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July 15, 2008

The British Children Are Our Future: War Memorial "Means Nothing to Me, I Guess It's For Some People Who Died in the War"

Hooligans vandalize a war memorial. A 50 year old woman gets angry, tosses one yob's bike into the road. Of course she's convicted of causing criminal damage. Ordered to pay 400 pounds -- an awful lot of money.

Here's the thing: As a purely technical matter of law, she probably was guilty of some very low-level vigilantism. The state is required, pretty much, to insist that only it can dispense justice, and has to put people through the ringer for taking the law into their own hands even when everyone on the planet Earth knows that person did the right thing.

But there's also a thing called prosecutorial discretion. And another thing called "tanking the case." One can go through the motions of insisting on the state's monopoly on the dispensation of justice while not really fighting particularly hard to convict the person who did, let's face it, the right, but technically illegal, thing. Any prosecutor could easily dismiss this case by noting, quite rightly, that the little shits who are the main witnesses to this barely-a-crime are not particularly credible, so that prosecuting is chancy and, in the scheme of things, just not worth the effort.

Instead, they seemed to have gone after this woman with zeal.

Why?

Here's a little more:

The trial - estimated to have cost taxpayers more than £100,000 - earlier heard how Mrs Lake was surrounded by up to 25 jeering youths by the memorial at the end of last year.

She told how the gang surrounded her, pushed her and shouted: ‘You can’t touch us, we’re 15, we can do what the fuck we like.’

What lesson has the prosecution taught the public here? Apparently that these vicious little moron-nihilists -- nihilists out of simple stupidity and malice, rather than even the low level of philosophical inquiry that real nihilism requires -- are quite right. They can do what the fuck they like, and if someone says boo to them, they'll call in the cops to enforce their right to be rotten little bastards.

Thanks to Instapundit.



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posted by Ace at 04:00 PM

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