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N Touch
Thursday 21 June 2018
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Editorial

Vigilantism is no justice

AFTER he was discovered lurking in an area they felt he should not be, the mob decided to do “justice.”

Who he was and why he was there, nobody knew. What his crime was, nobody could say for sure. Yet, that did not stop this cruel band of human beings.

They beat him, burned him, tied a noose around his neck, dragged him in the dirt, all while recording on their mobile devices, in-between checking their Facebook notifications and e-mails.

“He tried to go with the little girl,” residents can be heard saying in the video. “I want to hit him real bad. Where are you from?” His barely audible reply, “Picton.” “Is now we go kill you,” says a woman.

This was no justice. This was an attack by a group of people seeking to satisfy their lust for violence on what they deemed an easy target. It was barbarism.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms last week’s savage beating and torture of 49-year-old Ashdale Mc Hutchinson at Oropune Gardens.

All of those who participated in the group attack on this man – who succumbed to his injuries on Sunday – should face a full investigation by law enforcement authorities with a view to determining those responsible for his murder.

And all those who stood by and did nothing, watching as Mc Hutchinson begged for his life, should also face justice. A strong message must be sent. This society will not tolerate vigilantism.

Why have we, as a human race, spent centuries developing legal and judicial systems? What is the purpose of the system of trial – whether by jury or by a judge – if not to sift facts and come to the truth? All of it is based on centuries worth of human experience. All of it is designed to prevent innocent people from being punished for crimes they did not do and to serve an appropriate penalty on those found guilty of wrongdoing.

While some would say in today’s environment when the conviction rate is so low, the residents cannot be blamed, we beg to differ. We cannot understand or condone the attitude of anyone who would seek to ignore the plain truth: no one can be judge jury and executioner over another. No one should lightly take it upon themselves to maim another human being.

Child molester or no, two wrongs do not make a right.

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