On Justice And Vengeance
Date Written: 28/01/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22467
Two court cases last week, on either side of the Atlantic, helped illuminate the tensions in our thinking about justice. The first was the harrowing trial of Larry Nassar, the American doctor who, over decades, had abused dozens of gymnasts, mainly young girls, in his care. In the final week, 156 women gave personal statements, testimonies that were both distressing and inspiring.
In her summing-up, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina observed that 'our constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment'. If it did, she would have allowed 'many people to do to him what he did to others'. She then sentenced Nassar for to up to 175 years in prison.
The second trial was that of Darren Osborne, accused of mowing down Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park, north London, in a van last year. One man was killed, many others seriously injured. Osborne, who denies charges of murder and attempted murder, allegedly tried to flee the scene, but was set upon by the crowd. Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam, intervened. 'I shouted, "No one touch him"', he told the jury at Woolwich crown court. Osborne 'should answer for his crime in a court such as this and not in a court in the street'.