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Law must be upheld – but mercy should temper justice

And the three most recent cases (Downes, Bateman and Rees) have all been let off on the grounds that they were ‘wholly motivated by compassion’ – a mitigating factor seemingly open to liberal interpretation and not easily testable in court (especially given that the key witness in all cases is dead and unable to give evidence). Every reason to insist that the law be upheld. It is because it is upheld that mercy can be shown. Without the law there is no real protection.