Scotland: What Were They Thinking?

Lying in my cozy bed this morning reading the paper I came upon a headline I thought I had dreamed up. “Freed Lockerbie bomber greeted as hero at home”. As I read the article I realized Scotland had released the bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, on “compassionate” grounds as he was ill with prostate cancer. Will someone please explain to me why Scotland would decide to be compassionate towards a man who had cold bloodily murdered 270 people? The mother of  Diane Maslowski and the mother of Theodora  Cohn certainly do not view this release as compassionate. I would assume they view it as insane . What in the world are we doing releasing this man and allowing him to return to Libya where he is greeted with scattered rose petals and a large crowd of young men applauding him. Something is wrong here. I do not understand this act of complete and total disregard for the lives he ended on this earth and the pain he caused the families left behind. How could Scotland, a country normally viewed as a pleasant vacation spot, make this decision? How can the world allow this to happen? Why would we make a gesture appeasing Libya which is one of the most violent nations in the world?

The other day I was looking into the darkest parts of my psyche which I try not to do very often  and thinking about the constant articles about overcrowding in the California prison systems. I realized I could care less about criminals in the California prison system and have no interest in reading articles about their physical conditions. I think they should rot in prison and I think the more violent their crime is, the less pleasant their environment should be. I think people who harm other people for no reason should be punished without compassionate thought. There! I have revealed my true nature. I hate violent crime and think  we should treat it much more harshly. Mugging someone is not O. K. Killing someone is not  O.K. Raping and murdering an eight year old child is a crime so heinous to me I can’t even imagine the punishment I would come up with if it were up to me.

The release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi is also a crime of sorts. It is a crime because it forces the families of the victims to face yet another emotional loss. The loss of the knowledge this man was being punished for the violent act he committed against their loved ones. Whoever made the decision to release this man made it without consulting with their conscience. If this is the direction the world is going in I am disgusted with it. Pandering to criminals regardless of their crime is insane and useless and should be stopped. Unfortunately in this situation, the damage has been done. I hope the public outcry over this release prevents any future releases  of this sort from happening. I hope our leaders go back to the kind of decision making that used a conscience as guidance rather than an empty gas tank.

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One response to “Scotland: What Were They Thinking?”

  1. Margot Avatar

    Totally agree about Libya– sick!

    But I also think the crime/ justice issue is complex and our system of laws is supposed to get us to help to keep our emotions out of it. Someone I know well was sent to prison for six years for a crime, yes, but obviously the times (Bush doctrines) influenced the sentence; also, both of my parents have had very good friends go to prison on issues that were far more complex than the media made it seem. And of course, there are all of the innocent people that were convicted we have learned about through DNA evidence. So I think part of the problem is there is no absolute certainty.

    Also– I am pretty fascinated by the idea of prison as rehabilitation. I saw a documentary about a group bringing meditation into prisons and transforming people.But maybe I am being idealistic and naive…

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