‘Human’ punishment

I have in my mind the image of the individual who assassinated 24 others in the ‘best’ years of her life. I remember reading and hearing that in order to commit certain atrocities, we humans must dispossess other humans of their humanity … it is then and only then than carrying out certain acts becomes possible. We must remove ourselves from any possible connection with the other, from any thought that could lead us to think of ourselves as them, in their position. I saw her in the news from footage taken when she declared in court … she was condemned to more than 3,800 years of imprisonment for the 24 lives she had sewered. I was surprised that despite the atrocious role she played in history and the tremendous pain she caused and continues causing I could not but see her as a human being. It might have been her eyes, the way she looked, the ‘loneliness and boredom’ she perspired … still a human being. I was surprised that despite my outrage at her being able to walk freely, a right she never granted to any of her victims, I could not take away the fact that she still was a human being … despicable and horrible … yet a human being. At that moment it occurred to me that there is possibly nothing more unbearable than confinement with oneself, when one is an assassin that considers him / herself human. I imagine that such a tremendous incongruence must be very difficult to withstand for a very long period of time. Perhaps it is now the time to review significantly upwards the length and conditions of imprisonment for terrorist acts. Perhaps a very long meditation period might bring clarity about their acts to their beings.