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Tuesday, 21 October 2008


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Uhm David,

I may not have the facts straight here.

Vacher stabs and kills someone. Vacher is penalized for the act of stabbing and killing. Alexandra admonishes "me" not to judge (the book by its' cover) Vacher for the act of stabbing and killing.

Correct so far?

I accept this. Vacher is not a book, neither a books' cover. I suspect I would not have voted Vacher guilty of being either a book nor a books' cover, were I a juryman. I would ask Alexandra whether she's met with the poor notwithstanding's parents (or close associates) in order to determine whether he or she was a book or a book's cover.

If Alexandra is referring to either a book or a books' cover which is now lying dead and buried-I suppose I can see her point. It is easy to consider a book, unchecked for ten years.

However, if Alexandra is asking whether we should "look over" poor Vacher simply because he chose to bury a human rather than a book, or a books' cover-I'm uncertain why the plaintive ever came up.

Of course I'm an American, so I may not appreciate all the good reasons why Vacher chose to stick a knife into the gizzard of something that was neither a book, nor a books' cover.

Of course none of us know how we would have turned out had we had lived the same life as Vacher for the first 17 years. However, it seems that the majority of people who have been brought up in similar circumstances do not go out armed with the intention - if push comes to shove - of killing people. Also, I would hope somebody claiming to be my friend would tell me the truth about the way I live my life rather than defend the (almost) indefensible by saying that, although he unfortunately killed someone he is "one of the nicest people we know". BTW a claim of killing in "self-defence" is not in law "mitigation", it's a complete defence to murder/manslaughter.

It reminds me that all the victims of knife crime are referred to by their friends, family or teachers as "wonderful, lively, studious, popular" etc etc. Maybe some are, but a lot are like Vacher: murderous low-lifes who got on the wrong end of a violent sub-culture.

As to his sentence, I suspect this is par for the course for manslaughter. He will not be out in 6 or 7 years, he'll be out in 5 and will return (as a "hero" no doubt) to his friends in the dysfunctional "community" of which he is such an obvious adornment.

Hank (for I think 'tis thee) and 'Umbo', you are justifiably harsh, as indeed, am I in that I would have had him hung for his crime. However, from a detached point of view, I admit the probability that he had virtues - of some sort, somewhere, in his psyche. As always on matters of pyschology, I turn to the greatest practitioner of them all, Shakespeare, who created some evil bastards from his imagination. These villains are frighteningly real and the reason is that they are all too human, that is, they have virtues as well as vices, that they are made up of contradictory characteristics. Thus do we learn that there is evil in all of us. The only exception is Iago, a man of apparently motiveless malignancy which makes him a mysterious creation, but with him I think Shakespeare was implying that in essence, no-one really knows anyone else, we are all, ultimately, a mystery even to ourselves.

Vacher, I guess, lived in a milieau in which his worst traits were encouraged and his better ones thwarted, or at least, stunted. Nevertheless, he was responsible for his actions and must pay the price, even if, with Othello, we mutter to ouselves, "Oh the pity of it!"


You are certainly more charitable than I am but I agree that the milieu in which he was raised suppressed his better traits and encouraged his worst. Nevertheless, my sympathy goes to the normal law-abiding folk who are sentenced to life imprisonment in Vacher's milieu: the ones who simply want a quiet honest independent life for themselves and their families. I believe that, despite the worst the present government can do, there is still a majority of people out there who wish for such a life. They are the ones who deserve our support and compassion.

I can't argue with any of that!


I did not right the first comment, though I do appreciate the style.

Since I only know the facts reported you reported, I can only agree that Mr. Vacher's actions are due a higher level of punishment in any system. But I think there are even worse levels of malicious evil for which there should be room for more serious punishments, so maybe not a death penalty in this case though a far longer residence than ten years (-) at one of Her Majesties prisons would be in order. Also if murder is punished with too light a punishment how is there room for meaningful punishments for those who commit less serious crimes but which are still damaging to society and cause great harm to victims.

It came to my attention that Captain Bligh’s log from the HMS Bounty recorded far few punishments of lesser magnitude than was the order in that day. It was the arbitrariness and illogic that helped caused a mutiny. Getting more certainty about what a particular act incurs would do as least as much as increasing punishments.

I can only echo your comments on friendship and pray that he realize what gift he has in Alexandra’s friendship.

Hank, sorry then for the mis-identification.

Apologies for the oversight Mr Duff,

I'd recently cleared my cookies and cache and did not appreciate that my identity had been cleared as well.

The first comment was mine.


I would just like to add that Ted Bundy's mother swore to the end that he was "a good boy."

i know you and others might think hes a bad person,for what he done. but if you knew the real nav that i know, and was brought up with him. you would understand that hes not a bad person deep down inside!
no1 knows what actually happend at that point in time. But nav had a lucky escape because it could of bin the other way round.
at the end of the day! i'm happy that hes alive, and yeah whos the murderous low-life Umbongo. And he didnt have a bad up-bringing so dont bring family and friends into it!!! and yeah thats right you do the crime you do the time, but time dont effect most of us, you lot can judge him on what you read but non of you know him so keep your nose out of other peoples buisness. with your political arses.

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