Friday, 6 December 2013

Appalling Judicial Decision



Many of you may have been following the trial and subsequent media articles concerning the five Royal Marines who were accused of murdering a badly wounded insurgent in Afghanistan during September 2011. 

Two marines were acquitted and another two had all charges dropped, but ‘Marine A’ was found guilty of murder and will be sentenced today and quite probably given a life sentence which, I believe, will be undertaken in a civilian prison.  

He is the first British soldier to be convicted of murder on active service abroad since the Second World War. In no way do I condone Marine A’s actions but I think he has been badly let down by one/some of his colleagues.  From the little detail available on the internet, it appears marines were told not to use helmet cameras in certain situations and this was one of them.  However, it’s the actions of civilian judges which prompted this post.

Yesterday, the UK’s highest judge, sitting with two of his colleagues, ruled that it would ‘undermine open justice to conceal the identity of a convicted murderer’ and stripped Marine A of the anonymity granted to him during his court martial.  The Guardian has been very vocal in calling for his identity to be made public - the same newspaper that was happy to expose state secrets which could have repercussions throughout our society.

I have no intention of naming Marine A, because I consider Chief Justice Lord Thomas’s decision appalling. Given the particular circumstances of this case I can’t imagine there were any sensible legal constraints on the judges to force them to come to this ruling. 

There is no public benefit to naming any of the involved parties in this sad affair.  This is nothing more than political grandstanding which will involve the family and friends of Marine A being targets for fanatics in years to come. Not only has his family oat a husband, son, uncle but they too have now lost their freedom.

I firmly believe this case should have been kept within the military justice system and withheld from public scrutiny.  What good has exposing it to the public done other than feed those liberals who are clueless about military matters?  Our enemies must be laughing at how well this country supports its military and dependants.

19 comments:

JimS said...

There is something that sticks in the throat when one thinks of the highly-paid judiciary, lawyers, journalists and politicians compiling their codes of conduct and moral judgements, perhaps over months, if not years, then holding up their measure to those required to act on the spur of the moment.

Equally there is something very wrong with the actions of those being held to that measure being recorded 'real-time' and used against them whilst the actions of those above them are deliberately held secret and subject to 'thirty-year rule' and the like.

'For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot'

Joe Public said...

My dilemma:

I cannot condone murder; but I do condone mercy-killing.

Perhaps 'Marine A', should have walked away & left the insurgent to suffer? Like our politicians do to our Service Personnel.

Antisthenes said...

This soldier is being hung out to dry hence the draconian sentence handed down to him today to placate the moral indignation of that section of society who wields the most influence these days and who would be the the least likely to defend Queen and country either by words or deeds. What he did was wrong and having been found out is rightly going to be punished. In truth I for one would not shed a tear if he had not been found out. The punishment meted out to him today is a disgrace as he has been sentenced to life imprisonment which appears not to take into account any mitigation for his action. Many soldiers who have served for there country in a conflict situation must be saying to themselves "there but for the grace of god go I". War is war and you are not involved in it to be a decent chap to your enemies especially if they do not hold the same moral values as you which they patently do not in this particular conflict. So I say to those bleeding heart moralists who sit idly by and let others do their fighting for them, sod off.

Antisthenes said...

I should like to ask those with a legal bent which I do not posses to consider my belief that this cannot legally be classed as murder but a case of manslaughter as there was no malice aforethought and was not planned. Just asking....

Furor Teutonicus said...

They are soldiers/Marines. The job IS to kill the enemy.

They are SOLDIERS and NOT beat Coppers on a Saturday night out in Bathgate!

Woodsy42 said...

I think this is an awful miscarriage of justice. Anyone put in a situation where their life is seriously at risk and hyped up against the people trying to kill them is in a very fragile state of mind. He's just a soldier, not an emotional superman. I'm with Antisthenes - I think it should have been manslaughter, and in addition, should have been mitigated because the balance of his mind was disturbed.
Just as those who were shot as deserters in WWI are now understood to have been under duress this case should be seen similarly.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX I think it should have been manslaughter, XX

It should not even have COME before a court!!!

It is a bloody WAR, in war people get killed, it is nearly a definition of "war." AND, the get killed by SOLDIERS/Marines, who are PAID to do the job.

SHIT! You want life easy, join the girl fucking guides, or something!

Edward Spalton said...

When some Muslim Jihadis kill or seriously maim this Marine in our splendidly multicultural prison system, will the learned judges be held responsible?

Will it cause them a minute's thought?
I doubt it.

JonathanFan said...

Couldn’t agree more JimS.

JonathanFan said...

Perhaps he should have done Joe, but who am I to say never having been in such a hellish place.

JonathanFan said...

Yes Antisthenes, there’s something going on here which makes me uncomfortable.

Ten years. A long time. The destruction of a family and a man who ‘lost it’ for a couple of minutes. Why was it recorded in the first place. I read recordings were banned.

JonathanFan said...

Their hands are tied behind their backs Furor. Have been for some years now. I wouldn’t agree with any of my nearest and dearest joining up now.

JonathanFan said...

Well said Woodsy.

JonathanFan said...

I doubt it too Edward.

subrosa said...

Oops, apologies all. I’ve logged in under my other pseudonym but I promise it is me!

Dave said...

I seem to recall that nazis who murdered prisoners got medals.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX
Dave said...

I seem to recall that nazis who murdered prisoners got medals.XX

BOLLOX!

If they had medals, they were won in combat, either in WWI or during the "present war" (Ie wwII)

I guess you are one of those sorts who still believes Hitler chewed the heart rug, and Germans in WWI made sport of throwing wee bastard from bedroom windows and catching them on byonets, right?

Dips shits.

Christina said...

Subrosa, you sum up my sentiments in this tragic case perfectly.

subrosa said...

Sorry to be so long in acknowledging your comment Christina. Just found it in my spam folder.

It is a tragic case.

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