Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goldstone Sent Tens of Blacks to Their Deaths in South Africa

Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, is leading this morning on the top of its front page with an advance story to its weekend edition by its top investigative reporter, Tzadok Yechezkeli, that while a judge during the Apartheid regime in South Africa, Richard Goldstone sentenced tens of blacks to death sentences, beatings, and enforced racial laws. (Headline) Goldstone: "Those were the laws, and I had to respect them". 

In the advance story, headlined, "Look Who's Talking" (Yechezkeli and Techiyeh Barak), the reporters write that Goldstone forgot one thing: "to look very closely in the mirror and to do intensive soul-searching (heshbon nefesh) before he rushes to judge others". 

In the full story to come out on Friday, it will be reported that while a judge in the South African Court of Appeals, Goldstone sent tens of blacks to their death. They point out in the article that while this hasn't stopped Goldstone from severely criticizing the death penalty and those countries that continue to permit it, he has himself never expressed any regret for his actions. 

According to Yediot's findings, Goldstone confirmed the death sentences of at least 28 accused blacks, who had appealed their sentences, most of them for murder, and he expressed his support for death sentences in his decisions as well, as he wrote in the case of a young black man who was sentenced to death for killing the white owner of a restaurant after he fired him: "The death penalty needs to reflect the demands of society to take retribution for the crimes that people see, justifiably, as horrifying". Goldstone, "declared that the gallows were the only punishment of deterrent in these cases", and wrote: "Fury is a relevant factor in the imposition of a suitable punishment". 

The article notes that Goldstone also supported Apartheid policies in other decisions where the death sentence was not involved, among them: "He confirmed a punishment of flogging for 4 blacks who were charged with violence, and acquitted 4 policemen who broke into the house of a white woman who was suspected of having sexual relations with a black man - which was considered then to be a severe crime in South Africa". 

Goldstone's response to the findings: "I always opposed the death penalty, but I was part of a system that had the death penalty". According to the article, "He also claimed that as a judge during the Apartheid, he had to respect the laws of the country, and could not find enough alleviating circumstances by which to save those accused who were brought before him from the death penalty. Goldstone said that he never discriminated against blacks and did the best he could to act with fairness, even though he was forced to enforce laws that he objected to morally". 

Gee, haven't we heard that one somewhere before? 

2 comments:

YMedad said...

great as no English item appears at Ynet

daniel9710 said...

Great! So, Nazi judges were correct to sentence Jews to their death. It was the law in Germany, no regrets.

I am the criminal because I am stil alive.