The prison sentence for an Iraqi journalist, who tossed his shoe at former President George W. Bush, was reduced Tuesday by Iraq’s highest court.
The decision came following Barack Obama’s first official visit to Iraq as U.S. president.
In March, Muntadhar al-Zeidi was sentenced to three years after pleading not guilty to assault charges on a foreign leader. He has been in Iraqi custody since the 2008 incident.
The journalist’s acts turned him into an Iraqi superstar due to the high level of disgust their country has for the former U.S. president as a result of the 2003 invasion of their country.
A crime is an unlawful deviation from the norms of that particular society. Although punishment is the ricochet of committing a crime, the severity of such punishment should fit the extent of the crime itself.
To aim and toss a projectile, like a shoe, in the direction of a foreign leader is only an unlawful expression of one’s freedom at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, judicial systems attempt to make examples out of criminals who commit rare crimes to intimidate others from doing the same thing.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated that the incident was more than just an insult. He described it as an assault on a visiting head of state.
Assault is a violent physical or verbal attack that may unlawfully threaten the body of someone else. The most harm a shoe, not a boot, but a shoe can cause to a person is a temporary swelling depending on the force behind the flying object.
A three-year prison term was ridiculous for the crime al-Zeidi committed.
After the reduction of his sentencing he could be free within the next five months with credit for good behavior.
Mike King for the Editorial Board.