Friday, March 09, 2007

Bringing back complete sentences for murderers...

Still trying to get my head round the comments by Lord Chief Justice Phillips that convicted murderers are having to spend too long in prison.
Er. Wrong m'lud.

But his comments somehow reminded me of this American anti-Dubya-Bush bumper sticker I saw in the 2004 election campaign which I thought was rather amusing...

3 comments:

Michael Oakeshott said...

Not as amusing as I found the result.

Liz said...

I wholeheartedly agree with the LCJ. Unless we have a sentencing policy to include various degrees of murder such as in the US, I personally would leave the tariff to Judges who are aware of all the factors rather than the current prescribed minimum term before parole is considered. A conviction for Murder can cover so many actions that it is wrong to me to have a fixed minimum term. This minimum term has steadily increased and I believe this has been as a result of media pressure rather than on some excellent criminological research much of which comes from the Home Office Research Department!

It is a myth to think that life sentence prisoners are released at the minimum point anyway. Many spend years beyond their tariff because they are considered to be a risk to the public. The tariff only makes them eligible for release. The success rate of those released is very good (read the latest Parole Board Report) and of course lifers can be recalled to prison if their behaviour (not necessarily criminal)gives cause for concern. Further, whilst supervision may be suspended after several years, they may be recalled to prison at any time in their natural life. All of this makes a mockery of a fixed minimum term. This notion of retribution is an attempt to satisfy an ever punitive public ( often whipped up by an ill informed press) rather than provide reasoned argument and facts to support public protection without incarcerating individuals for years of their adult lives. Some evil individuals do need to be locked away for lengthy periods/natural life but these people are few. No wonder our prisons are so full - often unecessarily so and at a vast cost to the taxpayer.

Thank goodness for the intellectual rigour of our Senior Judges. We would be lost without them - all other CJ agencies have to protect their own interests!!!

Michael Oakeshott said...

Yeh thank goodness for those half mad liberal old codgers posing as judges(!). Though I am more thankful for the fact that this Home Secretary(and indeed most of them before him to their credit) ignores their silly opinions and is gradually setting policy that satisfies public concern in this area.