Yes, and look at the size of their prison population - well over 2 million last I saw any figures for USA, and about 25% of the whole world’s prison population in total - and almost zero spent on attempts at true rehabilitation and a lot of sentencing taken out of the judges hands by politicians which means a first time offender can get 10 years if they get caught crossing a state line with a personal amount of drugs, for example.
A great example of how sentencing policy and politics can get really out of hand.
I agree with some of that, but I meant it goes beyond party politics for some of us on a personal level, & I suspect that’s so for many people. Certainly for me. I’m not aware of that many hardcore Labour voters who actually want early release clauses for extremely violent offenders.
Bear in mind that most totalitarian left-wing regimes also implemented very harsh penal systems for decades. For eg. former Yugoslavia, Soviet Union, now China.
As you say, in some cases it’s immaterial if the idea of being punished is no longer effective after 10 years. Some violent offenders will always be dangerous, including those convicted of serious sex crimes. - Regards.
Under your scheme, Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley got the full 100 points despite being innocent of the murders for which they were convicted.
And then, in the light of this morning’s discussion there is the little known case of
Somali-born Mahmood Hussein Mattan was executed in 1952 for the murder of Lily Volpert. In 1998 the Court of Appeal decided that the original case was, in the words of Lord Justice Rose, “demonstrably flawed”. The family were awarded £725,000 compensation, to be shared equally among Mattan’s wife and three children. The compensation was the first award to a family for a person wrongfully hanged.
One wonders what part his otherness play in his conviction and his 100 points?
Also the case of:
3 August 1916: Roger Casement was hanged at Pentonville for treason, he was convicted of conspiring with Germany, then at war with the United Kingdom, to incite insurrection in Ireland and to incite Irish soldiers serving in the British Army to mutiny.
Of course, Casement was someone who identified as Irish living under unwanted British colonial rule. He was hanged for inciting mutiny in the army which may have been considered as a crime by the British but not among the Irish population. Aside from whether the judgment was lawful or not, there is the question as to whether it was sensible for the British to have executed him as he subsequently inspired Irish rebels. To the British he was a traitor, to the Irish a hero. I go with the views of the Irish on this one.
Whilst the shooting of the murderer on London Bridge was necessary to protect others from perceived immediate danger, in my view, capital punishment is always wrong in a civilised society.
Good - in the case of terrorist offences
There’s is an argument for longer sentences on a scale that ‘fits the crime’.
However, in respect of 99 year sentences, give them to terrorists. It sure as hell solves the repeat offender problem.
…99 year prison sentences and the death penalty. And still none of that stops the US from having the highest murder rate in the western world. Indeed, the right wing gun lobby’s insistence on the citizen’s right to be armed only serves to put more guns in the community leading to higher murder rates both in family and public settings.
I accept that many would have that view… in which case you’d better have enough prisons and money to pay for them all for the rest of their lives in prison.
Or release them after a few years so they can murder, rape and abuse some more… and repeat the cycle.
Where I have a problem is in suggesting that you don’t execute people… just in case the conviction is wrong… well it shouldn’t be wrong in the first place else we have broader issues.
Convicted criminals facing execution could spend 5+ years on a Death Row and only when all likelihood of challenges has evaporated do we kill them.
I’m not in favour of the death penalty for some of the reasons you outlined earlier, however, I do think there are certain circumstances where it would be acceptable. That would include cases where there is no uncertainty about guilt. The guy who knifed those people on Friday would have been a prime example. I’m actually surprised those members of the public didn’t kill him and I’m perfectly happy for the police to have finished the job.
Indeed, but the US example is fundamentally flawed. The “3 strikes & you’re out” policy in some US States means that many criminals who may not have become violent, will do so after their 2nd offence, even when they’re caught for relatively minor offences like shop-lifting. Something that, for example, chronic drug-addicts under the influence will still do even if they’re facing life.
If such criminals are caught after their 2nd conviction, these often desperate people will then try any means of escape, including being seriously violent towards any shop-keeper, or even killing them.
IMHO, it’s badly thought-out in the US. Horrendously so. No sensible person would entertain handing out life sentences for any number of petty crimes, even if it’s their 3rd offence.
However, you may be surprised how many violent criminals in UK are in fact repeat offenders with long criminal records that include multiple cases of serious violence, though luckily often without causing fatality. For example, stabbing people, kicking them in the head, hitting them with bricks, baseball bats, etc.
Quite often the sentence is between 18 months & up to 7 or 8 years, depending on the severity of the damage to the victim, unless they’ve killed them. These will often be reduced with so-called good behaviour. IMO, if the sentence was 14 years, such repeat violent offenders would serve the whole 14 years, even with good behaviour.
OTOH, I’d not lock up any drug addicts, shop-lifters, street workers, etc. In fact, I’d legalise most drugs with stringent QC, to be sold to adults who choose those methods to chill out with & likewise brothels to ensure safe working conditions for those who want to sell sex.
For transparency’s sake: I neither use drugs (any more), nor would I feel tempted to visit brothels. Regards.
I’m sure many people agree with your views, Huw. I’m not so sure they’d agree with the shooting of the man so readily if it wasn’t election time. The last people I’d want to see taking the law into their own hands is the police.
Of course, the ‘shoot to kill’ thing back in the 80s was complete rubbish. You always shoot to kill if you’re shooting at someone. You don’t shoot guns out of people’s hands, or shoot to wound, that’s John Wayne who does that. In the movies. The people who campaigned against ‘shoot to kill’ were led by the nose by the Irish nationalist’s propaganda. The same people who were regularly using a 0.5 Barrett sniper rifle on in N. Ireland which will kill you if it hits you just about anywhere.
But let’s say you saw exactly the same thing as transpired on London Bridge and were happy justice had been done, in a hypothetical case. Are you sure you’d have been able to diagnose, say, a mental illness from your vantage point?
It wouldn’t be though, @jackdawsson, it would be 7 years if the sentencing authority, who are fully aware of past crimes by the way and which are taken into account when sentencing, knew that every last day of it would be served.
The one thing that may cause them to go leniently is when they know there is a crisis in prisons due to over-crowding. That’s where you’re headed immediately with doubling up every sentence handed out.
And wont criminals in the UK be equally as violent as the U.S. if they know that they’re going to get a life sentence and no reduction for coming quietly and pleading guilty?
Its a complex subject and it does go across party lines, of course it does. But look at us all disagreeing about it during an election campaign all of a sudden.
Politicians should keep sentencing at arms length and leave it as far as possible to the judiciary. Its a slippery slope, otherwise, and laws that are hurried through because of some issue that is a political hot potato at the time are almost always very, very bad laws.
Ten of fifteen years down the road the state is paying out tens of millions in compensation for unsafe convictions.
I’m not necessarily an advocate of a shoot to kill policy. However, a guy running around stabbing people wearing a fake suicide vest is clearly a terrorist. In this instance it was crystal clear what his MO was all about so all fine with me.
The numbers are well down on what they were. You were correct a year ago. It isn’t that the hard-working Poles are all going home to work instead (some are as the economy is booming), most are going to other European states where they get paid better since the devaluation of the pound.
This is especially true for psychiatric nurses for some reason. Lots of people in places like Germany and Italy like the idea of having 24 hour, live-in cover for grandma with Alzheimer’s and they especially like it if that person is a fully qualified professional they can get away with paying just 1000 Euro per month plus board and lodge.
Meanwhile, a lot of the building being done in Poland is being done by Ukrainian and Russian workers, many of them not employed legally, I’m quite sure.
In some cases you’ll find that seriously violent repeat offenders do get those sorts of sentences, but later reduced significantly for good behaviour. I’m merely disagreeing with the good behaviour clause. Much agree with JW.
As for over-crowding in prisons: hence my previous comment. Overall, I’d lock up far fewer people, but have longer sentences for serious offenders. - Regards.