22 December 2009

Munir Hussain

This is the BBC News Story on Munir Hussain from the 6 O'Clock News 21-12-09. Actually, the Beeb has a couple of good pieces on this subject with clips that play outside the UK here and here

(finally the effing thing has been posted. It's taken half a day to do so. Shit, only one second posted the first time.Half the audio came through in the second go. I hope three's a charm! Nope, had to do it through youtube)

Tuesday's Guardian also has an editorial on this case. This case has become a conservative cause célèbre. Except when push comes to shove, the Conservatives aren't around to vote on the issue. The last time this came to a vote (2005) Chris Grayling and other MPs who "supported householders" were absent (see clip above).

Also, The fact that Hussain's sentence was reduced by half because of the self-defence mitigation seems to be lost in this discourse. Hussain could have been sentenced to five years, but instead received a 30 month sentence (2 1/2 years). Additionally, Hussein precluded the trial of the man he attacked by beating the person and giving him brain damage: it doesn't make much sense to try someone who does not understand what is going on (i.e., diminshed capacity).

Also, the Spectator has an article on this topic as well: The politics of self-defence.

This was the Times' take on the subject:
But the court of public opinion should reflect on the crucial distinction betweeen sympathy and legality. It is not hard to understand why Hussain, after watching burglars ransack his house and tie down his family at knife point, should have responded with violence of his own. But an eye for an eye is not the law — and with good reason. Victims of burglaries do not have the right to assume the role of judge and jury, still less an avenging vigilante.

The argument “Would you have done the same?” merits the simple answer: “If so, it would have been right that I should have been punished under the law for having done so.” One facet of a civilised society is that justice is meted out by juries and judges, not by victims at the scene of the crime.

Pandering to public opinion after the sentencing of Hussain might appeal to the electorate’s baser instincts. But it will not improve the criminal justice system. Sympathy for those who take justice into their own hands is one thing; the law is quite another. Politicians should understand the difference.

And while we are at it, the Times also has an article about the proposed “grossly disproportionate” standard.

Meanwhile, in the US, a police officer pulls a gun on snowball throwers. Funny, but people bitched when British soldiers did the same thing in Boston. Figure that one out for yourselves if you're so bloody smart.

What a bunch of fucking hypocrites!