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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Murder by GroupThink?

BBC NEWS | UK | Racist prison murder 'avoidable'

Today saw the publication of the enquiry into the murder of Asian prisoner Zahid Mubarek. He was a first time offender, serving a three month sentence for theft in 2000. On the last night of his sentence, he was sharing a cell with a racist psychopath, Robert Stewart. At some point in the night, Stewart beat Mubarek to death with a table leg.

In his 700-page report into the murder and circumstances leading up to it, Mr Justice Keith said,
"It is easy to be wise after the event, but in the summer of 1998 [two years before the murder], Stewart should have stood out from the crowd"
19 individual members of the prison service are named in the report as having failed Mr Mubarek. It is therefore not surprising that Mr Mubarak's family have today described his death as "institutional murder". I like to think that there was no deliberate conspiracy to put a young Asian prisoner in a position where his life was in danger. So on the basis of what I've heard and read today, conclude that this is an example of GroupThink overpowering the common sense of those who had a duty of care to Mr Mubarek.

Will today's report be acted upon, and steps taken to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy?

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