Thursday, August 31, 2006

Are Necrophile Murderers Being Treated Too Harshly?

If someone strangles a teenage girl to death for no obvious reason and then strips the body and has sex with her corpse how would you describe a sentence of 20 years? Is the answer:

(a) Inadequate.

(b) Appropriate.

(c) Excessive.

If your answer is (c) Excessive, then you could be on your way to becoming a senior judge.

[Kenneth] Fraser, a former youth footballer with Dunfermline, strangled the Inverkeithing High School pupil in November 2004 in the former mining village of High Valleyfield, in Fife, where they both lived.

He then removed her clothing and had sex with her before abandoning her half-naked body on the frozen ground, where she was discovered by a passer-by the next day.

At the trial, at the High Court in Edinburgh, Fraser denied the murder but was unanimously convicted by a jury and was sentenced to detention without limit of time - a juvenile life sentence....

... the judges agreed with the submission that 20 years was excessive having regard to the age of Fraser.

The judge said: "There is no doubt this was a dreadful murder of a young girl. However the period of the punishment part is excessive for a person of 16 years of age at the time of the offence."
In what way could it possibly be excessive to keep a necrophiliac killer in prison for any period other than life? I could understand the arguments about the sentencing of the Bulger killers because of their age, but this person was 16, an age at which you can marry or join the army and plenty old enough to know full well that murder is murder. His victim's undoubted terror at his hands prompted not any normal emotion of pity or regret but rather it aroused him and thanks to the Lord Justice General, Lord Hamilton, in 2019 the people of Scotland can look forward to a 31 year old man who gets turned on by murder roaming free.

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