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Mercy Killing

In the news over the last few days:-

A 13 yr old boy who beat up, raped and robbed a woman gets a sentence of 3 years in gaol and will be out in 2 years; a jealous ex-boyfriend who has a history of violence, repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on his ex girlfriend’s head and then tried to suffocate her with a pillow, gets 2 years in gaol and will be out in one year; 3 boys who violently raped and traumatised a thirteen year old girl were given 5, 6 and 8 years in gaol and will all be out in half the time; finally a loving mother, Francis Inglis, who killed her severely disabled son because she could not bear to see him suffer any more, gets a minimum, yes minimum, of 9 years in gaol.

How is it possible in the 21st century we still allow judges like this to sit in our courts and pass such unjustifiable sentences? What happened to the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter? This woman is not a danger to others or to society yet the same judges let off the mindless thugs, the rapists, the paedophiles and real murderers with lesser sentences. This mother needs care, counselling and compassion, not to be locked up and judges like this need to be struck off.

At the same time this week another mother, Mrs Gilderdale, who killed her severely disabled daughter as an act of mercy, was allowed to walk free from court. Where is the balance in the justice system?

Both of these women have committed a serious crime but the extenuating circumstances must be taken into account and the law and society must show compassion, mercy, understanding and a dose of common sense.

Both these women have suffered by watching their children wasting away in pain. Both these women have had to summon up enormous courage to end their child’s life. What use is it to lock up such people? If Juries convict in these cases then we should expect humanity from our judges and a suspended sentence for those that kill out of compassion.

Prisons cost money and have far too many people who shouldn’t be there. We can’t keep the truly dangerous and wicked locked up for long enough, they are released back onto our streets in no-time at all, and are soon re-offending. Prison may well not work as the do-gooders keep telling us but nor does putting these people back on the streets; until we find an alternative, prison is all we have to protect us.

We must as a society demand that a proper balance is brought back into the justice system, where those that are violent, dangerous or a continuous nuisance to others are locked away for a long time, that the streets are made safe for the majority of law abiding citizens. This will not be possible if our prisons are too full of people who shouldn’t be there.

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