The extra cost of providing security for the three people identified as allowing the death of Baby Peter could rise to £1m a year, a union has said.
For those outside
in UK, this is a heart-wrenching case of a baby being tortured to death. After reading the above news, I wonder how far a society can push The Law before The Law reaches its breaking point. What is the justification for protecting those who tortured and killed a baby? If the criminal mother after release decides to have another baby, is it OK?
When I started this post, I was seething with anger. But, one must be careful not to be blinded by anger. I am trying to see the justification. Proper jurisprudence is the accumulation of wisdom through laborious historical precedents where all sides have been allowed to pull their weight. It is the only mitigation we have against barbaric revengeful acts. Still, there are fundamental issues at the very center of what our modern criminal justice systems however enlightened they may be. Punishment versus rehabilitation is one such hotly contested issue with a long running debate. To me, the debate seems to be for the most part an ethical and moral argument illuminated by history rather than an argument based on convincing evidence.
Is the moral argument sufficient to justify providing extra security for the killers of Baby Peter? I don’t know. How much extra security will be deemed enough? I am not a legal scholar, but when the courts had to heed to public anger and release the names of the criminals, the structural weakness of English Law (and all other ‘modern’ legal systems) was made plain. This the best we have got and it isn’t good enough. This case raises so many legal and moral questions that I doubt if I can ever understand and make peace with it.