Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

What price an innocent life?

5 December 2014

What is the value of a human life?

It's impossible to measure that value in dollars and cents or by any other metric. Its value is indeed immeasurable and that is why we impose such harsh sentences for murder. Indeed, some countries still have the death penalty for those who are found guilty of taking another's life.

Now I'm not a supporter of the death penalty -- it is the ultimate in hypocrisy and a blatant abuse of power.

However, I do believe that someone who murders another in a blatantly violent and inhuman way deserves a whole lot more than just two years behind bars.

However, a judge right here in New Zealand thinks otherwise.

According to this NZH story, the life of Terry Smith is worth less than three years in jail for those who performed the murder.

The family of the victim are outraged, and quite rightly so.

We have many people in prison right now who have received far longer prison terms for non-violet crimes such as robbery, fraud etc -- where all that was lost was money, something that, unlike a life, can be replaced. To give such a token sentence for the taking of a human life is hardly justice.

But it gets worse...

Mr Smith wasn't just killed quickly and cleanly -- he was soaked in petrol and set alight. He was burned alive.

That is not a death you would wish on your worst enemy, let alone an innocent person.

The fact that the murderers have over 100 previous convictions (many for violence) between them further makes a mockery of the judge's contempt for the concept of justice in this case.

The crown's perspective appears to be that it would have been too hard to obtain a conviction for murder so they settled for a lesser charge and a joke sentence -- I'm sorry but that is simply not acceptable.

I'm sure that in the world of serious crime, people are looking and learning...

If you want to kill someone, don't shoot them, stab them or bludgeon them to death, possibly risking a jail term measured in double-digits. No, simply set them on fire and you'll get a couple of years in the slammer then be free again.

Of course it is always dangerous to criticise a decision of the courts based only on a newspaper report but I find it very, very hard to imagine any mitigating circumstances that would justify such a wimpy punishment for such a heinous crime.

What do readers think?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

NZ Taxpayers to subsidise Alibaba?
Apparently Alibaba are considering setting up a fulfillment centre right here in New Zealand...

Why your next car may be Chinese
Back in the mid 20th century, the USA, UK and Europe were the world's major car manufacturing nations...

FUD, the ultimate marketing tool
Thanks to the wonders of the internet and a copyright-breaching upload to YouTube, last night I watched the BBC Panorama documentary on the drone scare at Gatwick airport which took place last Christmas...

VPNs the boom and the ban
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are an important part of the modern internet and it looks as if they are going to become even more essential in the coming months and years...

Let's do this thing!
Last week I wrote about my idea to decentralise the business of user-generated online content...

Another step towards 1984
All journeys start and end with a single step...

Google - what laws?
We all know about Google's "clever" strategies for reducing their tax burden in most countries...

A ban on crypto-mining?
With the boom in crypto-currencies, the world has become acutely aware that your Bitcoin or other unit of exchange can actually be rather expensive to mine, certainly from an energy perspective...

Time for Huawei to emigrate?
Huawei has become one of the largest and most powerful manufacturers of communications technology in the 21st century...

Who do you believe?
I think everyone is well aware of the fiasco that was the rigging of emission tests by the likes of VW and other European diesel car makers a year or two ago...

You can't fix "stupid"
Just a brief column today because I have a pretty hectic schedule ahead of me before the sun sets on this week...