La calidad de la clemencia

PRINCETON – La reciente liberación de Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, la única persona condenada por la explosión del vuelo 103 de Pan Am sobre Lockerbie, Escocia en 1988, generó indignación. Aproximadamente al mismo tiempo, las Águilas de Filadelfia, un equipo de futbol americano, le ofrecieron una segunda oportunidad a la ex estrella Michael Vick, que fue condenado por dirigir una organización de peleas de perros en la que se torturaba y mataba a los animales perdedores. Asimismo, William Calley, que comandaba el pelotón que masacró a cientos de civiles vietnamitas en la aldea de My Lai en 1968, ha roto el silencio y pedido perdón por sus acciones.

¿Cuándo debemos perdonar o ser clementes con los malhechores? En muchas sociedades los delitos que tienen que ver con la crueldad hacia los animales reciben un trato demasiado indulgente, pero el castigo de Vick – 23 meses de cárcel – fue sustancial. Además del encarcelamiento, perdió dos años de su carrera como jugador y millones de dólares de ingresos. Si Vick nunca volviera a jugar, sufriría un castigo mucho mayor al impuesto por el tribunal.

Vick ha expresado su arrepentimiento. Tal vez lo más importante es que ha convertido las palabras en hechos y es voluntario en un refugio de animales y trabaja con la Sociedad Humanitaria de Estados Unidos para luchar contra las peleas de perros. Es difícil ver qué provecho se obtendría de impedirle terminar su rehabilitación y volver a dedicarse a lo que mejor sabe hacer.

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