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Thursday, 10 November 2011

I'm not one for retributive justice but...

I've argued against the death penalty here before and I'm sure I've said that I'm not even that fussed about prison as punishment. I like to think I'm a fairly practical kind of guy and the main thing I see society getting from prison is the lack of crimes committed by inmates while they're locked up. If they see it as a punishment or if they can be rehabilitated while they're in there, both with the aim of them not reoffending, then great. That's a bonus we should be grab if it's available but the main point for me is that someone who commits on average one crime per day at liberty will commit 365 fewer crimes if locked up for a year for just one of them - it's really that simple. Rehabilitation and retribution should be part of sentencing but the main thing for me is that a crim locked up is a holiday from his activities for everyone else.

However, now and then there are times when my principles really are pushed to breaking point, and today is one such day. I have just seen a story online at The Telegraph about some unknown person who swung a cat around by its tail for no apparent reason. Certainly cats will scratch and bite if provoked or frightened so I can't say for certain that the cat did nothing to hurt him, but I will say that it seems highly unlikely that catching a frightened or angry cat by the tail in the outdoors isn't easy. They're small, fast and agile, so when it's vet time for ours we have make sure they're inside and the doors and windows are closed before the cat baskets come out, which leads me to suspect that this was a probably a friendly cat who was enticed to come and say hello and had no idea that it was going to be cruelly tormented. There is video of it here for those who can stomach it - I needed a mental run up before I could watch it and won't be watching agin nor posting it here. I really don't recommend it unless you live in the Ramsgate area and think you might be able to help the police.

Needless to say the cat is now a bit fucked up.
Michelle Buchanan, who owns the cat, said her pet had been left mentally scarred by the incident.
"He's not physically injured but he is mentally. Ever since the incident happened, when he eventually came home, he's never gone back outside," she said.
I don't doubt it.
RSPCA Inspector Caroline Doe added: "This was a very violent, nasty attack on a cat.
"Anyone who witnessed this outside the pub must have been as shocked and appalled as we were.
"We are hoping that someone will recognise this man and come forward so we can investigate this fully."
For reasons documented on other blogs, the Ambush Predator for instance, I'm pretty ambivalent toward the RSPCA since they've assumed the role of animal police, but in this instance I'm on their side. The local police in Ramsgate are also investigating, and I do hope they catch the bastard.

But I hope for more than that. As I said early on in this post there are times when my position on retributive justice is strained, and typically it's the same kind of times most normal people look at something with the kind of shock and disgust I felt towards that fucking mutation in human form as he swung that cat around. Doesn't matter whether its casual cruelty toward a child, such as Baby Peter, or toward an animal, such as Mowgli here - and there's a stage where a young child has a lot in common with a cat or dog in terms of size, emotional development, trust and relative helplessness in the face of adult aggression, so anyone willing to torture a small animal is one to fucking watch because it seems a pretty small step from there to torturing a small person. They kind of thing prompts a pretty visceral response in all of us and so many people who read about this or see that video will naturally think that the cruelty shown towards Mowgli the cat deserves to be repaid in kind.

And so do I. I wouldn't want the kind of thing this sack of shit deserves actually made available to the judicial system as a criminal sanction for the same reason I oppose capital punishment even when I agree that someone deserves death - if it can be done to the deserving it can be done to the undeserving too. But I'm not going to sit here and say that the punishment that this humanity deficient defective can expect to receive if caught and convicted will fit the crime because it won't, and without the judicial system being turned into something that provides far more in the way of terror than justice it can't.

So instead I'll settle for hoping he gets caught and convicted as well as hoping against hope for some kind of karmic justice to provide a nasty, painful, debilitating and eventually terminal retribution. Face cancer starting with the eyes seems appropriate.
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