A Sorry Excuse to Evade Justice

I have heard some sorry excuses put forward by defence lawyers in my time, but today is one for the record books. I refer to the case of a UK hacker called Gary Mckinnon who’s extradition has been requested by the US Government.

It is alleged that in 2000/2002 he hacked into 97 government computers, including The US Navy and NASA. This was just after 9/11, and needless to say caused a furore in government circles. It is said he caused $800,000 worth of damage to computer systems in the affected departments.

In 2002 he was arrested by British Police and has been awaiting extradition to the US, where if found guilty, he faces a prison term of 70 years.

Since his arrest he has tried every means at his disposal to quash the extradition. He has appealed to the House of Lords in Westminster and the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague, and has been turned down by every one. It seems no-one has sympathy for a hacker.

His stated reason for doing it in the first place was he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Well, I believe him, but thousands wouldn’t!

After failing to get out of extradition by all legal means, his lawyers have now turned to the next best thing, the psychological approach.

They are now saying he should be tried in the UK instead of the US because his mental state is extremely fragile. Ah! Didums! If they manage to pull that one off you can bet he would be back out of jail in a few short years.

His lawyers say; ‘there is “clear, un-contradicted expert evidence” that the stress of extradition could result in psychosis and suicide’. Two High Court Judges will be asked to rule that his psychological state makes it impossible to extradite him.

Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, Mckinnon’s lawyer told the judges that his clients mental state had been underestimated by the Home Secretary when she ordered him to be extradited. He went on to say that Mckinnon was “an eccentric person who has passionate views on UFOs” – not a malicious hacker – and extradition was “unnecessary, avoidable and disproportionate”. If you wish to evade a 70 year jail sentence I am sure it would be considered all of those things and more. I must say though, if I ever get another traffic ticket I might think of hiring this guy. I could always plead insanity!

It is claimed that Mckinnon suffers from Asperger Syndrome, which can mean he develops a single-minded obsession for something without thought of its affects on others. According to his solicitor he needs ‘the support of family and friends close around him all the time’.

This entire process has now been going on for 7 years since his arrest and it’s about time someone had the balls to put him on a plane and ship him out. It comes down to the same old saying: If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

It was not as if he broke into the government computers once by accident, he did it 97 times and that to me rules out any plea bargains or excuses by his lawyers.

As an everyday computer owner, I am sick and tired of the attacks perpetrated by hackers. I am tired of viruses and Trojans that infect computers world wide and cause untold misery to millions of computer owners. I am fed up with having to reload Windows because some hacker has infected my computer, and what about all the poor souls world-wide who have been fleeced out of large and small amounts of money by malicious hackers. I am sure if they had a say they would drive him to the airport!

Send Mckinnon to the States and let him rot for what he has done, and I hope every other hacker is quick to join him.

Its about time the punishment fitted the crime, rather than the hacker being employed by some security company for a grossly exaggerated salary that leaves them laughing all the way to the bank. This is one crime that does pay, and handsomely!


May all hackers burn in hell!


Roy.

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