Letter: The scope of a royal pardon

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Sir: I was not born when Derek Bentley was hanged in 1953, but I am sure I feel the same deep sense of shame and outrage as many of my generation at the putting to death of this child/man.

A royal pardon for Derek Bentley would be a pardon for the society that killed him, a society that is striving for change in the way we see ourselves and each other. The Home Secretary cannot justify denying this forgiveness on the basis of logic alone. What about feelings, Mr Clarke? How can you ignore feelings? Does the Home Secretary not have feelings? Not even shame?

My only consolation is that his brave sister will still be fighting for her brother long after Mr Clarke has gone.

In the Grace of Womanspirit,


Bullwood Hall

Hockley, Essex

2 October