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calendar   Friday - September 18, 2009

A society that is subdued by its insatiable lust for pleasure ……….

"PLEASURE” in this case taking the form of imagined mass killing in copycat crime by teens.

Dear Fellow Americans,

You might be somewhat pleased to learn that our beloved country is not the only country with idiots for jurors.
Lawyers the world over have long been able, as I have mentioned before, to make the worst appear to be the better cause.
It’s their thing and quilt or innocence have nothing to do with it. It’s the love of the hunt.

Well, this week the UK has proved how well lawyers can actually screw with reality and paint a word picture that only a group of totally brain dead, gullible idiots would buy.

True, I was not in the court room. True, I only have the info reported in the papers. True finally that I wasn’t in the jury room to hear what they heard and talked about.  Did I need to be?

Here’s a couple of punks, would be killers who their lawyers say, were only up to teen age high jinks.  It was all imaginary. They really weren’t gonna try and pull off a Columbine type school mass-a-kree. No sir.  T’was merely teen age fantasy.  You know guys. Just like when you and I were very young and 18 or so.  That’s what young boys fantasize about right?  Kicking heads (literally) after shooting people.  You must recall surely that other schoolboy dream about cutting off a teachers legs and dropping her or him in a vat of acid.  You all remember that, don’t you?
Sure ya do.  We didn’t wanna be Errol Flynn or pitch a no hitter or pass a long one in a brilliant football blitz.  No indeed. We wanted to be Jack The Ripper.  FANTASY MY ACHING FOOT! 


Fantasising about mass murder - hardly the ‘frivolity of youth’!

By Richard Littlejohn
Last updated at 11:59 AM on 18th September 2009

This column is always quick to criticise the police and the CPS for bringing frivolous cases to court.
But don’t expect me to join the chorus of condemnation over the two teenagers accused of plotting a Columbine-style school massacre in Manchester.
If ever there was a prosecution in the public interest, this was it, even though it took a jury only 45 minutes to return a verdict of not guilty.

That probably says more about the members of the jury than the evidence laid before them. I’m not arguing with the verdict, but that doesn’t mean the case should not have been brought.
Over three weeks, the Crown produced plenty of evidence to support the contention that Matthew Swift and Ross McKnight were planning a bloodbath at their school to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in the U.S.

McKnight told a terrified fellow pupil that he intended to shoot as many people as possible.
After she reported it to police, officers who raided the teenagers’ homes discovered hate-filled diaries, newspaper cuttings about shootings and bombmaking manuals.

In Swift’s bedroom they found a safe containing details on how to use acetone peroxide as a detonator, along with plans and maps of the school.
There was also a pad on which was written: ‘Project Rainbow, Ground Zero...Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold will rise again.’ (Harris and Klebold were the Columbine killers.) Swift wrote about being the reincarnation of Harris.

His collection of reading material included Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries, said to have inspired the Columbine murderers. Police also found two films about school shootings, Elephant and Zero Day.
The pair had bought combat clothing and backpacks and made mobile phone videos of themselves allegedly experimenting with explosives. They boasted in their journal about staging ‘the greatest massacre ever’.

While McKnight fantasised about shooting schoolmates ‘one by one’ and kicking their heads off as he walked past, Swift talked about killing a teacher, cutting her legs off and throwing her into a tank of hydrochloric acid.
The defence maintained all this was simply ‘teenage angst’, pure escapism, mere juvenile bravado. The jury even laughed when McKnight’s father said his son was full of ‘hare-brained schemes’.
Though McKnight and Swift were found not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and cause explosions, they are guilty of rank stupidity and recklessness.

McKnight made a ranting phone call ‘confessing’ to the plot. His lawyer says he wasn’t serious because when he made the call he was out of his skull on a cocktail of drink and drugs. Bless him.
Their headmaster said they were lovely boys who were never in any trouble. That’s what we were told about the 7/7 bombers, too, after they killed 52 people and injured hundreds of others.

Listening to defending counsel, you’d have been forgiven for believing that Swift and McKnight were innocent victims here, not architects of their own ordeal. Step forward the bold Roderick Carus QC, for McKnight, who declared after the verdict that the trial was a huge waste of money.
‘This was an unnecessary, heavy-handed prosecution against two lads who could have been dealt with in a more sensitive way,’ he said. ‘I would hope the prosecuting authorities make more allowances for the frivolity of youth in future.
‘Why could they not have taken them to one side, slapped them on the wrists and said: “Don’t be silly boys, now go off and enjoy your careers in the Army”?’

Run that by me again. They want to join the Army? They might not be guilty, but these two shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Armed Forces.
The military wouldn’t want any truck with disturbed young men who, by their own admission, boasted about staging a school massacre. This trial has at least done the Army a huge favour.

Admittedly, he’s got a job to do, but does Mr Carus seriously believe that fantasising about mass murder is nothing more than ‘frivolity of youth’?
Plenty of teenage boys fantasise about female teachers, but not cutting their legs off and dipping them in hydrochloric acid.
As for the case being a waste of money, if it brought home to these stupid boys the sheer wickedness of their fantasies and discouraged other Columbine wannabes, then it was worth every penny of the hundreds of thousands of pounds it is said to have cost.

The police and the CPS were on a hiding to nothing. Just imagine if they’d ignored the evidence and Swift and McKnight had acted on their fantasies, with all the carnage which would have ensued.
The authorities would have been slaughtered, if you’ll pardon the expression.
There would have been questions in the House, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the Chief Constable of Manchester would have had to fall on his sword as a basis for negotiation.

As for the jury, we can only speculate on the speed with which they returned their verdict.
Three weeks in court is a long time, but you might have thought that, given the gravity of the charges, they could have given their deliberations another few minutes, if only to make the defendants sweat a bit longer.

Was it really necessary for the jury to stay behind after the verdict, waving and smiling? This was a serious criminal case, not the finale of Britain’s Got Talent.
The carnival atmosphere which followed their release was a symptom of a society which has gone soft in the head.
Here were two defendants who’d had a lucky escape. Another day, another jury, who knows?

Both boys were on remand for six months before the trial, and McKnight’s father says they have been through ‘purgatory’.
Good. Let’s hope that Swift and McKnight have had time to reflect on their stupidity and culpability in this circus.
They had their day in court and were found not guilty. But the police and CPS were absolutely right to bring it to trial, even if the jury didn’t think so.
Better safe than sorry.

LITTLEJOHN

H/T Turtler for the headline I used but he wrote first, and I have a feeling I’ll be using it again.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/18/2009 at 01:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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