Jan 19 2010

Evil Is as Evil Does

Published by at 12:56 am under Canada,crime,terrorism

Are we so lost that those who we most trust to know the difference between right and wrong can’t see evil when it’s staring us in the face?

I never went to law school. I’m guessing courses in logic and philosophy are not a requirement of obtaining a degree in that field. Paul Slansky, lawyer for Saad Gaya, 22, of the terror group known as the Toronto 18, responds to a sentencing verdict of his client:

“Terrorism is a heinous and evil crime, but not necessarily everyone who commits a heinous and evil crime is himself evil.”

Huh? We are not judged guilty in court or by a higher power merely for evil thoughts, at least not in a democracy. We are judged for our actions. When you do evil things, you are an evil person. No need to sugar-coat it.

By the same token, when a person does good things, this indicates they’re a good person. A bit less abstractly, when a trained professional fixes the plumbing, we call this person a “plumber”. People who make art are “artists”. We are what we do. It’s that simple.

When a group of fanatics tries to kill a bunch of innocent people, we don’t care that these failed criminals give to charity or have good hygiene or are loving parents. Rational people understand that these people are evil, if that word has any meaning, and that they deserve to be locked up. Close the door, turn off the lights and throw away the key.

In any case, it seems Canadian law simply cannot cope with the scale of the threat presented by people aiming to take down the Toronto Stock Exchange, the CSIS building and a military base. The mastermind is in prison for life — which by our oddball rules means he could be out in six years. The rest of the crew are also getting sentences reduced for jail time already served.

Just thinking here, but let’s low-ball the number of people who could have been killed by these maniacs at 100. It’s arbitrary — it could just as well be 500, or 1000, or 5000, but at least we’ve got a number. Now, what kind of sentence do you give someone guilty of 100 separate attempted murders?

I’d have to hope that even in Canada, that might at least add up to the equivalent of a real sentence of life in prison.

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