Kenny MacAskill will go down in history as the justice secretary who legalised crime; or, at any rate, abolished punishment. Under his beneficent rule it is becoming virtually impossible for a Scottish criminal to enter prison. (...)
MacAskill's priority is to keep as many offenders as possible out of prison. The most notorious example, which has earned this liberal fruitcake worldwide opprobrium, is his release last August of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, on the grounds he had less than three months to live: he is still alive, at home in Libya. Having freed, after just seven years, a man convicted of the murder of 270 people it was hardly likely that MacAskill would willingly be party to the incarceration of lesser criminals.
[From an article in today's edition of Scotland on Sunday by columnist and right-wing ideologue Gerald Warner. The first of the readers' comments following the article reads in part:]
It is deplorable that Warner should echo the clamour of Holyrood's Vichy Tories and other opposition numpties on this issue. His high-level contacts may be political back numbers. Even so, Warner cannot fail to be aware that Megrahi did not commit the crime for which he was convicted.