the way from Malta, through Europe, and London before going off over Scotland? Why was a reported break-in at Pan-Am baggage handling at London Heathrow never mentioned in the original trial? Is it significant that it would have been politically very inconvenient to point the finger at Iran at the time when this was around the time of the first Gulf War? --Brian McNeil / talk 23:17, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Just when I was beginning to think all Wikinews bar me was going to look no further than the ends of their noses over this... I should have known better. Thanks, Brian, for retaining the ability to think for yourself. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:26, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Em, yeah ... Lybia had a motive! --SVTCobra 23:35, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Yeah that happen from [1] and killing 250+ plus innocent people is no excuse or realizing him.-- (talk) 23:43, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
TBH it makes a lot more sense for it to be an Iranian response to IranAir 655, however that is not the key issue. The main points of contention I'm seeing debated are 1)if you kill more than x Americans you don't deserve competition 2) a legal system is primarily about punishment (and he has not been punished enough). I strongly disagree with both points (AFAICT it's mainly Americans that support them), and while i do agree he was just a fall guy, changing the debate doesn't win the original argument!-- (talk) 04:05, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
I don't understand how a sentence that would be ~3 months longer would in any way be "better". Bruce89 (talk) 21:02, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

"Compassionate Grounds"


Yeah tell that to the victims families. Fucking bullshit that he is treated like a Hero for mass murder.-- (talk) 23:32, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Whilst I believe in the innocence side, I will agree that I was sickened at the homecoming they had laid out for him. The Libyan officials have told the world they accept he was a killer, and I bet the crowd believed he'd done it too. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • The welcome was pretty disgusting, I was none to happy to see a Scottish flag being waved about. However, compassion stands apart from justice. If your belief set is such that compassion must be earned, or is conditional on your interpretation of justice having inflicted 'enough punishment', then it is not compassion at all. --Brian McNeil / talk 03:07, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • So because he behaved in a certain way (i.e gave no compassion), we should all copy him? My,my you do have your thinking cap on today!-- (talk) 03:54, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Yeah tell that to the victims families. Fucking bullshit that he is treated like a Hero for mass murder.

This is hysterical rambling, to be quite honest if the public in Libya wish to treat him as a hero, so be it, no power on earth will stop them. Whatever happens is completely academic, those 270 dead will remain dead regardless of the actions of the Scottish or Libyan authorities. Any compassion on the part of the authorities does not show weakness, it shows we are unwilling to change our fair and liberal values in the judicial system, regardless of the actions of a millitant and subversive few. The noose on the other hands offers matyrdom to anyone misguided enough to want to become a hero. If people really want to see someone die in prison on principle, then perhaps they should consider the gravity of such a situation. Nothing can undo the deed and to wish harm on someone because of their past crimes is a sadistic form of retribution. Whoever committed this crime should have gone to gaol for the protection of the public, however the pertinance of such a motive is now in question in the case of Al-Megrahi, and certianly I would not wish to see a man die in prison just to satisfy a vindictive principle I might hold. Mtaylor848 (talk) 16:12, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

The fact that this user has to resort to swearing betrays their lack of understanding. Bruce89 (talk) 20:59, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

hypocrytical Scottish ministers


typical Scottish weak government, they are a disgrace to the memory of those who died.

The can put an unprecedented 100 year lockdown on the papers for the Dunblane massacre but give in when a terrorist gets a pain in his rear, —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

This was not the action of a weak government. This was a justice minister applying the law of Scotland as it was written, and intended to be applied. Those in America baying for retribution and revenge are hypocrites - they supported campaigning for Rudolph Hess to be released from prison by the Soviets. Compassion is striving towards an ideal, not descending into a Biblical eye-for-an-eye cycle of revenge.
And Dunblane has absolutely nothing to do with it. --Brian McNeil / talk 03:07, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Ultimate Arguement


Besides theories regarding the guilty party behind the attack and the legitimacy of the devolved Scottish government/American pressure etc, ultimatley what this arguemnt boils down to is the purpose of penalties in the law. Are they there to punish, to do to someone as they did to others, to inflict measured pain and stress on them in order to satisfy society that the guilty party is suffering or is it to keep order in society, an unfortunate but unavoidable method of keeping muggers of the street, corruption out of our governments, terrorists out of the skies. I will side with the latter, I have no desire to do unto someone as they have done to others (I fail to see the purpose of this), I see it as often quite a distateful method of maintaining order in society, obviously there has to be gaols, fines, community service etc otherwise it wouldn't be safe to walk the streets. As Al-Megrahi is no longer a threat, his inprisonment is largely futile and I refuse to join the masses baying for blood, wanting him to suffer because others have (at the end of the day what benefit will that do the dead). Mtaylor848 (talk) 16:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

I understand your argument, but you are forgetting one important reason for prison sentences: deterrence. Example: when a gang member goes to jail for 5 years for murder and is then released, that sets a precedent in the minds of others who are on the edge of committing such a crime, but wouldn't if they knew that they would be throwing away their own lives. Only 5 years? Hell yes, I can do this and get away with it!
Now obviously a deterrent does nothing to stop crimes of passion, because there is no thought or reason involved in the commision of such crimes. But being forced to live in prison for your entire life (with little chance of even the release of suicide) is a powerful deterrent to reasoned, planned crimes like premeditated murder or terrorism. Personally I'd say that it is a fate far worse than death.
Only those who are truly fanatical in their desire to commit such crimes will risk lifelong imprisonment. But if you can get released just by promising not to do it again? Then there is no risk involved. Then prison is just a temporary spot for you to rest up after you're done with your crime. The deterrence value drops to almost nothing.
That's why "revolving door" prison sentences - like the one this guy received - are pointless. Why even bother imprisoning them if they're just going to be released afterward?
It isn't about punishment in my mind, it's about making sure that people know exactly what they face should they commit a crime. Gopher65talk 21:34, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
This is such a steaming pile of excrement that I'm at a loss where to start picking it apart. He was in jail, he faced staying there indefinitely, or until such time as an appeal process found fault with the original conviction. Then the man is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Inoperable. With a predicted maximum lifespan of three months with current modern treatments. Given those circumstances you're prepared to trot out the "revolving door prison sentences" soundbite. Un-fucking-believable. The law is fairly simple on this, prisoners can be released on compassionate grounds if they are expected to have less than three months to live. Condemn someone like in a modern-day Oubliette? You also condemn his family to knowing he will die soon and they will not get to see him. What are they guilty of? Guilt by association? All the world's major religions espouse compassion, leaving me puzzled how anyone could grow up in the modern world and not think that this release was an act of compassion. Is "We'll keep you until we're 90% certain you'll die within 90 days" not punishment or deterrent enough? --Brian McNeil / talk 23:21, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Part of the deterrent is knowing that you will die having never been free to see your family un-bounded. Whether you die of old age or of a disease is irrelevant. In this particular case there is some doubt as to his guilt, but in cases where there is no doubt why should I have compassion for them? And don't say "there is always doubt". There isn't. That only happens regularly on TV. In the VAST majority of cases, the perpetrator is caught red-handed. Real life isn't like CSI where they catch their man no matter what. Normally if the police don't catch them in the act, or immediately afterward (video footage, foot chases, following obvious evidence like bloody footprints leading right to the bad guy, etc), they don't get caught.
If you want to argue that *in this specific case* the guy should have been let out because of doubts about his guilt, then do so. But due to some sort of weird "love your enemy" bit? No. *If* you believe he actually did it, the he should have stayed in that prison until he was dust.
As for the non-deterrent side of things, don't try and tell me that someone who commits a serious crime should be let out on "compassionate grounds". That's a giant crock of shit. Once you commit a murder or a rape that's it, there is no more compassion in the world left for you: you've used up your allotment. Unless you can undo the crime you have committed, there is no forgiveness. That's the difference between a thief or a vandal and a murderer or a rapist. Thieves can pay back what they have taken and vandals can fix what they have broken. Both can be redeemed because their crimes can be undone. Once you step over that line of reversibility, there are no second chances. Gopher65talk 23:51, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Ok I held back long enough. Only because of the glorification Libya gave him when he returned to the country. Let me ask this: Would the US have released any of the 9/11 hijackers had they lived? Would they release the fat son of a bitch the planned it? No. You kill people you go to prison. Period end of story. You get sick in prison? Too damn bad. Unless they caused it, like being gang raped or beaten to death, etc. He is dying of prostate cancer...well he should be so lucky. Personally, I think in cases like this, punishment fits the crime and that plane should have blown up in mid air over the water. Call me an asshole or a dick or whatever hate word you want, but nothing can compare to the hate this man has for any other human on this planet. I have no sympathy for his disease and he should have died in prison from it (not denying him any necessary treatment). I am surprised the compassion that has been shown for this man on here. He is a terrorist and is no different from Bin laden and all the likes. I don't care what his role was in it, but apparently it was enough to convict him. "Compassionate grounds"....he had no compassion for those he killed and the days he spent plotting against others. He may not be able to physically blow anything up, but he definitely has the resources to hire others to do it. Once a terrorist, always a terrorist. Once a murderer, always a murderer. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:09, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
"Once a terrorist, always a terrorist. Once a murderer, always a murderer." That is what is so frightening about his release (further fueled by his homecoming). It's not that the lot of us aren't compassionate people. We don't want an eye for an eye or anything like that. We just want a punishment that makes the most of us feel a tiny bit safer. (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
I don't understand how people can treat another human being with such contempt. I mean, how can you almost wish the horrendous death that will be caused by Cancer? Also even more amazing is "I don't care what his role was in it", this is clearly the same as "I don't care if he's innocent". If that's the sort of justice system you have over there, you can keep it; but I'd rather have people sent to jail only if they're guilty. Bruce89 (talk) 17:59, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

I am of the opinion that no one commits a crime, thinking they are going to get caught therefore the detterent aspect of prison is somewhat redundant. Murder is one of the few crimes committed mainly by amatures giving themselves usually no hope of going undetected, there is no way anything can deter this. Terroroism on the other hand is generally planned with great thought and accuracy with contingencies at all stages, the perpetrators are usually so arrogant they do not consider detection to be a posibility.

Remember the dark days of the troubles, when coaches on the M62, shopping precincts and gasholders were being blown up by the provisional IRA. The attitude of the British authorities was largely to find someone with an Irish accent, fit them up and find them guilty because it was politically convenient, while there is evidence to suggest Al-Megrahi committed this crime there is much evidence to suggest this too was politically convenient, it allowed Libya to come in from the cold and the UK to say 'got him, justice is done'. Mtaylor848 (talk) 09:34, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Just a pointer, but how can you ever commit someone to life in prison. Society generally liberelises as time progresses, I think we can all agree on that. Someone may life for 70 years after being sentenced to life, how do you know it will be either politically acceptable or politically deirable then. Say if John Haigh had recieved a life sentence in the early 1950s instead of being hanged, there would be no public outcry if he was released today (all be it as an inprobable old man), his crimes predate most peoples memories. 70 years ago we were still hanging in the UK, our prisons administered corpral punishment and the attitude was that prison was to vindicate, not to rehabilitate. In a further 70 years it may not be politically acceptable to keep someone in prison so long. Mtaylor848 (talk) 10:01, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

I'm quite certain that 70 years from now there will be no prisons at all. No, we'll just mindwipe people instead. It's easier and cheaper than keeping someone incarcerated. Gopher65talk 02:05, 24 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

UK Libya relations


While the scenes of his arrival were distasteful, this was at the end of the day trivial. I have no objections to cancelling royal visits (why we let the parrasites reprisent us anywhere is beyond me), but this should not effect Anglo-Libyan relations. How many nations with deplorable human rights records do we have relations with (one which we have an apparant 'special relationship' with and act as somesort of bridge between itself and the EU). This distatesful display did not harm anyone (although I am sure it offended many), yet the actions of many of our allies are no better the Al-Megrahi, if executing, dismembering and torturing people doesn't worry us then why should any such spectacle, mno matter how inappropriate. It is at the end of the day unimportant. Also, how many people have been cheered as they left British gaols? Mtaylor848 (talk) 09:34, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

You can't really blame them


You can't really blame them for releasing him, the UK health system could not afford one more person with cancer. --CnrFallon (talk) 15:12, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

That is pure libel at best, and totally wrong at worst. Bruce89 (talk) 17:59, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
Your comment makes absolutely no sense at all. --CnrFallon (talk) 01:31, 24 August 2009 (UTC)Reply