Dalrymple has a new article in the Wall Street Journal (thanks, Rachel) that describes the case of Stéphan Turk, a jeweler in Nice who is charged with voluntary homicide for shooting a young man who robbed his store. The French public does not view the case the same way the police do, as M. Turk has received overwhelming support on Facebook. Although young, the robber had a long history of crime, and Dalrymple notes that a longer prison sentence, besides being more just, would have saved the robber’s life:
If he had received such a sentence, he would still be alive and Stéphan Turk would not be under house arrest. A long sentence would have meant release in his 30s or 40s, at the age at which criminality almost always ceases spontaneously. He might even have had the opportunity to receive an education.
In other words, leniency is not necessarily generous and kind, nor is severity necessarily primitive and vicious. But the left in France characterizes those in favor of greater severity as virtually fascist; it is quite unable to see that its own policy brings about the very exasperation so manifest in the messages on Facebook.