Mercy Muroki: Legal system should be uncompromising in punishing people who commit evil

A gang of five abducted an innocent teenager from a street in March 2004

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A man currently serving time for the brutal, racist murder of a 15 year old boy in 2004 has been pictured for the first time since his conviction enjoying a day of freedom from prison walls as he visit his mother.

Zeeshan Shahid, was pictured leaving prison wearing a gun-logo t-shirt, after being given special permission to make the visit to relatives 15 years into his 23 year sentence…

Let’s remind ourselves what kind of a monster this man is.

Zeeshan Shahid was part of a Pakistani gang that abducted white teenager Kriss Donald in Glasgow 17 years ago. I point out their ethnicities because Donald was specifically targeted because of his race as revenge for a previous attack he had nothing to do with. The case was the FIRST-ever conviction for racially motivated murder in Scotland…

Now, this next part is difficult to hear – but it is very important to understand how monstrous these thugs are…

The gang of five abducted the innocent teenager from a street in March 2004. He was taken on a 200-mile long journey as the thugs tried to find the perfect place to commit their evil. When they eventually settled on a location, they embarked on a sadistic session of the most vile torture. They stabbed the schoolboy 13 times, injuring arteries in his lungs, his liver, and kidney. Then, as he lay bleeding to death, they doused him in petrol and set him on fire, leaving the teen to die a brutal death.

Angela Donald, Kriss Donald’s mother, will never get to hold her son again. She has to live the rest of the life haunted by his agonising last hours. But Qudsia Shahid, Zeeshan’s mother gets to spend time with her monster of a son…

What kind of precedent does this whole thing set?

Let’s picture this:

A white gang goes on the prowl looking for an innocent black boy to abduct. They drive him around for hours, stab him multiple times, literally burn him to death, and dump his body in what is an unreservedly racist execution…

Now imagine that one of those gang members is seen years later, looking fit and well, sporting a gun logo t-shirt, on a day out of prison visiting family.

Those who campaign against anti-black racism would be, rightly, livid. If that happened in the case of a black boy, the case would become an emblem for why black lives didn’t matter…

So, the question I ask is – in a case like this, how can we morally justify this kind of leniency? How can any justice system, any court, any judge on this Island countenance this?

If we really care about children’s lives, if we care about black lives – and indeed – lives of any kinds, our legal system should be uncompromising in punishing properly people who choose to commit this kind of evil.