Despicable compassion

Via The Guardian from “Barack Obama attacks decision to free Lockerbie bomber”:

Showing Megrahi any compassion was “utterly despicable”.
— Kara Weipz, 36, whose brother Rick was killed in the atrocity

“The interests of justice have not been served by this decision. There is simply no justification for releasing this convicted terrorist whose actions took the lives of 270 individuals.”
— US attorney general Eric Holder, who helped investigate the bombing originally

“The perpetration of an atrocity and outrage cannot and should not be a basis for losing sight of who we are, the values we seek to uphold, and the faith and beliefs by which we seek to live. Mr al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion. [But] compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people, no matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated. For these reasons alone, it is my decision that Mr al-Megrahi be released on compassionate grounds and allowed to return to Libya to die.”
— Scottish justice secretary and former criminal defence lawyer Kenny Macaskill, who issued Megrahi’s release papers

I know I’ve changed because, even if al-Megrahi ends up surviving another 30 years, not 3 months, I accept that Macaskill has done the right thing.

We have just borne witness to the humbling, difficult, awe-inspiring distance between justice and grace.

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