Ok, I’m not one to defend vandals, but I am one to oppose cruel and unusual punishment. In Edinburgh, this just happened:
Chelsea Lambie, 18, from Paisley, was sentenced to 12 months and Douglas Cruikshank, from Galashiels, to nine months.
They attached bacon to door handles and threw strips inside Edinburgh’s Central Mosque on 31 January 2013.
A year. For hanging bacon on door knobs and tossing a few strips inside. Yes, it’s vandalism, technically. How should we deal with that, officer?
Sheriff Alistair Noble, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, said: “It does not seem to me there is any way to deal with this case other than by custody.”
No other way than by custody? How much time and thought did you devote to this problem? I’m not the smartest person on earth, but I tapped my meager intellect for all of 2 seconds and had an idea. How about you fine them £20 and make them polish the door handle?
Or even just hold them to Edinburgh’s normal maximum punishments for vandalism:
Criminal Damage Act 1971 makes graffiti and other forms of vandalism a criminal offence. If the value of the damage is less than £5,000, the penalty is a maximum fine of £2,500 and/or three months imprisonment [Section 33 Magistrates’ Court Act 1980] and the court may also make a Compensation Order. Aiding or abetting the act of graffiti and other vandalism attracts the same penalty. Possessing equipment with intent to cause damage is also an offence and, if intent can be proven to the court, a spray paint can would be included as such equipment.
So if they had spray-painted an enormous penis on the side of the mosque, they would face a maximum of three months in jail. But hang easily removable bacon on the door handle? You can rot in jail for a year, because this building and the people who own it are special. The poor cop who got assigned the task of arresting the bacon perps…you know the Captain thinks you’re expendable when you get that assignment.
Religion is so persecuted.
A security guard at the mosque told the trial of the offence the bacon would have caused to Muslims.
Usman Mahmood said: “I was surprised if a person did it for a joke. It is against our culture and religion.
Wait, the mosque had a security guard and he didn’t notice people wrapping bacon around the door handles? Second worst security guard ever (after Allah, who is even worse).
Yes, you are no doubt offended. But offending you is not against the law, and we don’t increase penalties above what the regulations ordinarily demand in the presence of offense. Well, we do, apparently, but we shouldn’t. Most victims of crimes feel offended, it’s kind of part of the package. Your offense goes without say.
A third person involved in the attack, Wayne Stilwel from Gorebridge, pled guilty in August 2013 to a religiously aggravated attack on the mosque and was sentenced to 10 months.
Wait, the “attack”? Yeah, those door handles never knew what hit ’em…because they’re not conscious. And by “hit” I mean “draped on.” Thankfully nobody was harmed in this attack…mostly because there was literally no potential for anybody to be harmed, which kind of makes use of the word “attack” hyperbolic. If I hear “bacon attack” I think Wendy’s came out with a new burger.
We live in a world where suicide bombings in the Islamic world are at least numerous enough that they no longer make international news (and, often, even local news). But someone hangs bacon on a door handle in the UK and I get to read about it half a world away.
Sentencing Lambie, Sheriff Noble said he accepted she was a mother with a very young child, but she had continued to deny her guilt for the offence.
You’re going to take a mother away from her child for draping bacon on a door handle? Oh, you reduced her sentence to nine months, so the kid will only be without its mom, possibly getting tossed into foster care, for 3/4 of a year. That makes it a fair punishment. Good thing nobody was offended by the reduced sentence, otherwise she might find herself behind bars for a decade.
Jesus fucking Christ, this happened in the godless paradise of Britain. Just…FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
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This is a contentious issue, apparently. That’s fine, you’re free to discuss it in the comments and to leave opinions that conflict with my own.
But you will not be cruel to one another, you will not try to assassinate each other’s character to win an argument. Look at what Daniel Shealler and Jasper are doing. That’s how grown ups discuss things when they’re trying to figure out what’s right. It’s about working with each other, not making someone so unwilling to deal with you that you can walk away with the last word.
Comments closed here until Sunday, since I won’t be around to make sure everybody plays nice.