Thursday, June 28, 2018

Another nail in the coffin of compassion

This is a man who likes to hurt people. Severely physically hurt people.

He has irrevocably alienated himself from normal society by disfiguring his face. He knows that.

I looked for some hardship this man had faced. He is now 29. No spring chicken in criminal circles.

Here's a report about the crime and sentencing that resulted in his initial ten year imprisonment:

A killer was embraced by the family of his victim before he was sentenced to life in prison.

Adam Robert Gempton, 21, was sentenced to life, with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years, by Justice Chisholm in the High Court in Christchurch yesterday for the murder of Timothy John Constable....

Constable's parents hugged Gempton as he stood in the dock.

Pauline Constable said in her victim-impact statement that she forgave Gempton despite going through a "living nightmare" after her son's death.

She hugged Gempton, who twice whispered, "I'm sorry."

...Gempton said: "It was never my intention to kill Tim. I was just trying to defend my partner and I feared for my daughter's safety. I feared for everyone's safety, and I'm sorry."

After the sentencing, Pauline Constable said she was happy with the outcome.

"There was true remorse shown by Adam and he was very sorry this happened," she said. "It's a shame he'll have to spend 10 years in prison."

My experience of prison and prisoners is limited. But greater than most people's. Volunteers tend to work with the most motivated prisoners and it's natural that our views are coloured by this experience. There are plenty of deserving and salvageable souls to be encountered.

Which is why this individual angers me beyond what is reasonable. Because he makes the public turn feral on inmates.

Prison houses the worst humans. The most damaged and the most dangerous. I recently visited a property where two chained dogs were writhing, straining, snarling and desperate to attack. They have to be taught to be that way. And so do humans.

But humans have mental faculties dogs do not. They have the opportunity dogs are not blessed with;  to think about what they have done and where will they go from there.

This man certainly did. And added the deepest insult to injury possible. He became more violent.

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