Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi (Lockerbie Bomber)... (in Debates)


AdminG Beee August 20 2009 6:34 PM EDT

...was released from prison today after serving less than 10 years of a life sentence for his role in the murder of 170 people on Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York in 1988.

Discuss...

He was released on "compassionate grounds" because he is suffering from terminal cancer and is expected to die within 3 months.

Reading and watching the media reports here in Scotland I see that:

In the UK many people (specifically victims families) support the idea of his release believing that it was never proved that he was responsible. Their belief being that he was found guilty as a result of political pressure and the "real people" behind the bombing are still at large.
Some people even believe that simply given that he is suffering from terminal cancer with such a short time left to live, and a 92 year old mother at home in Libya, then compassion is appropriate.

However...

In the US many people (specifically victims families) support the idea of him remaining and dieing in prison in Scotland. Their belief being that he showed no compassion to the victims, and should have none shown in return.


Why does there appear to be such a fundamental difference in opinion depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on ?

--

Apologies if my initial post seems rushed (it was), however the CNN and BBC websites will give you a pretty detailed picture of how things stand if you care to spend 10 mins reading the various reports.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 20 2009 6:36 PM EDT

Justice isn't justice unless someone is suffering (this might as well be tattoo'ed as a tramp stamp on lady justice in the US)

QBOddBird August 20 2009 6:49 PM EDT

If the Justice system finds someone guilty, they should be treated as though they are guilty, regardless of public persuasion one way or the other.

However, if he's guaranteed to die within a few months, I fully would support his temporary release simply so that he was costing his family and not the state. That money can be used better elsewhere.

AdminG Beee August 20 2009 6:53 PM EDT

Why does there appear to be such a fundamental difference in opinion depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on ?

QBOddBird August 20 2009 6:55 PM EDT

'Cuz you Europeans are all soft-hearted? *shrug*

Probably just a visible indicator of the differences between our cultures.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] August 20 2009 6:55 PM EDT

Since people named Abdul and what not are killing US soldiers every day.

And people in the US have the "eye for an eye" idea in their minds.

AdminG Beee August 20 2009 7:00 PM EDT

Our newspapers are full of stories regarding UK soldiers dieing in Afghanistan too Henk. It's very high profile here.

Tyriel [123456789] August 20 2009 7:08 PM EDT

I think Americans tend to be more paranoid when it comes to convicted terrorists due to 9/11, so they believe that releasing him from prison is essentially asking for him to kill more people. Don't know if that's actually true or not, though, just an educated guess.

Opinions would likely be more similar (but probably not the same) if you excluded the US from the discussion.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] August 20 2009 7:21 PM EDT

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." -Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness and compassion are virtues too.

{Wookie}-Jir.Vr- August 20 2009 7:24 PM EDT

He should stay in prison, because life expectancy is a joke. I know people who were given 3-6 months to live, that are alive 3-4 years later... So the whole 3 month compassion thing goes out the window in my eyes. My own grandmother has a million things failing when it comes to her health, about 5 years ago three different doctors said it was very very unlikely she would live another year at most... she sat down with the entire family to share the news...

That was 5 years ago, and she is still alive and well.

Point being, he should rot.

NooneKnows August 20 2009 7:33 PM EDT

"Forgiveness and compassion are virtues too."

sounds a little bit too much like something Jesus would have said.

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 20 2009 7:57 PM EDT

He is responsible (perhaps not the sole conspirator, but still responsible) for the deaths 170 people.
I see no repentance, no apologies to the families and victims of that flight; so not until he does those things would I even begin to DREAM of letting him go.

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 20 2009 7:58 PM EDT

Gah... "for the deaths of 170 people..."

Adminedyit August 20 2009 8:16 PM EDT

why the difference in opinion is hard to say. it could be as simple as you said. that many brits don't think he was the guilty party, that he's a scapegoat (much the way oswald was)and that many here in the US don't feel that way.

it could also be that since you're an older more refined nation you're much more civilized than us barbaric yanks ;)

TheHatchetman August 22 2009 6:50 PM EDT

"sounds a little bit too much like something Jesus would have said."

Or perhaps something Paul said that was later credited to Jesus ~_^

Rawr August 22 2009 7:13 PM EDT

He was found guilty for 170 deaths on that flight. What is to stop him from killing again? He literally has nothing to lose with only a 3 month life expectancy.
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