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What consitutes 'compassionate grounds?'

August 13th, 2009
12:32 PM ET

Should the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, who has terminal cancer, be freed on compassionate grounds?
Should the Lockerbie bomber be released on compassionate grounds because he has terminal cancer? Let us know your thoughts.

The British authorities released the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs, last week because he has only months to live. They took the same view with the gangland boss Reggie Kray.

Then again, American authorities have denied 17 appeals for release by Susan Atkins, who murdered Sharon Tate, and who is now paralysed by terminal brain cancer.

On tonight's show, we will explore what makes the case for "compassionate grounds," and we'll feature some of your comments on the show.

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Chris

    He should not have been allowed to live in the first place. Let him die alone in a cold cell.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  2. Smokecheck

    He's already been given more compassion than he deserves by allowing him to live. If it was up to me, I'd take him up in a plane and push him out.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  3. Omar

    Daw Aung didn't bomb anybody and she suffers house arrest.. should someone who is responsible for the killing of innocent civilians be forgiven?..nope..

    August 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  4. VietVet

    I like your way of thinking! Kind of like we used to do in Nam. Take two prisoners up in a chopper for interrogation. After a while push one out. You'd be surprised how fast the other guy starts talking!

    August 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  5. Allan

    I was born in Scotland and have very specific views on this.
    I feel that he should be released. He should be released from an aircarft flying at 30,000 feet above the Atlantic and let him see how it feels.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  6. Kipkirui Kap Telwa

    People convicted of murder should serve the entire sentence, including dying in prison, if they are convicted to hang. Terminal illnesses should not be earn one freedom.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  7. James Turner

    Never! Allow him to die right where he is. It's foolish to even consider leting him out! Did he somehow undo the murders of all those human beings?

    August 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  8. Dawood

    I dont know this man nor followed the court hearing that led to his conviction. if he was convicted, it means beyond reasonable doubt that he was the perpetrator of that mass murder. I'm just wondering why convicts who killed one or two persons, sometimes had a hard time getting compassionate freedom. I think this monster doesn't deserve to be released until he has served his sentence.

    What we need here is to show compassion to the relatives of many innocent lives he has taken. They the victims don't deserve another death thru his release in whatsoever reason there might be.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  9. jack

    too bad we can't ask the 270 people who died 21 years ago. maybe we can ask their family members. If it was up to me, we would'nt be talking about it right now because he would have been fried back in 88. Let him rot in jail.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  10. Glenn2ns

    It is a shocking affront to civiliazation to express compassion upon a man responsible for so much hatred – which is what this guy produced by killing so many. He stands at the foot of a mountain – people hating each other for what he did. Let that mountain fall down on him. Compassionate grounds for prisoners seems to be a United Nations convention or something. It is a baffling attempt to pretend nice will help the planet filled with hatred. Better to find the top echelon of hate makers (Mugabee, Stalin, Hitler, Hussain, Bin Laden) and dispatch them in a civil way. Ultimately, we need an instrument of salvation to help. Releasing this killer is wrong. For the sake of the survivors – DON'T DO IT!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  11. Mary

    No, he should NOT be released. He had a choice the day he decided to place a bomb on a plane. He chose to blow up the plane and he has to be held accountable. Do you wipe the slate clean just because he is sick. NO. He took 270 innocent lives and all he has to do is live in prison. Sorry, no sympathy here. This may not be very christian, but I hope he is in a lot of pain, just like the those families have been the past 21 years.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  12. Louis Malan

    I suppose that those in favor of Al Megrahi's release will justify the reason as: "let him live out his last days with dignity". What dignity did he allow those innocent families torn apart by his actions? Many households are empty through blood spilt by him, and cherished voices were made silent in the blink of an eye. Let Al Megrahi contemplate this while being alone in a jail untill his end, just like those poor families missing their loved ones every day and forever.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  13. Raphael

    I do not think that there should be anything along the lines of "compassionate grounds". Was there compassion for those he killed? Did they deserve to die away from their families? I have been taught that there is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Do not get me wrong I feel sorry for him having cancer. But if we allow someone like this free, why can we not let someone that killed only one person go because he is sick? For the amount of people he killed or is accused of killing he does not deserve to feel the sunlight. He did what he did and the facts are facts. He was spared the death penalty but a higher power has decided to do it instead. Don't let him out, what will keep him from bombing again? He is going to die anyway, take a look at the man that was in the shooting at the muesum in washington. They are stil trying him and who knows if he will live to see the trial.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  14. pius adebayo

    He should be left to rotten in jail. 259 souls cannot go for nothing. He wants to be release on compassionate ground while he has no compassion.

    May his road to hell be rough and tough when he dies.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  15. Ben

    Not to sound like this is tit-for-tat; but "compassion"? If terrorists wanted to show "compassion" they wouldn't have become terrorists in the first place (or abandoned it). Terrorists clearly do not respect or understand the concept of "compassion". Therefore to show it to them is a waste.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  16. RBBentley

    I was the State Department Officer in Charge of Crisis Management during the Lockerbie incident. this means I was montioring in real time what was happening. It took months to determine who was behind the explosion of PanAm 104. It was made to look like an Iranian operation, but the evidence collected later was conclusive that this attack was conceived and implemented by Libya. Perhaps it was in retaliation for the American response to the Libyan organized La Belle Disco attack in Germany - which in turn resulted in the US bombing of Libya.

    That bombing raid, purely by accident - a US aircraft hit by antiaircraft fire launched it bombs before crashing in the Mediterranean - completely destroyed the Libyan External Intelligence Agency building.

    The PanAm 104 attack was state sponsored terrorism in its purist form. The injured agency and the Libyan leadership agreed to inflict a very personal blow against the US. This was planned to the last detail and the last deception.

    Now, with the passage of time, the perpetrator of the attack, suffering a terminal illness, wants to be released on compasionate grounds.

    I ask, where was the compassion in the La Belle Disco attack? What was Qaddhafi's rationale in sanctioning the PanAm 104 bombing?

    The perpetrator of the PanAm 104 attack is sick and would like to die in peace. If Qaddhafi is willing to take his place, I say let him go for compasionate reasons.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  17. Alexander Brincat (Malta)

    Even in extreme cases of violence and terrorism there may exist room for forgiveness and compassion. Showing someone that you care for the life or a terrorist even where he or she is convicted of brutal murders and the killing of many innocent people is showing a road to redemption and respect for humanlife. Pope John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him. Maybe terrorists can one day understand that God or Allah means life and not slaughter of human beings!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  18. Kenny M

    Where was his compassion when he blew that aircraft up? Leave him where he is. Releasing him would be an insult to the memory of the victims and their families.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  19. Debra

    Show him as much compassion as he showed his victims and their families

    August 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  20. John Reina

    My sister, Jocelyn Reina was a flight attendant on P.A.103.
    Not only was her life taken by a horrific bomb blast at 35,000ft, but the lives of the survivors were torn apart on that cold December night when we received the news. 270 families have suffered for this man's actions, and to release him on "Compassionate" grounds is tantamount to another crime. When do we start making people responsible for their actions?
    He was tried in an independent country,( Camp Zeist, Netherlands) and found guilty of MURDERING 270 people.
    Let him serve his term to death, and let the survivors have some peace and justice.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  21. Gene

    Compassionate leave? Are they out of their minds? He didn't show much compassion when he blew up and killed all those people. Let him die in prison. That will be the biggest mistake to let him out.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  22. Alberto

    So, if I understand correctly, if he were perfectly healthy he would just sit in jail for life, but now, because he has a terminal illness, he should be freed??? I fail to see the logic, here...

    August 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  23. Davar

    " compassionate grounds" is when the victim is given full consideration for their life. 270 were denied that. Perpetrators are not victims, their evil and this is God's way of dealing with evil only sometimes he likes to takes his time at it and let the 270 souls watch, you don't want to mess with God he has his reasons and they are good.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  24. JP

    Turn the tables a little bit. What if a plane load of Lybians, say 270, was all of a sudden to be blown out of the air by a rouge, terrorist Scotsman. What do you think Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, a.k.a. Colonial Gaddafi would have done. The sun would not set before the Scotsman would have faced execution.

    Loads of convicts die in jail during their sentence, knowingly or knowingly of serious medical problems. If your in jail you should serve out your sentence. End of story.

    Are they now going to let prisioners out of jail to see their local practioners if the come down with swine flu?

    August 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  25. victim

    Jack, I AM a family member of one of the 270 and this is a slap in the face to me. First of all it took so long for them to even be prosecuted, so it's not like he even served a decent sentence. I don't recall being asked if they minded killing my family member. Compassion is not in me.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  26. JaneWils

    No. Those who show no compassion deserve no compassion in return.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  27. Barry Miller

    Employees of Pan Am are victims too. Lots of reasons why Pan Am went bankrupt but this tragedy was the final blow. I truly think Pan Am would be here today if it wasn't for this bombing. Those of us who worked years for Pan Am are still suffering the effects today. He should remain in prison

    August 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  28. tina

    I don't think they should release him! Where did he show compassion to the 270 people he killed? Life in Prison should mean Life in prison. He killed people with no 2nd thoughts about it. No remorse, no mercy – so why should the government or prison system show any to him?

    August 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  29. SAM

    He deserves to die in jail. His suffering will never compare to those lost and to the pain the relatives of the deceased suffer to this day!

    August 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  30. Mexican Girl

    It´s awesome that somebody even may think about realease him!!!
    He wasn´t compassioned ´bout those people lifes!! Burn in hell!!

    August 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  31. mariatere

    tema dificil, porque tuve que leer lo que habia hecho, matar a 270 personas es un acto deleznable, horrible, ahora por el lado de la conmiseracion cristiana, una parte de mi diria que lo suelten, pero mi parte racional dice no. bueno tema dificil que lo resuelvan los jueces. que sonlos indicados. la compasion siempre es buena, pero. gracias.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  32. Mexican Girl

    Just Karma....... What goes around goes around!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  33. Chris C.

    I think he should be released....then promptly shot. Someone who has been convicted of crimes such as this person, deserves no mercy from the rest of the world. Clearly, he showed his victims no mercy. Another thought....this was government sponsored..not random..why should we show the Libyans mercy as well??

    August 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  34. S. Holbrook

    It would have been more compassionate not to kill 259 innocent people.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  35. Richard Hitchings

    What happened to the US navy crew that Blew an Iranian airliner out of the sky killing 300 people...lol... the crew were rewarded with medals...... US justice...lol a Joke!!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  36. Donna

    Never! He is a despicable man that deserves to rot in prison. I can't believe that you would even consider letting him leave this prison! Shame on you.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  37. Karel

    Yes, not for compassion but because he is made scapegoat and possibly not involved in the planning or executen of the crime.
    And possibly also because the war criminals from the Bush era like Dick Cheney and others involved in torture and wrongful killing of civilians can go unpunished instead of facing the international criminal court in the Hague

    August 13, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  38. Howie

    Megrahia was found guilty of terrorism which I think is a act of murder.
    In earlier times this was punishable by death which was later changed to life inprinsonment,

    Now if murder was still punisable by death by one way or another then this predicament would never have arisen.

    In trying to improve things and the world we often make things far more dificult for ourselves in the future.


    August 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  39. Joe800

    He deserves the same compassion he showed in his own life, that unfortunately for him, is none.

    August 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  40. H. B.

    If there is any merit in claiming a miscarriage of justice, give the man a new trial. Setting him free doesn't address that claim at all.

    I can see releasing a criminal convicted for life, who has NOT taken a human life – or tried to – on compassionate grounds. That wouldn't bother me.

    But if the person did take human life, or tried to, he/she doesn't merit compassionate grounds as a reason for release. If the life sentence was valid when he was convicted, it remains valid. Such people aren't locked up for life only because of some future threat they may pose to the public; they're locked up for life as punishment, too. A person who takes a human life or tried to do so, is a person who had no compassion. If he's locked up, and has terminal cancer, treat him in jail. Time may soften our outrage, but it never softens the validity of a life sentence for a killer.

    I'm more compassionate than the average person, and can feel sorry for anyone with terminal cancer, even a killer, but not enough to set him free. He's still a KILLER with terminal cancer.

    People who knowingly take human life, or participate in it, merit no compassion other than to give them the medical treatment they need. Even that, to some, is being too good to them. The families of the people they killed are likely to feel that way, and we should remember too, that compassion for the killer of their loved one is a lack of compassion for the families.

    The dude is a killer. Even if he should find himself wallowing in remorse, he's STILL a killer. Whatever it was in the person's basic nature that made it "all right" to kill someone else is still there. This also applies to the Manson Murders group, some of whom want freedom on compassionate grounds, and add to their request an impassioned remorse. They needed those feelings in the days when they were slitting throats. Remorse doesn't bring anyone back from the dead, and doesn't change the void in their values (and souls, if you prefer) that made them do it in the first place.

    I can have all kinds of compassion for other kinds of criminals, with, perhaps, exceptions for those who are pedophiles or violent abusers. Keeping those locked up should be based entirely on the odds of their threat to the public. But for killers, compassion of this kind is inappropriate. Never. They chose to kill. They were convicted for life. They should remain in jail for life. When convicting someone for life without parole, the judicial system certainly realized that the person might, one day, develop a terminal and painful disease. They didn't modify the sentence back then; there is no reason to do so now. Compassion only requires us to treat the illness as well as possible, not set him free. We're not in the business of making him suffer more, but we are in the business of punishing killers by locking them up for good and all. By this dude's own religious standards, a killer gets his head cut off, so he should count himself lucky.

    August 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  41. Faisal Aziz

    Fine keep him in jail just so long as you lock up the Americans who shot down the civilian Iranian airbus.

    Oh and while you are at it make sure they pay millions of dollars to each of the Iranian relatives although I suspect they will not take the money. Not every country is stiffed for money grabbing hypocrites.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  42. Klaus Oinonen

    Now that he is dying, you don't take care of him.

    Let him go where. Under the next bridge near the jail.

    You have had him, was it 40 years, so let him die in good care and peace.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  43. H. B.

    Some here make strong reference to our value of forgiveness. It is a good value to have. Compassion is another, also extremely good – there isn't enough in the world.

    But forgiveness and compassion are NOT the same things as setting a killer loose. We can feel for his disease, and may even be able to forgive what he did, without turning him free. But we must also feel for the families of his victims – AND for any people he would kill if he is set free.

    The dude is not admitting his crime, nor showing the least remorse, that I've been able to see. Many would apply forgiveness and compassion to him despite the absence of a shred of remorse. Fine. But we don't have to let him walk to have or show those feelings.

    He's still showing no remorse, yet wants us to feel sorry enough for him to let him out of jail. He's using OUR high values against us.

    Since he knows he's already a walking dead man because of his cancer, we shouldn't be surprised if, after gaining his freedom, he commits a suicide-type attack. What has he got to lose?

    There is no reason to presume he isn't still likely to be dangerous, and ample reason to think he is. And that's even worse than just freeing a convicted killer. It's giving him another opportunity to kill.

    Does anyone really think he'd be GRATEFUL for our compassion in releasing him? If he's a militant Muslim, our compassion and forgiveness are weaknesses of ours, which afford him opportunities to kill more of us. Islam does NOT value forgiveness or compassion among humans. It's a trait of Allah alone. Muslims may indulge in these weaknesses, but must know they ARE being weak when they do it.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  44. Jack

    While I understand the highly emotional comments above, I think he should be released.
    Cancer is a horrible way to die and to worsen this experience would, in my opinion, amount to torcher- something he was NOT sentenced to. Life should mean life- but this guy's life is already over.

    Yes, he didn't show compassion for his own victims and this makes him a real villain- trully evil. However, society should not lower itself to the same barbaric level.
    By keeping him in prison as he slowly, painfully dies, away from his country and family, shows no compassion either- lowering society to his base level and thereby justifying this terrorist's horrific deeds.

    Again, I understand that on an individual basis, this would be difficult to do- but the judicial system which represents society as a whole MUST have moral high ground.

    All this, of course, only applies if the guy is truly at death's door- if not, he should obviously continue his sentence until completion.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  45. Al

    Compassion: Absolutely NOT. They should implant a bomb very close to his prostate and then make it explode, so the man can feel what he did to others.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  46. beecham

    the bomber cant be looked after by our commie NHS so he must go free, if it upsets the Americans as much as they have upset me today then that should only be the start.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  47. Yavor

    I think that people like this must to be in jail. They are not human and some day can be hurt other people.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  48. Ally

    I think compassionate release should be abolished. If a Canadian commited a horrific crime like that in Libya the Candian would have been a memory long ago. . He should meet his fate it in the place he belongs. Prison. I believe the punishment should fit the crime. Maybe someone else believes that too....

    August 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  49. jimothy10

    This is the first time I have ever posted on a news forum but tonight I feel compelled to do so because I am genuinely astounded by the other posts. I am not in the least religious but I am fairly well versed in the basics of most religions and I am sure that mercy, compassion is something which is advocated – regardless of the crime committed by those upon whom the mercy is granted. Religion aside, as human beings what good does it do us to maintain bitterness and anger towards this man? Of course, if guilty, his crimes were appalling and I am well aware that he showed no mercy to those on that flight – but surely creating such resentment and bitterness would be yet another victory for terrorists; surely overcoming those feelings and showing compassion would give us the ultimate victory by showing that, regardless of how awful a person can be, we can rise above that and show our humanity by forgiving? Or if not forgiving, at least accepting that leaving a man to die alone in a cell won't bring back anyone on that flight.
    As a Scot I am somewhat proud of my government today. Our legal system, one of the oldest in the world, has shown a wisdom that perhaps the American's, with its eye for an eye approach, lacks.

    "The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes"

    August 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  50. John/England

    If he gets out it works out he's served 2wks for every victim he killed. The general feeling in our newspapers (British) seems to be a huge no to this however this is what happens when you have a soft socialist government

    August 13, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  51. rob

    He did this, aware of all the pain that was suffered. Why on earths name should we have compassion to anyone who wants to put his thinking in front of all people no matter what it takes.

    Please people. Think properly. We are, we are different, we are universal, we are............ that is what we are. He did this, aware of all the pain that was suffered. Why on earths name should we have compassion to anyone who wants to put there thinking in front of all people no matter what it takes.

    Please people. Think properly. We are, we are different, we are universal, we are............ that is what we are. No less any more.
    So live you’re live as you can, be aware, your life is as you live it.
    Enjoy your stay; it is short, just as short as anyone else.

    So live you’re live as you can, be aware, your life is as you live it.
    Enjoy your stay; it is short, just as short as anyone else.


    August 13, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  52. Joe

    It demonstrates the power and breadth of British justice, being carried forward to the Scottish judicial system, that this is even being considered. In times of such little compassion and peace in the world, why should a good society be lowered to the levels of barbarism that he is obviously capable and is witnessed in the world daily. It is what separates us from them. Lead by example, something that the US seems incapable of doing.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  53. Katherine

    My compassion is for those university kids on their way back stateside after a European visit, for the rest of the passengers and airline employees on that flight, and for those Scots who died in their homes from burning airline wreckage falling on them. Notice who my compassion is NOT for.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  54. emerald

    Just because he's got cancer and it's terminal doesn't mean he should have a get out of jail free card!! So he's dying, well so did the victims at Lockerbie -as a terrorist did he spare the lives of women/children/the sick and the dying NO!
    It's a pity we no longer have a death sentence in this country – he could have been executed painlessly! I'm sure that none of the family members/friends of the victims would support this man's release, life in jail should be life in jail! They have a hospital in the prison, he can get his treatment there and end his life there!
    They say he has terminal cancer – but how many people I've known with that diagnosis who've lived for more than a year is surprising – can they then condone allowing this man out to enjoy life for maybe a year when his own victims would never have been shown such mercy?!
    Sorry, but the judicial system is a joke in this country and even repeat offenders are given minimal sentences that when halved with parole and time served leave them laughing as they walk free with barely a slap on the wrist, why should they worry about their long list of previous crimes when often the defence has their previous list of offences barred from the trial as it may be predjudical to their case?!! That's the whole point isn't it though if a jury knew a crim had commited a similar crime and was convicted perhaps it would make their job just a little easier and save vicious killers walking free!!
    The government wants to have as few people going to prison as possible as they are overcrowded – there's an easy answer, bring back the death penalty, for the politically correct human rights lot if you can't bear to do that YOU pay to build more prisons and get the prisoners to do the heavy duty building work!! Then bring in the long sentences that are without parole and give the crim something to worry about for a change rather than it always being the victim!!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  55. drdon

    What compassion did this "animal" show to the innocent victims who died by his hand. I have a friend who lost his daughter, a young college student, and he has mourned his entire life since that incident. Let this pig die in pain and then go straight to hell.

    August 14, 2009 at 1:26 am | Reply
  56. Sgian Achlais

    As a Scot living in my native land i find it shocking that Americans can lack compassion yet not surprising considering the violent nature of your culture and foriegn policy where vengence is the name of the game in your penal system which is run for profit and not for justice, so there is not much point in trying to debate on grounds of compassion.
    I do feel the need though to point out that for a number of years there has been concern over the safety of the conviction of Al-Magrahi, In fact a second appeal is currently under way in Edinburgh after a review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in 2007 raised serious concerns over the evidence, unfortunately Mr Al-Magrahi will most likely be dead when the appeal decision is anounced, a fact that seems to go largely unreported in the American media.

    Its also worth noteing that Jim Swire, who lost his 24-year-old daughter Flora in the blast and serves as a spokesman for many relatives of British victims, said "everything points to a miscarriage of justice" and he would be "delighted" if Al- Megrahi were sent home.

    If Al-Megrahi wins his appeal and is proved innocent it means the families of the victims have been lied to and it is widely believed that your own CIA was involved in diverting the investigation away from the real perpertrators, elements within Iran who wanted revenge for the Iranian Airbus shot down by the USS Vincennse [america was doing arms for hostages deals around that time] and i'm ashamed to say that the ancient Scottish legal system may have been complicit pressurised or otherwise in this.

    It is my hope that the Scottish Government will do the just and humane thing and and allow Megrahi return home and die
    surrounded by his family.

    A quick point, its worth remembering that Tony Blair released the murdering dictator of Chile on compassionate grounds when ill health was cited. Pinochet was responsible for the deaths of 30.000 people including Americans and the torture of thousands others after the American led coup of 11th September 1973, Chile's 911, and i doubt there were howls of protests from Americans at Blairs decision.

    August 14, 2009 at 3:36 am | Reply
  57. Ann

    Compassionate grounds-HOG WASH.
    What about the compassion for the 270 lives that were taken??
    He should remain in prison and die there. I have no sympathy
    for him.

    August 14, 2009 at 4:16 am | Reply
  58. William Lower

    I was working on Pan Am (advertising) and I will never forget the phone call. The Account Director called me while she was at the client's office. She didn't even say 'hello'. All she said was 'We've lost a plane." Do we remember how many students were on that plane? That's where I used up all my compassion. On them and their families. Sorry. I don't have an ounce of compassion for this guy. Let him rot.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:27 am | Reply
  59. morgan,london

    why must they free him cos of cancer,there are many criminals(just criminals) with cancer and other serious sickness still in prison and british govt is talking of freeing someone that killed hundreds of people.
    please they should think more than twise ever before doing that.

    August 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  60. Sgian Achlais

    John/England :states
    The general feeling in our newspapers (British) seems to be a huge no to this however this is what happens when you have a soft socialist government

    A comment which shows he is not only bereft of any compassion but he also shows a lack of facts about the case when he says "this however this is what happens when you have a soft socialist government".
    Now I assume he means the government in England {which is a far cry from being socialist] then he should be made aware that this has nothing to do with government in Westminster England, Its is a Scottish matter, and while the feelings of the American and UK victims families and the American Government will be taken into account the final decison will be made by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh in accordance with Scottish law..

    Now John/england i hope that clears that up for you and may i suggest in future that before rushing to the keyboard, a quick perusal of a map and a political science book may be a good idea and you wont sound like such an uneducated Sassanch when using such a sensitive issue to try and score cheap political points.

    And finally just for the record John the Scottish National Party which is the ruling party in Edinburgh is also miles away from being Socialist [mores the pity]

    Alba Gu Brath John

    August 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  61. Collette Sims

    Whilst I sympathise entirely with the bereaved American relatives of the Lockerbie bomb I feel that there remain deeper issues than that of compassionate release. Most notably there are others who had a hand in this and if the proposed release does take place it should go hand in hand with a further examination of the evidence to find more of the truth behind this evil act – let'snot forget that once this man is dead any other things he has to say will go with hin.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:34 am | Reply
  62. John/England

    Sgian Achlais August 14th, 2009 1702 GMT
    "A comment which shows he is not only bereft of any compassion but he also shows a lack of facts"

    You see people this is whats wrong with the UK today. Unfortunately these socialists think they speak for the majority however they don't. He claims that the current government isn't socialist however yahoo Labour and you'll see their own website tells you their socialist.

    Oh and an Achlais the Scottish National Party isn't the ruling party in Edinburgh, its a party that's been given some powers in Scotland but until they have a referendum thats about it.

    Sorry for the history lesson people but these socialists have issues with people knowing the facts and try changing the topic to push attention from their murdering friends as you can see.

    I should add Achlais that I only agree with you on one point and that is I don't have compassion for murderers like you people clearly have.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  63. Suas Alba

    Magrahi is not the only one guilty of this. The other culprits have never been found. I wonder why not? If he is allowed to go free then the issue will never come to enquiry which might be convenient for the UK government in its Blair-ite rush to give their new friend Gadafi a great big hug.

    Magrahi is guilty and should remain in prison and Kenny Mac should make his mind up based on the views of the relatives and on the fact that the man is guilty of murder and not on so called "compassionate" grounds whatever they might be

    August 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  64. Halabee

    If Americans can go around killing and torturing people around the spectrum and not even prosecuted for it ( Cheney , Bush) then i see no reason why this man should not be showed "Compassion"

    August 17, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  65. keith hacker

    This guy should be shown no more compassion than he showed to the people on the plane he blew out of the air. He should be kept locked up in a cell until he dies.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  66. Tony-S

    While I personally do not think that this guy acted alone, all the evidence suggests that he was involved. He was a mass murderer of the most gruesome type – why should anyone like that ever be released.

    They should have let him suffer and die in prison. He showed no compassion for his victims, why should anyone show compassion for him?

    August 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  67. Sgian Achlais

    The Scots Govt has shown great resovle to do the right thing in the face of attempted American arm twisting and i applaud that.

    Now both Scots and Americans should now demand an inquiry that goes further into the question of who bombed Pan Am 103 and why evidence was hidden from the Scots court that would most certainly cleared Al Megrahi.

    August 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  68. John Ferguson (Scotland)

    Megrahi should not have been afforded the luxury of air travel, especially not over the Scottish Skies where he murdered so many people. He should have at the very least been made to await a ship to arrive from Libya and not been allowed to disembark this vessel until it was out of British Territorial waters.

    August 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  69. Mats Envall

    The Scottish government expresses the European (at least North European) view on punishment. Our principle is that punishment is not revenge of the same kind as that the perpetrator showed in commiting the crime, but of rehabilitation. It is not, as obviously a majority of Americans appear to view it, a matter of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", but rather of "turning the other cheek". We follow another principle than the criminals do, thus allowing us to distinguish us from them. "Revenge" accepts the principle of the crime, just not its direction.

    August 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  70. NavyWings

    Compassionate grounds? Are you kidding me? What about compassion for either the families that were killed or potential families that COULD be killed by Scotland releasing a killer? Pretty warped system that releases a killer because he's dying. I don't know how anyone could live with themselves if the person released commits another atrocity because of THEIR compassion. Idiots.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  71. Neil Robinson

    By showing compassion to someone who is convicted of a heinous act shows that terrorism will never beat the people of Scotland. We will not stoop to the level of people who may try and perpetrate evil acts to try and force a change in our country.

    For those who demand punishment and retribution there is a higher power that will deal with the person who blew up Pan-Am 103.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply

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