Cardinal in attack on US ‘vengeance’

The leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics has hit out at America’s “culture of vengeance” and told US Senators they have no right to question the standards of Scotland’s justice system over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

In an extraordinary intervention into the row over Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, Cardinal Keith O’Brien condemns the American justice system and highlights a “conveyor belt of killing” in its use of the death penalty.

He accuses the American system of being based on “vengeance and retribution” and says he is glad to live in a country where “justice is tempered with mercy“. He also likens America’s executions to those in China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran and highlights those countries’ poor human rights records.

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Since 1976, 1,221 people have been executed in the US. Its execution rate is only outdone by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and China.

Quoting the Bible, he adds: “Perhaps it is time for them to cast out the beam from their own eye before seeking the mote in their brothers’. Perhaps they should direct their gaze inwards, rather than scrutinising the working of the Scottish justice system.”

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