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jake-the-peg | 16:27 Wed 20th Nov 2013 | News
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here seems to have been a robust response to the suggestion that we should no longer investigate and prosecute offences that happened as part of the 'troubles' in NI

Is it time though to go further and declare an amnesty against all such offences whether committed by paramilitaries, soldiers or police.

Certainly some victims famillies will be against it - whether those who want soldiers prosecuted for Bloody Sunday or those still looking for prosecutions over the Enniskillin bombing - but now 20 years and more on is it time to draw a line under the past?

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jake - please do not confuse simplicity with naivity.

I am fully aware of Irish history thank you - and again, as I advised to sandyRoe, you cannot legitimise a crime simply by offering some historical context around it.

The Nazis at Nuremberg tried it - 'I was only following orders ...' which was not seen as legitimising their crimes of murder then, nor would they now.

The notion that murders carried out against the backdrop of political upheaval are some sort of special case which excuses them the force and process of law is frankly unforgiveable.

Again as I said to sandyRoe - the marine sergeant in the recent Afghan murder trial was not afforded the luxury of political status for his crimes - perhaps a case of wrong place wrong time. If only he could have spun it out until 2028, he'd have been home free!

My concept of justice is simple, because it is a simple concept, not because my view is taken as an ideal with no context around it - but context does not excuse murder, nor should it, and it should not here either.

If I had been the victim of a loved victim of an IRA or other sectarian murder, only to be told that my justice had been sold down the river as part of a peace deal, I would have seriously wondered about the values of the country I live in.

I'm not, but that does not enable me to shake my head and tut while this grotesque scheme is discussed around me.
I suspect folk want truth but want justice also. If one opts not to investigate such crimes then the worst of society's offenders are given the sign that it was ok. I think this suggestion to be the terrorists' friend, is inappropriate. I think it unlikely to will produce more volunteered information that at present, and would merely send an unfortunate message to both perpetrators and their dismissed victims.
I'm not sure but if we are going to do that then we should do it for all sides.
Put bluntly, if they can chase assorted entertainers for alleged crimes commited decades ago I can't see how murders can be glossed over.
Can't seeing this happening. This was a suggestion from the Attorney general, not politicians.
And I don't think I am in favour of it.
I think it would be wrong, for the reasons andy-hughes has given.
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You're dodging the question Andy

Was Michael Collins a criminal?

What about DeValera?

How about the Israeli's who killed all those British troops in Palestine people like Moche Dayan? - no more nor less than an Israeli Ronnie Biggs?

The justification for violence in political causes comes from the mandate of those that support it - not because they are or are not recognised as a country at the time

That's the difference between the IRA of the past and so called Real IRA. The latter have pretty much zero political support and that's the difference

jake - I am not intentionally dodging the question.

In the case of 'historical context' - my mother-in-law is eighty, and from County Wicklow, and when she waxes lyrical about Irish history, Collins and so on are all referred to as 'patriots', 'poets', and 'beautiful people' - but they were still terrorists, history does not change someone's actions or motivations.

And again, support is not a criteria for judging a crime - Collins and DeValera were criminals then, the same as the 'Real IRA' now.

If you are seriously suggesting that one is less of a terrorist because of larger degree of local support, then this argument is become more surreal by the posting.

about time they had the word British removed from their name
//Where laws were passed to keep one party in a position of power and those on the outside told 'We must all respect the rule of law'

These are not simple criminal acts and it's that acknowledgement rather than just the passage of time that is behind the logic. //

would you care to come to Birmingham and explain your position and politics to the family of Maxine Hambleton, who along with many others, died in New Street 39 years ago today?
.....or indeed to Paddy Hill, who also needs to know who was really responsible?
Jake - "These are not simple criminal acts and it's that acknowledgement rather than just the passage of time that is behind the logic."

As mushroom points out, there are citizens still mourning their loved ones, and this perceived 'statute of limitations' that has been dreamed up and which you appear to support and defend, does not appear to figure too much in their thinking.

I remain breathless that you honestly believe you can defend this concept by explaining it away as action other than a 'simple' crime - as though murder for perceived political reasons attracts some sort of philosophical complexity that excuses it from the basic rule of law.

Under the system suggested, which you defend, a level of 'complexity' can excuse a murderer from justice.

Believe me, every single criminal from fiddling bank chairmen to serial killers can find some 'complexity' for their defence if it means we are simply going to act as though their crimes never happened.

Are you really sure you want to go on defending this abomination?

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