Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 28 June 2013

Ian Brady, "madness" and the "justice system"

I cannot help but feel that the outcome of the "hearing" this week to decide upon the "sanity" (or otherwise) of Ian Brady, aka "The Moors Murderer" was pre-ordained even before it began.

Quite frankly, the reporting of his utterances before the hearing revealed him to be a very sad individual, but I think that it is stretching it a very great deal to say they revealed him to be "mad" and that he needs continuing medical "treatment". Nevertheless, I watched this evening a testimony from someone at Ashworth Hospital saying that he was indeed "mad" and that he was to be consigned, "for the foreseeable future", to the tender mercies of his "carers" at that "institution". My own view is that if he truly wishes no longer to ingest sustenance, liquid or solid, then he should be left to follow this path and "starve himself to death".

Obviously I do not set myself up as an expert on "madness", although I think I can fairly say that I know "evil" when I see it. I do not believe Ian Brady is "mad", but I do think him an irremediably "evil" individual - if he wishes to starve himself to death then I see absolutely no reason why we (as a nation) should prevent him from doing so. My considered view is that he should be returned to the normal prison system and that we should let nature take its course whilst, of course, protecting Ian Brady from victimisation by other prisoners, or indeed prison personnel and offering him continuing nourishment if he wishes to ingest it. If he chooses not to eat, or drink fluids, that is his affair. Other than this I have no other interest in the matter.

In summary, I think the decision to return him to Ashworth Hospital has been taken purely to avoid outraging what is perceived to be the wider "public opinion" (which is highly questionable) or perhaps offending the relatives of his victims. As he is not "immortal", his demise will occur in coming days/years whatever anyone decides - I see no useful purpose in delaying this, whilst obviously I would deplore any pro-active actions to hasten its occurrence.

The question society needs to ask itself is:
When does "punishment" (justified) morph into "pointless vengeance"? I think I have made my own views on this matter sufficiently clear.

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