1 Sep – Statement on Punishment Beatings

PUNISHMENT BEATINGS
STATEMENT BY CARDINAL SEÁN BRADY
1 SEPTEMBER, 1999

Everyone should be presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of justice where the evidence has been heard. Where this does not happen there is a serious risk of mistaken identity and of a miscarriage of justice. There is also the danger of the punishment being totally out of all proportion to the alleged crime. Those who received death-threats, punishment beatings or have been ordered to leave the country are victims. They are victims of a system that is totally unacceptable. Like all victims they deserve sympathy and support.

Those who have suffered the effects of criminal activity are also victims. They too deserve help and understanding. They should be helped to seek redress in the proper quarters. Those who have the power and the responsibility to do so, should deliver that redress swiftly and effectively. In this way people will see the folly of turning to private individuals and inviting them to take the law into their own hands, setting themselves up as guardians and administrators of law and order. The solution lies rather in the promotion of the efficient administration of a few and an acceptable system of justice for all.

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