The British newspapers are having a field day with reports that the killers of two French students should have been in jail at the time they robbed, hogtied, tortured, stabbed and burned their victims. One of the killers was “mistakenly freed from jail with only low-level supervision, after documents revealing his true danger to the public were not shared by officials. A string of opportunities to return Sonnex to jail for new crimes – and keep him there – were then either squandered or missed. When an arrest warrant was finally issued by probation staff to recall him to prison, it inexplicably took police a further 16 days to knock on Sonnex’s door. By that time, Mr Bonomo and Mr Ferez were dead – killed earlier that same day.” British Justice Secretary Jack Straw has conveyed his regrets for his organization’s catastrophic incompetence to the victim’s parents, a fact that is described as unprecedented. The parents of the deceased should feel honored. They may no longer have their kids, but they have ‘unprecedented’.
The newspapers have prominently featured pictures of the two perpetrators juxtaposed with those of their prey. You can see why. The two killers seem straight from central casting, with low brows, shaved heads, menacing faces and vacant eyes, while the two victims are handsome, well-groomed and depicted in the high spirits of carefree youth. The comments at the Daily Mail would be entertaining if the subject matter weren’t so tragic.
One commenter wrote that due to a shortge of money, the British bureaucracy was simply turning criminal psychopaths loose.
As someone who works in the Criminal Justice system I have been horrified at recent developments, many of which have received no publicity in the national press. In an effort to clean up their crime reduction figures the police frequently caution offendors for offences as serious as rape and other serious violent offences. The CPS, who have been ordered to save money regardless now instruct higher court advocates to prosecute crimes at all levels. They will not have been trained and many are in fact terrirfied of appearing in court and doing trials. What this means is that they will often agree to deals and a basis of plea that would never have got past a properly qualified advocate. For example there was one case where two defendants who deliberately set fire to a house using a lit paper bag to accelerate the fire causing £60,000 in damage agreed a basis where upon the judge had to sentence on the basis that they had recklessly set fire to a paper bag. True and very troubling.
Another remarked on the disparity between the simian appearance of the perpetrators and those who they killed. “You can see evil faces like these two monsters on high streets all over Britain. Compare this with the intelligent faces of the two Frenchmen. ” Another said, “just look at the expression on Sonnex’s face. No remorse, just anger and hatred. He looks a complete psychopath he should never have been out walking the streets in the first place, and should never walk the streets again.”
The aesthetics of the jungle and of civilized society are as different as night and day. In jails and raw slums, what is deadly is beautiful. In settings “red of tooth and claw”, having long teeth and sharp claws are the ultimate fashion accessory. By contrast, the aesthetics of civilization are often pointedly impractical: high heels, shoes with pointy toes, constricting pants, jangling rings, vestigial pockets, fragile clothes are but a few examples. The aesthetics of civilization are based on the conspicuous consumption of safety. Over time, some societies forget that safety is not a natural condition, but a hard won commodity. They begin to think it is as free as the air and are outraged when they cannot have it on demand. Eventually they evolve into cultures where nobody can see the harm in releasing Jihadis into general population; where possessing a gun for home defense offends those who are aware of it; when the proper response to violent crime is sympathy and when mass murder is met by abject apologies from the victims.
The sad fact is that when French students Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo encountered Dano Sonnex and Nigel Farmer, in that lawless context Sonnex and Farmer were functionally the more beautiful. When the jungle and civilization meet, the jungle wins unless the civilized man is armed and able. But maybe nobody remembers that any more.