The Stephen Lawrence Case

Thursday 5th January

The news is completely full of the Stephen Lawrence case, and in many ways quite rightly so.  And what a change that is, from the time when the murder was first committed, or even at the first and subsequent trials, when the media were luke-warm to say the least.  And even though the eventual evidence was microscopic and to be quite honest not all that convincing, after so many years one does wonder if there could have been some cross-contamination, the general consensus has always been that the police knew all along who the guilty gang were, but without a confession it was going to be nigh on impossible to find them guilty.  Let us just hope that they can somehow pin the others at some point soon in the future.

And, actually the sentences of about fifteen years each, was just about right.  I have severe doubts about sending anyone to prison in the first place, although what other punishment can possibly be imagined for such a crime I do not know.  The judge said if they had been adults at the time of the crime he would have sentenced them to serve far longer.  But what hope is there for us as a society if we just believe we should lock people up for longer and longer; are we saying that there is no hope at all for these people, and of course the longer you do lock them up for, the less hope they have and maybe any possibility of redemption is lost.  I know; and I cannot actually imagine this pair ever becoming decent people again, but we might as well go the whole hog and become like America, where locking people up so that they will die in prison is considered not only normal but some sort of deterrent.  Well, when you look at the crime rates in America that idea does not appear to be working either.

So, I just hope that given a little time, these two, still young men may begin to repent their crime and maybe assist in bringing the others to justice too. And maybe that will be the greatest deterrent for the future.  It isn’t the punishment that deters, it is getting caught.