Notes from all over
What does a life sentence mean?
Berlin, Dec. 20 -- The German government disclosed Tuesday that it had freed a Hezbollah member who had been convicted of hijacking a TWA airliner in 1985, allowing him to return to his native Lebanon despite long-standing requests from the United States to hand him over for trial. ... Hammadi served nearly 19 years of a life sentence for air piracy, possession of explosives and the murder of Robert Dean Stethem, a U.S. sailor from Waldorf, Md. Stethem, a passenger on board TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome, was singled out for brutal treatment by the hijackers because of his military service.
For some, a life sentence is, for all its defects, the preferred alternative to the death penalty.
Dec 21, 2005 -- Hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of executed former US gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and rapper Snoop Dogg were among those to attend the Los Angeles service. ... He said: "Tookie is dead. We're not safer, we're not more secure, we're not more humane."
Who is being judged?
"A nation reveals itself, not only by the people it produces, but also by those it chooses to honor." -- John Kennedy
Let's hear it again from Albert Camus.
"On the day when crime puts on the apparel of innocence, through a curious reversal peculiar to our age, it is innocence that is called on to justify itself."
The Lebanese blog YaLibnan, and the mainstream media too, are suggesting Germany traded Hammadi for Susanne Osthoff, a German archaeologist and convert to Islam who was critical of the 'looting of antiquities' after the fall of Saddam.