Thursday, 10 July 2008

You Can Have A Say…But Only If You Agree With Us

In yesterday’s flurry of blood-pressure raising articles, I missed the bit the ‘Daily Mail’ picked out of that Sentencing Advisory Panel report:
Victims could be allowed a say in the way criminals are punished in court – but only if they call for leniency rather than harsh sentencing.

For the first time, magistrates and judges could be ordered to listen to victims – or bereaved relatives – and be guided by their viewson how an offender should best be punished.

But, crucially, only messages of forgiveness would be taken into consideration.
So, you can have your say if you want, but we’ll feel free to disregard it if it doesn’t fit with our preconceptions of the point of this exercise, i.e. to provide even more reason for our desire to go soft on criminals?

And the possibility of witness intimidation rears it’s head again:
There are fears such a system could lead to some offenders intimidating victims into asking for a more lenient term for them.
Quite! Perhaps we should make victims anonymous too? Hell, let's just hold all trials in secret!
The proposals, unveiled in a report from the Sentencing Advisory Panel yesterday, acknowledges that the plans could upset victims ‘on the grounds that their views are only taken into account when they favour the offender’.
Yeah, no kidding…

Still, it’s the victims, after all, and who cares about them? It’s becoming increasing difficult to answer that without saying ‘no-one in the Justice system, that’s for sure’.

4 comments:

Mac the Knife said...

I don't normally do this sort of thing, but I thought it might appeal to you, so you're officially tagged... :)

http://dunhillmonster.blogspot.com/2008/07/argh-he-got-me.html

Bill Quango MP said...

Lets just not have any prisons at all and at least save the money spent on them.
We could use it to pay criminals not to commit crime. A sort of crime subsidy.
The EU would love it.

Flanders Fields said...

A commenter referred me to your article on this Marxist declaration against native citizens. You have a good site.

This is just another way to make sure that the victims are punished twice - and that the perpetrators get to laugh about it as they find another victim.

It is sending a message to the law-abiding society, too, isn't it? You have no rights until you prove yourself worthy to the state to have some rights.

JuliaM said...

"A commenter referred me to your article on this Marxist declaration against native citizens. You have a good site."

Thanks, and welcome!

"It is sending a message to the law-abiding society, too, isn't it?"

Yes, and it seems they aren't too bothered about the content of that message, nor about how it is received. I think they aren't prepared for the backlash that might cause...