Letter: Innocence, justice, compassion and judicial killing

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The Independent Online
Sir: You were right to describe the execution of Derek Bentley as 'one of the most deplorable judicial killings of the post-war period' (leading article, 2 October).

It is equally deplorable that, in 1992, the words of Francis Bacon are still unheeded by a legal system that purports to embrace the principle of impartiality in arriving at its judgments.

'Revenge,' wrote Bacon, 'is a kind of wild justice which, the more Man's nature runs to, the more ought Law to weed it out. For the first offence doth but offend the Law; the second offence putteth the Law out of office.'

Yours sincerely,

ROY SMITH

Bourne End, Buckinghamshire

3 October

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