Recent Comments

Label Cloud

Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What the wingnuts miss about the Lockerbie guy

by folkbum

Today Scotland set free the terminally ill Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who had been convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. The warrenterror wingnuts are, of course, up in arms that a man who has maybe weeks to live will be living those weeks with his family rather than in a jail cell. (Or gaol cell, as the case may be.)

But here's the thing: al-Megrahi's release was conditioned upon his having dropped an appeal of his conviction, an appeal that his family could have continued on his behalf after his death; he has maintained his innocence all along and the family could well want to clear his name posthumously. And it seems like there was good reason for his appeal: The key piece of evidence against him, testimony that he bought the shirt the bomb had been wrapped in, may well be contradicted by evidence that was not presented at his trial, leading the appeals commission that ordered the new trial to say "there is no reasonable basis" to believe it was his shirt at all.

In other words: He may well have been the wrong guy.

By letting him go home to die as a convicted but humanely released man, Scottish authorities can bury any mistakes and pretend that they got justice, rather than face the embarrassing prospect of a re-trial that could show just how badly they screwed up.

UPDATE: More context.

No comments: