When Mid-Dlam Ghad-Dawl (MDD) suggested that life sentences should be abolished, all hell broke loose. The organization started to be seen as public enemy No1 of law and order.

During the criticism of MDD, two main arguments continued to resurface. One of that was that a life sentence is a deterrent for serious crime and without it more such crimes will be committed. I don’t see much rational behind this. People who commit crimes of this scale, either premeditate their crime and have absolutely no intention of getting caught (thus whether it’s 20 years or life isn’t much of an issue for them, their attention is on getting away with it completely) or do so in a moment of passion or insanity and disregard consequences entirely.

However, since I haven’t studied criminology, I won’t dwell too much on this. I’d rather leave it to the experts.

My major concern is about the second argument against MDD’s proposal. That is: What about the victims?

It’s very easy to use MDD as a scapegoat to face the wrath of victims of crime and their loved ones, for wanting to abolish life sentences. But let’s be honest here. How are we really treating victims of crime?

Victims of crime, are used and abused by our justice system only to be dumped like shit when not needed anymore. They are the ones who not only have to face the consequences of the crime but also go to court a gazillion times to give their testimony, only for the case to be deferred and to give the evidence next time, and the time after. They many times end up on trial themselves, cross examined by defence attorneys so that their claims lose their value, or the responsibility of the accused is diminished. They are the ones who may fear the accused since the latter cannot be locked up for years until found guilty (thanks to our very efficient justice system some cases get closed more than a decade later).

And then what?

The wasted time and money to go to court, having to relive the crime over and over again, being grilled about something wrong you might have done and having your personal life splattered all over the media for what? A handshake and a goodbye.

AD has frequently suggested that there should be a fund for the victims of crime. Possibly funded by the same fines the criminals pay. Sure, money is not going to bring your loved one back, or make you forget the trauma. But at least, at the very least, you get some compensation.

Yet, what is being discussed in parliament? Whether we should raise the salaries of the judges. People who are partly to blame for this inefficient system that’s causing all this ordeal for the victims.

And please, before you point your fingers to an NGO making a suggestion, imagine if you yourself were the victim. What is the main cause of your suffering (apart from the crime itself)? Our rotten justice system that uses and abuses, or the possibility that the perpetrator might spend 20 years in jail, instead of life?

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