Monday, December 21, 2009
Walid Salem and thereupon beat him so severely with a cricket bat that they broke it and inflicted brain damage severe enough to prevent the admitted thief from pleading.
But it was the sentences which have caused the uproar. Munir and his brother were judged to have used excessive force and were given custodial sentences of 30 and 39 months respectively. Walid, a career criminal, was given a suspended sentence and will spend his Christmas with his family. What do you think?
A clear case of injustice, says Jenni Russell, in the ST thinks they should not have been given any time at all but Catherine Bennett in the Observer, calls them 'vigilantes' and argues the law worked in this case just as it should. Bennett is right in that the letter of the law was followed but only in the way which makes a royal ass of it. Russell was closer I think. I'd have thought a nominal sentence of a month or so would have been about right for Munir and his brother plus something custodial for Walid too. This was an appalling decision which will encourage law breakers to continue with impunity and their innocent victims to accept such attacks with impotent passivity.
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