Life in the frying pan, rather than death in the fire

Life imprisonment for a crime you didn’t commit is a bad thing, but it’s a lesser evil than execution for that same uncommitted crime. The nurses and doctor in Libya, originally sentenced to death for allegedly transmitting HIV to children, have had their sentence commuted to life in prison:

Death sentences on six foreign medics convicted of infecting Libyan children with HIV have been commuted to life in prison by Libya’s top legal body.

The High Judicial Council ruling came after the families of the 438 children agreed a compensation deal reportedly worth $1m (£500,000) per child.

Talks are expected to open on Wednesday on the transfer of the six to Bulgaria.

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who were convicted in 2004, maintain their innocence.

My guess (hope) is that, if they make it alive to Bulgaria, they’ll serve a minimal time in prison (they’ve already been held 8 years in Libya), and then just vanish into the countryside.

2 Responses

  1. It’s also a better justice for Libya, because it shows their compassion when they forgo execution.

    But Libya is not interested in justice, they’re interested in the money. There’s always kickback programs that skim off the top, in those societies with the level of money we’re talking about here.

    Life imprisonment allows a totalitarian regime to disappear people, but still appease the mob with the hope of releasing them, converting energies that might go anti-regime if they had martyred the peeps. This isn’t justice, this is just convenience.

  2. Good luck to the Libyans getting ANY foreign assistance in future for their manifold problems.

    Not just talking about volunteers, missionaries, and so on. Would YOU take a job in any situation in Libya after this?
    Whatever the salary on offer? (More fool you, if so.)

    A country taking hostages and demanding ransom is a good way to get money — once. But, unlike criminals operating in a society, a country who acts this way can (and will) be boycotted.

    Sad for the Libyan citizenry, of course.

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