Sometimes it’s not easy to be one of the good guys. You end up having to hold yourself up to a much higher standard than the bad guys, cause if you don’t, then what’s the point? If you have to lower yourself to their level to fight them, you end up being no different than they are. Examples of this include the US government using torture and holding people without charges.
In Scotland recently they have made the hard choice to be one of the good guys, and be better than the enemy. They have done this by releasing from prison the only man convicted in the Lockerbie Bombing. He’s terminally ill with prostate cancer and they are allowing him to return to Libya to die after serving only eight years of a life sentence. He’s expected to die within three months or so.
Naturally this has a lot of people pissed-off, including surviving family members of those killed in the bombings. Many are outraged at what is called a “compassionate release”. This is something done in cases like this; cases where someone is going to die in a short amount of time and wants to spend what little time they have left with their family.
It’s a very sane, rational and yes, compassionate policy that naturally a lot of people hate and that’s next to impossible to get here in the USA (cause much as we like to pretend otherwise, we’re far more interested in revenge than justice). Releasing someone to go home and die isn’t usually a popular decision with the public, and certainly not with victims or their families, but it is often the right thing to do.
The Scottish government official who made the choice on this case was interviewed briefly on CNN and gave a reasoned, intelligent answer for why this was being done. He brought up the fact that we have to be – must be – better than the terrorists and other people out there who commit evil acts.He was exactly correct.
Anyhow, it’s not like this man is going home to have parties. He’s going to be dead in a few months, and likely sooner than he would’ve been had he stayed in a UK prison where he had access to state-of-the-art medical care. He’s going to spend his last few months in misery and pain regardless of where he is, so why not let him spend those last months at home with the people he loves and who love him, regardless of what he’s done? If nothing else, it’s cheaper than the UK prison system being stuck with the bill for continuing to care for him.
I can understand why people are unhappy, if not furious, with his release. But it’s time to move on. He’ll be dead in a few months regardless. Let him die in peace at home. It’s better than what he allowed the victims of the bombing, and it’s possibly better than he deserves. But for the good guys out there, it’s exactly the right thing to do.