30 Years to Life — or Cancer, Whichever Comes First

Apparently we have entered the age of  “compassion” for the guilty.

The first case that struck me was that of the “Great Train Robber”, Ronnie Biggs. Ronnie was convicted in the early 60’s of a huge haul from a mail train. During the heist, a man was knocked unconscious but not killed. Ronnie was sentenced to 30 years in the slammer. Ronnie escaped and spent about the entire time of his sentence on the run, much of it in Brazil. In 2001, Ronnie, his health on the decline, suddenly decided he’d be better off in a British prison and surrendered himself to the authorities. Now by my reckoning, that means old Ronnie should not have been released from prison until 2031. But you see, old Ronnie got pneumonia and the Brits felt sorry for him and commuted his sentence. As it turns out, he was too ill to actually leave the prison hospital and as far as I know, he is there to this day.

When I first heard the story I said to myself “what gives”? He’s sick. So what? He was sentenced and the sentence should be served. Little did I know that just a couple of weeks later a new case would make the Biggs story look like Romper Room.

On August 20, Scotland released Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi who had been serving a life sentence for involvement in the explosion of Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Was his case overturned on appeal? No. He was released on “compassionate” grounds because he has termnal prostate cancer. The only form of death penalty that I favor is the spiritual death that results from a lifetime in prison. There are people who show such reckless disregard for life that they should not be allowed to live among civilized people.  Megrahi was one such person.

I watched a relative of one of the victims of Flight 103 comment this morning. She said that she found it so ironic that this man was boarding a plane that would safely take him home to Libya, when his actions 21 years earlier made Flight 103 the last flight any of its victims would ever take.

This post does not need to be a long one. The time for compassion is at sentencing. If there are mitigating circumstances that dictate that a man should not go to jail for life, then you don’t sentence him to life. If you do sentence him to life, it means until he dies and it doesn’t matter what he dies of … stabbed and beaten by other inmates, or prostate cancer. It does not matter. A life sentence is a life sentence.


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31 thoughts on “30 Years to Life — or Cancer, Whichever Comes First

  1. You damn right.

    Although I have to admit a couple things. If President Obama supported the Scots, like some on the left are, would I be seeing this blog?

    Secondly, I think you wimped out on a major part of the story. The Libyans. No analysis of the horde of celebrating Libyans? This guy is a hero in Libya. What say you, Rutherford?

    And trust me, had Qaddafi not wanted the celebration there would have been no kazoos.

    America was disgraced and back stabbed, yesterday.

  2. Video: Obamageddon in 2012?
    posted at 2:55 pm on August 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
    Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

    The Right Scoop has Fox News’ interview with Trends Research president Gerald Celente, an economic prognosticator with a long history of prescience, in which Celente predicts an economic collapse for the US in the next few years. Despite his track record, New York Magazine pooh-poohed his predictions, calling them “pessimism porn” last February. Considering the direction of the economy since February, it seems that Celente at least has an argument:

    This has been long in the making, but now it’s being accelerated, by these programs of stimulus packages, bailouts, buyouts, government takeovers. By the way, people are calling it — is it nationalism, is it socialism? The merger of state and corporate powers, according to Mussolini who knew a thing or two about it, is called fascism. So what we’re doing is we’re looking at the disintegration of the empire in terms of, “This used to be the entrepreneurial empire of the world.” And now, it’s become a place of the “too big to fails.”

    Celente speaks a great deal of truth in this, but does that mean we should start building the bomb shelters, hoarding food, and stocking up on ammunition? The US has been through tougher times and not collapsed before now, although the 1930s took us in a direction that led us directly to this crisis, with government interventions and massive deficit spending on nanny-state programs. The entitlement crisis alone will create the need for a massive reckoning, as every Ponzi scheme does at the end, and thus far the US has done its best to run away from it — especially this administration.

    I’m more of an optimist. The pressures Celente cites will create a push for political change, but that has much more chance of being beneficial, peaceful, and liberating, especially as the bills come due for decades of liberalism and “compassionate conservatism.” At least Celente provides a peek as to what could come if we don’t end our Hopium addiction.

  3. Morrissey stooge Elric,

    Video: Obamageddon in 2012?
    posted at 2:55 pm on August 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
    Share on Facebook | printer-friendly


    Idiot Spammer Extraordinaire.

  4. If President Obama supported the Scots, like some on the left are, would I be seeing this blog?

    Damn right you’d still be seeing it. Of course, Obama condemned the release but even if he hadn’t, my opinion would have been no different.

    Who on the left are supporting this release? Just curious.

    And to your question and that of Elric … I don’t think the main story here is about the pathology of Libya. It’s about a very strange event that may be the start of a trend in misplaced compassion.

    Now unfortunately after I wrote the piece, I discovered that Libya is 97% Muslim so now I can’t hold Elric to my one anti-Islam post per article rule.

    So the debate begins anew. I have not focused on Libya’s reaction and I will do more research on it, but could it simply be that many Libyans think Megrahi was unjustly convicted? While I accept the Scottish jury’s verdict, Megrahi has always claimed his innocence.

  5. “Now unfortunately after I wrote the piece, I discovered that Libya is 97% Muslim so now I can’t hold Elric to my one anti-Islam post per article rule.”

    You arent that astute in islam if you didnt know that. Geeeshh…. BTW you google dar-al-haub and dar-al-islam yet?

    “I don’t think the main story here is about the pathology of Libya.”

    Its not? Isnt that a bit disturbing? A heroes welcome for a terrorist?

  6. I don’t know anything about a “heroes welcome” but honestly, that’s something of an opinion on how you perceive a heroes welcome. I highly doubt most of Libya was at a ceremony or parade to congratulate the prisoner back home, I just don’t see it.

    However, we and the British are hated and have a bad image over there. Whatever we do or want, the loudest and most obnoxious will want the opposite for whatever political issues. It’s just a fact of life now in our relationship with the Muslim world. Though culturally I believe it’s custom that a person die in their home country.
    Anyways, I agree, he should have stayed in prison. I have no compassion for such people. I hope he just stays in the hospital, for the rest of his life.

  7. “Though culturally I believe it’s custom that a person die in their home country.”-sensico

    lol….uh…what? You culturally believe it’s “custom” that a person die in their home country? Rutherford, Curator, anybody….care to explain?

    Awesome anthropological analysis.

    “I don’t know anything about a “heroes welcome” but honestly, that’s something of an opinion on how you perceive a heroes welcome.”-sensico

    Yeah. What tied this instance to my preconceived, overall category of a “hero welcomings” was….your not going to believe it….the hero’s welcome the motherfucker enjoyed!

    The same hero’s welcome that has pissed of virtually every civilized government around the world, including President Obama.

    Again, Rutherford will ignore your asinine, junior high level garbage, but the Rabbit won’t.

    Continue to enjoy your free pass to be a numb nuts around here.

  8. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/paterson-brings-up-racism-for-his-low-standing/

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Back to the charges of baseless racism instead of admitting abysmal performance. How do these pimps think they got elected to begin with – did they get elected just to become targets of the xenophobic MSM?

    Hopefully, these self-loathing Crackers will finally start to judge character instead of color of skin. Rutherford, if I were a black man, I would not only call these phony baloney color catering wimps for their false piety (the most hideous form of racism, mind you), but would call these race pimps too on their hypocrisy.

    Absolutely pathetic…

    Rutherford, I nominate Clarence Thomas for President to spite thee… 😆

  9. DR,

    Same kind of mentality as those who hand out candy after a “hero” explodes on a bus.

    Like I said, some cultures are just incompatible with others. Opps was that “xenophobic” or negrophobic’ Curator?

  10. OH, and “R”,

    You have finally written a post where you and I in absolute agreement, and I in fact would have made absolutely sure the man never saw the light of day, as he would have hanged from the neck upon sentencing…

  11. If Scotland merely did this for oil then we should somehow make them economically hurt for this.

    The Israelis would have put a bullet in that dude’s head as he fist pumped to his adoring crowd on top of those airplane stairs.

    I will play devil’s advocate for our local village idiot for a moment.

    There is no such thing as a demonstration of any kind in Libya with out their tyrant allowing such a thing. I suppose one could argue that the Libyan population might not embrace the terrorist and that it was actually (I hate to use this word) a form of “astro turf.”

    Either way, there was a party at the airport and reprehensible.

    And either way, the government embraced this guy as a hero or the people did.

    My money says both, but who knows. I’m guessing there will be no Gallup Poll.

  12. gosh, I have to explain everything, I meant “I believe” as in “I believe I have learned in school when discussing Muslim culture” that some areas prefer that they die in their origin country.
    Sorry if two meanings for one phrase tends to confuse some around here. Next time, I’ll be a little more aware of certain when commenting on this particular blog with certain particular people 😛

  13. 1. Who gives a shit. I don’t care if its a cultural norm for somebody to go to Disney Land and roast a goat on the eve of their death, if that person blows up a plane packed with college students, cultural sensitivity isn’t even a part of the conversation.

    2. Most people would probably prefer to die at home.

    3. I think you may be confusing Hinduism with Islam anyways. I’ve never in my life have heard such a thing. Even if you find some obscure cultural norm somewhere in the Islamic world, i doubt it’s in Libya. Of course, if it is in Lybia, we are brought right back to “who gives a shit”.

  14. Maybe I don’t care what you think about what I think. Why do you have to respond to everything I write?
    Compassion was mentioned in the blog post, therefore I felt I wanted to bring up this as a possible motive, we know very well how sensitive people are to their cultural/religious customs and maybe Scotland was being sensitive to that. And I still said that I thought the guy should have stayed in jail. Just because I take a different approach at thinking through the situation rather then giving one line popular answers to stuff doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you.
    Ya know, this happens almost everytime an intellectual of any background discusses an issue like this with some others 🙂
    Either way I have a right to bring up whatever points I want to bring up. I’d like to see you lambaste Elric every single time he post links that aren’t even remotely related to the topic.
    With that said, I’m out for a few hours. I have other places to be online and offline.

  15. btw, I just want to acknowledge that though I probably wont see DR’s response soon, I already know what he’s going to say. It’s like broken record.

  16. did they get elected just to become targets of the xenophobic MSM?

    As you should well know, Paterson didn’t get elected in the first place. He succeeded our kinky friend Spitzer upon the latter’s resignation.

    I’m going to bed … I’ll look into this racism nonsense over the weekend. But suffice it to say Paterson is an odd bird. Let’s face it, practically the day after he took over Spitzer’s job, he told everyone he’d done drugs. LOL … he’s off the wall to begin with.

  17. I guess you are right. I”d forgotten about old Eliot the whore chaser. Nonetheless, this Paterson got elected to office.

    And the equally worthless clown from Mass who happens to be black and name escapes me at the moment, sounds like he’ll be entering the same game of baseless charges.

    That rule you once told me about that states blacks can’t be racists because they don’t hold positions of power? Is there also a rule that blacks can’t be feckless because they also hold no stroke? 😮

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