Compassion toward criminals is cruelty toward their victims. That was Fielding’s insight, and never in modern times was it made more blindingly obvious than when CNN anchor Bernard Shaw asked the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis if he would support the death penalty were his own wife Kitty to be raped and murdered. Dukakis coolly replied: “No I don’t, Bernard, and I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life.”
Dukakis met Shaw’s plea for empathy with the victims of crime by flatly refusing to show empathy even with his own nearest and dearest.
By Karl Spence