Sunday, 22 July 2018

Unreasonable Severity

Two fifteen year old boys were recently sentenced to long periods of detention, 12 years and 10 years, for planning a terrorist act.

Their actions seemed to amount to no more than gathering information, and discussing how such an act might be carried out, without actually making preparations to do anything.

I doubt whether severe punishment was called for. It might have sufficed to talk things over with them, and find out what aspects of their experiences at school made wholesale slaughter of their contemporaries seem attractive to them. At the most incarceration for just one year without Internet access should have sufficed to break the habit of morbid speculation.

Long imprisonment, the latter years of which will be spent in adult prisons, is likely to leave them under educated and ill suited to honest work, while introducing them to many dishonest ways of making a living.

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