There has been widespread news coverage of the comments by the father of one of those murdered in the recent terrorist attack in London, expressing his fury with Boris Johnson at “politicising” his son’s death, following Mr Johnson’s remarks about tightening up sentencing for the perpetrators of these crimes. Indeed, David Merritt made the front page of The Guardian newspaper to express his anger.
Of course, everyone is falling over themselves to sympathise with Jack’s father but, frankly, my immediate reaction to his comments was not remotely sympathetic. Who’s to say whether his son Jack’s opinions about how to deal with these criminals might have changed had he not been killed but lived, perhaps to suffer a life of being permanently disabled?
There are a number of issues which arise here, though, not just whether an individual relative of a victim of a terrorist attack (or any other criminal offence) should try to use that position in the way that Mr Merritt has done…
What about the “rehabilitation Vs retribution Vs a combination of these” argument… Which is more Christian, bearing in mind that being “Christian” doesn’t mean being nice all the time or doing the apparently, at first glance, kind thing, but is about saving souls.
So, IS it Christian to lock up terrorists, including plotters, for life – to mean life (not out half-way through the sentence) ?