I was in complete shock after reading an article about a convicted man who was involved in the murder of my husband Stephen Carroll on March 9 2009.
It’s the irony and temerity of the fact that a man convicted in a Court of Law for murder would choose to study criminology and psychology. It’s none of my business but I thought it strange
In as much as I admire and respect people who make good choices in life to further and advance their education, it leaves me wondering about the true motives behind this choice of career.
Hopefully he will use his degree to bring about change in our country by doing extensive research on the factors both psychologically and socially that lead to the causes of heinous crimes being committed.
My husband studied for a degree in Sports Science which he slotted into his life including being a father, grandfather and husband. He also carried out his work protecting the community where his life was tragically taken away.
He, (through no fault of his own) never got the chance to realise his dream of working with people who had suffered from heart attacks and strokes.
His human rights went to the grave with him.
Steve was denied the right to life by a person who is now demanding the right to internet access – what an insult to every sane person and logically thinking person on this Island
There is no contest between life versus internet access!
Why are convicted criminals allowed to have internet and media services access?
How was Mr McConville able to have air-time on a radio station whilst still incarcerated?
It would have made more sense to have spoken out in the court and protested innocence there.
Instead he came into court in grubby clothes wearing a long beard and refused to recognise the court.
I wouldn’t have said those were the actions of an innocent person.
Do criminals have more rights than their victims?
Why are they able to have interaction with the judicial system at all?
Taxpayers’ money would be put to better use investigating how convicted felons are able to access outside services for their own personal gain.
A criminologist’s job is to determine and analyse why a crime was committed and find ways to prevent further criminal behaviours.
Hopefully Mr McConville will use his knowledge of criminology in this way and not as a possible tool to find loopholes in the judicial system.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Kate Carroll for the original story
Editor’s Viewpoint: Killer McConville’s legal action is a sickening irony
A case currently before our courts strains our credulity, even in the Alice-in-Wonderland of Northern Ireland.
Dissident republican killer Brendan McConville, from Lurgan and serving a minimum of 25 years for the murder of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll in 2009, has launched a judicial review against the Prison Service over the alleged denial of safe access to him to use online resources while studying for an Open University degree.
Constable Carroll, then 48, was the first PSNI officer to be murdered, shot dead as he answered a 999 call in Craigavon.
John Paul Wootton, from Lurgan, was given a minimum 18-year sentence for his involvement.
McConville, in Maghaberry Prison, is in the final stages of a B.Sc honours degree, ironically in criminology and psychology. He claims the prison authorities are discriminating against him because, as a segregated prisoner, he cannot access online resources which are located in a separate unit.
Mr Justice McCloskey, in adjourning the legal challenge until October, said that this would allow time to consider a report into learning opportunities for segregated prisoners, and also into any potential complaint to the Police Ombudsman.
In today’s paper Stephen Carroll’s widow, Kate, surely speaks for us all when she asks the pointed question: “Do criminals have more rights than their victims?”
Like the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland has a robust adversarial justice system, with an appeals process.
But there was no right of appeal to a higher court when McConville and his associates set out to ambush and murder Constable Carroll. As Kate Carroll rightly says, her husband’s human rights went to the grave with him.
One truth about modern penology, which human rights activists are often slow to admit, is that even life-sentence prisoners like Brendan McConville can live a tolerable existence behind bars.
They have three meals a day, access to other prisoners, and to education facilities.
There is a life to be had in prison. In sharp contrast, Stephen Carroll’s life was brutally ended, and his widow Kate’s life changed utterly.
Such double-standards are nauseating. Perhaps, as Kate Carroll suggests, this is the time for the pendulum to swing back in favour of victims’ rights. The courts are best-placed to start this recalibration towards common sense and justice.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and the Editors Viewpoint for the original story