It is one of the true privileges of my job that I am occasionally invited to places where I don’t belong. Mostly, these are interesting but largely unremarkable events like the launch of a new society or an annual award ceremony for some sort of magazine or advocacy group.
You write extremely well, Konstantin and I can absolutely empathise with everything you write. These people do what so many could never do but there seems little rehabilitation to be had in many prisons these days. As for the gangs, I feel young people from dysfunctional families and who have terrible home lives have no lives at all. Everyone needs to have people around them who love and care for them and when they have nothing of this nature at home, they turn to gangs who they see as friends, sincere, fun, everything they desire and then, often, it all becomes very dark and bleak. When I was young, we had lots to do. Although I was from a working class home, my grandma paid for me to have piano lessons which were hard work and the teacher was relentless in pushing me to do better, barking out the right note to play which I failed to
do, as he answered the door. I was determined to learn the piano and went for 8 years, feeling sick en route to the teacher. We had events on at church which I loved, still an atheist but no one can
accuse me of not trying. We had the Brownies, the Girl Guides, endless plays with music we put on at the Junior school. We went swimming, walked, had picnics up on Runcorn Hill. We didn't have a car, but we had legs, nothing stopped us. We played out and made up daft games. All these things have vanished, all gone. These pastimes and interests kept thousands of children out of trouble. I may enjoy wine and gin and may be a bit of renegade, I was never in trouble with the law or anyone really and neither were my friends and family. Thank you, Konstantin for all you write and do to make the world a better place. You are a gentleman and a scholar. X
Thank you Konstantin for a very well-written, emotionally articulate article. Excruciating to read the plight of the Afghan mother whose husband was murdered by the Taliban, whose 15 year old only child was murdered in our country by gang members. Perhaps in the city where Sadiq Khan, in an interview with Gareth Baker MP, so unashamedly and repeatedly lies about its safety. You see, it is one thing talking about 'life means life' or a 'death sentence' for these murdering gang members, but I would like the rats who predictably facilitate these atrocities being held to account properly. As per Thomas Sowell: It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
What a harrowing and thankless job those in the criminal justice system have...
Nice piece, Konstantin.
This article is timely as so many of us are fundamentally disturbed by the horrific South Carolina Murdaugh murders. It feels as if our world is increasingly barbaric and dangerous. In the United States we are paying the harsh price of the decades long demise of mental institutions. May God have mercy on our descendants. Thank you, Mr. Kisin, for your superb writing.
A fantastic, thought provoking piece.
I visited The Old Bailey a while ago during an FGM case, the first to go to trial in the UK I believe. Despite only witnessing a tiny snapshot of the trial, it was an extremely worthwhile experience, giving me a little more insight into how the legal system works. It has helped me stop coming to ill-informed conclusions when criminals appear to "get off lightly". There is ALWAYS another side to the story.
Your discussion with FF on capital punishment has also made me question my beliefs. I was adamant that if taking a life is wrong, then state sanctioned murder must also be wrong, period. However, your comment on abortion being legal stopped me in my tracks. Obviously the circumstances are vastly different, but when you're arguing simple morality, the circumstances are moot. Then, there's the morality of paying £100k per annum to keep that criminal in relative safety and comfort whilst the victim's friends and family suffer their own life sentence of pain and despair. If there was a referendum on the death penalty, I'm sorry to say I'd struggle to make a choice.
As you say, thank goodness there are far better people than me to make these decisions!
Very good piece.
I had a somewhat similar experience when my wife was a witness in a murder trial and I attended court.
There were moments of comedy when the judge misunderstood the local dialect of some of the witnesses, but the laughter died when I turned to see the grieving family of the victim.
Isla Bryson only got 8 years in prison for committing two rapes. He will still be a young man in 8 years. No society that cares about protecting women and children would ever give a sex offender such a pathetically short sentence. Most sex offenders don't serve a prison sentence at all, especially when they target children.
Imagine your precious little boy, for whom you give all the love you can so that he will grow up to be confident and strong, being severely derailed in life by a pedophile.
I believe sex offenders cause far more harm to society than any other type of criminal (except for those who murder for money & pleasure).
One conviction for child molestation or rape is like a cockroach: if you catch one, you can be sure there are dozens more hidden in the shadows.
One conviction should be enough to keep these predators permanently behind bars.
If we truly want to protect children - and their mothers - we should never let a convicted sex offender go free.
This is moving. I’m a hang ‘em high guy. Reading the moral wrangling above gives a glimmer into the 50 shades of gray between light and dark. Konstantin, if it was your son that was knifed to death, would you want them in prison forever or would you want them hung?
A very good and thought provoking article. It's an issues I have thought about before. The issue is in New Zealand with activist judges who are criminal centric and not victim centric. People who stab are getting home detention, victim impact statements are weighed against social reports on the accused (they who have had terrible parents, a poor education, deprivation, foetal alcohol syndrome, or who blame colonization - yes that is a defence). Increasingly these social reports outweigh that of the victims. And now we are increasingly having two tiers of justice - one for Maori and one for non-Maori.
The problem with the law is that it is a confidence game. I expect that you will be adequately punished for any infringement that you commit against me, just as you expect the same if the boot was on the other foot. However, how long does such a situation or sentiment last if Justice is seen to be biased towards the accused at the expense of the victim? When do good citizens get fed up enough to take the law into their own hands and to mete out their own justice? Unfortunately that way lies anarchy - a situation I unfortunately feel that this country will devolve into.
In support of the inestimable moral philosopher Lee Anderson, of neighbouring parish to mine, I offer the following proposition: there is no sound moral objection to capital punishment.
Good stuff KK. VERY good. ty