Should Bloody Sunday Soldiers face prosecution 38 years on?
The expensive Saville inquiry that has taken twelve years is finally drawing to a close but should that be the end of it. The inquiry is likely to say the killings were unjustifiable and unlawful. So this could potentially lead to prosecutions of those involved so dragging out the process for even longer. Never the less the families and those injured have never received compensation, are they entitled to some form of justice or is everything too long in the past?
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the soldiers gave civilians no warning
On that Sunday the British soldiers, it has now been decided, gave no warning that they were going to shoot people if the crowd did not calm down. This would be the normal course of action. Without such warning, how can people adjust their conduct accordingly? They could not. The 13 people who were shot received no warning, no indication as to their fate. There was no trial or deliberation. They were just shot at. Therefore, it by prosecuting the soldiers involved, the soldiers are already getting a generous deal compared to those 13, 38 years later.
A late punishment is better than no punishment at all. Agreed that it isn't entirely just. But we can only offer the amount it is possible to muster now,no more.
There is definitely hard evidence;F claimed he killed four people right after the shooting.
It is noble we're admitting to our mistakes(rather the mistakes of a few paratroopers hardly/barely/not-at-all representative of the British military).
Why after 38 years?
And witness accounts may not be accurate. If people have suddenly decided to say the soldiers lied(on what basis?) then people could just as easily decide that they did not lie; in the future. And is lying really the biggest issue here? not murder in cold blood.
What proof is there that the soldiers gave no warning?
So the argument on the left is that it's fair that the soldiers will not be subjected to just as much cruelty as they decidedly inflicted? The fact that the two things do not recuperate makes me question the justice this superficially noble step.
the soldiers were 'trained' to control
Part of the training involved in being a soldier is knowing how to handle situations and how to react proportionately. A good soldier should not lose their composure. However, on this date, British troops lost their control and it resulted in the death and pain of innocent people. Losing control is never an excuse for the harm of another, and prosecution should always ensue. This is heightened when the people who lost control are trained to not lose control. It makes the act far more sinister, as if they deliberately lost control.
This does not show a sinister aspect to the soldiers in question. Instead it highlights how the Government need to invest more into the training of soldiers, If soldiers are meant to be trained to be in control then they should be able to exercise it when in action.
the soldiers then lied afterwards
At the tribunals that were trying to establish what exactly happened on the fateful Sunday, soldiers were found to be lying. This is whilst they are under oath. These people are supposed to fight to defend their country and yet they cannot tell their country the truth?
The evidence presented by the paratroopers is fake and they should be tried for perjury. P.M David Cameron issued an apology on behalf of these men. Bloody Sunday will no longer be ignored and justice will be served(late justice is better than no justice).
They would rather take their camaraderie to a level of horrific corruption and lie about how people died. Their lies have led to the death of 13 people being unknown for 38 years. This act of corruption alone deserves prosecution, let alone the killings themselves.
There is footage of soldiers opening fire to an unarmed crowd. What more evidence do you want?
What proof is there that they lied?
That Martin McGuinness is the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister?
Does that suddenly without doubt; make the Soldiers liars?
What about hard evidence? what about reliable,transparent,valid judgment/justice?
That footage was there for 38 years why is it suddenly important?
the paratroopers are in absolute denial and have presented evidence supporting their claim.
The conduct of those soldiers had long term effects
Bloody Sunday is one of the most remembered events in the4 history between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain. On that day, not only did the soldiers take 13 lives, needlessly and recklessly; they also created an event which lead to further deaths. The increase in hatred has had long term effects. There was an increase in support for the Provisional IRA. There was increased Ulster Nationalist support. The conflict was heightened. For the soldiers it was a one day event; but in history the consequences will continue. The soldiers should be formally punished for their actions.
No prosecution is out of the question. Acknowledging the travesty apologizing for it and then letting the soldiers go/off would be hypocritical and wrong.
The domino effect will end with their prosecution; and the more dramatized this event the better effect it would have as providing closure.
The prosecution of these soldiers will have further long term effects. We should end the domino effect of consequences now by not prosecuting the soldiers and just accepting that what is done is done.
The guilty should not go unpunished due to their job title
Regardless of what your job title is, people should be held to account for unjust actions in the legal system. These soldiers killed people unjustifiably. The Saville report reveals that one of those shot was merely helping the wounded, causing no trouble to the soldiers. No job title or position should be able to protect individuals against such reprehensible behaviour/behavior.
Soldiers can shoot people on the battlefield not on the streets; just like pugilists get arrested for punching innocent people in public places (outside the ring)
Do you honestly feel that soldiers can/should get away with civilian murder? there are laws protecting unarmed citizens.
Generally boxers/soldiers can only legally attack/kill fellow soldiers and that too under certain conditions(the arena/place/setting being particularly important) boxers in a bar fight will/do get into trouble. Just as a soldier who kills civilians does/should.
This is not a true representation of how the public feel about job titles and conduct. Many positions hold a privileged position in the law. Sport being one. As a mere mode of entertainment, sporting individuals can cause harm to another i.e. boxing. This is illegal on the street but perfectly acceptable in the ring. The same can be said about the conduct of soldiers. They hold a position in which they are allowed to shoot people. They may have made mistakes, but this is part and parcel of being a soldier.
history is the root cause of the hate
The whole point about the Troubles between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain is that they all remember history and take far too much reverence from it. People remember the potato famine, Oliver Cromwell, the Real IRA from the 1920's and now this Bloody Sunday has been added to the list. But by dragging the issue up again by dragging soldiers and witnesses into court all we are doing is reinstating the hatred. People will remember the event, people will feel more resentful about the event. This will eventually cause more trouble, as one Ulster minister stated, the Saville report is like throwing a hand grenade from which the pin has been removed. From what we can see of the Troubles, we should learn that remembering the past is halting the peace process of the future. The soldiers should not face prosecution, not to save them, but to save peace.
No. The root cause of the hate is unresolved issues. Cover ups. Lies. History being rewritten. The truth not being known. These cause differences in opinion and people feel so strongly that they will fight for these differences. We now have the report stating the events. If we do not let the soldiers go through court the truth will not be fully stated and this is what will cause the resentment.
some of the involved soldiers are already dead
Everyone should be treated fairly. Those who act the same under the same circumstances should face the same fate. This is the mantra of our justice system. Some of the soldiers who killed on Bloody Sunday are now dead. They never even had their name incriminated, they were dead by the time the report came out. They escaped this fate when their comrades had to live through it. It is now not fair on the remaining soldiers to be prosecuted as this would be another disgrace that the dead soldiers, who were also at fault, would not have to endure.
What do you think?