When prosecuting a 92-year old man is a very good thing

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes per Creative Commons license.

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes per Creative Commons license.

Sometimes, retribution (and by this I mean pure, unmitigated vengeance) is a perfectly appropriate part of our criminal justice system. This is true even if all the other goals of that system would say forget it.

I am glad that Germany has commenced the trial of a 92-year old former member of the Nazi Waffen-SS who is alleged to have murdered a resistance fighter near the end of WWII. Even though they are undoubtedly old men too, I am even more pleased that Germany may proceed against 30 alleged Nazi guards for their role at Auschwitz seven decades ago. See here. My only regret is that Germany will not employ the death penalty should any of these men be found guilty.

Photo Credit: AFP/ Yad Vashem Archives. A photo taken 27 May 1944 in Oswiecim, showing Nazis selecting prisoners on the platform at the entrance of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

Photo Credit: AFP/ Yad Vashem Archives. A photo taken 27 May 1944 in Oswiecim, showing Nazis selecting prisoners on the platform at the entrance of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

Justice requires that we never forgive and we never forget the offenses these men are accused of committing. It is late but it is not too late.

RGK

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