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THE FOLLY OF LIFE SENTENCES….

By David Vance On October 27th, 2011

Life terms will automatically go to anyone twice given jail terms of ten years or more for crimes such as rape, child abuse, serious GBH and terrorism offences.

As you know, I support the Death Penalty for those who have been convicted of the crime of premeditated murder. Others disagree and say that a better solution is a mandatory life sentence. However I think this latest news rather validates my view;

Repeat criminals convicted of a second serious offence will face a mandatory life sentence, under new ‘two-strikes’ rules.  Life terms will automatically go to anyone twice given jail terms of ten years or more for crimes such as rape, child abuse, serious GBH and terrorism offences. They will also apply to the crime of ‘causing or allowing the death of a child’ – the offence for which Baby Peter’s mother and boyfriend were jailed.

I profoundly DISAGREE with this latest extension of the concept of mandatory life sentences. The fact that rapists, child-abusers and those who show gross neglect towards children could also now end up in jail “for life” means that the taking of a human life is no longer to be set apart as the most heinous crime. So we remove the sanctity of life sanction and substitute some general abhorrence towards several other crimes. Further, what is meant by mandatory “life” sentences? The average term is around 20 years, so with the new two-thirds remission, a life sentence means will get out in around 12-13 years. What a farce. We don’t have proper justice, we have a legal circus. If you are going to have a life sentence, make it mean life. To me, that is a cruel punishment. The Death Penalty conveys the appropriate seriousness, relieves the taxpayer of funding murderers behind bars, makes life safer for prison officers, and gets a much better outcome all round. Wet lettuce Ken Clarke may be slightly improving the mess created by Labour but he falls well short of what is required.

11 Responses to “THE FOLLY OF LIFE SENTENCES….”

  1. I cannot understand the use of the English Language in this legal matter. In English a Life Sentence means a sentence for life, not 10. 15 or 20 years. The sentence is unambiguous and has claririty. However, for some reason that I cannot understand, it does not mean what it says but it could and should.

  2. The fact that rapists, child-abusers and those who show gross neglect towards children could also now end up in jail “for life” means that the taking of a human life is no longer to be set apart as the most heinous crime. So we remove the sanctity of life sanction and substitute some general abhorrence towards several other crimes.

    That’s a good point. I’ll have to think about it.

  3. That makes as much sense as if you make murder sentences 20 minutes and other crimes 10 minutes – you have thus given murder the priority by that logic.

    I think what the yare tryign to do is link multiple offenses to longer sentences which seems like a reasonable idea to me.

  4. The folly of death sentances = killing those who aren’t guilty.

    Buffoons like Rick Perry could care less if they kill a few who very probably were never guilty of the capital crimes they were executed for but do the Death Penalty supporters here have any moral problem with the huge likelihood that you have killed / will kill some innocents along with the guilty?

    Is that an acceptable price to pay?

    This is not an issue to be ducked. Straight answers, please.

  5. Phantom

    We do not live in a perfect world. If we did, murder would not happen. The standard of proof required should be high, as should the penalty. Death it must be. And those concerned should be thankful they don’t live in a “new” democracy like Libya.

  6. But in the real world, there will be times when

    cops lie or use unethical means to extract confessions etc

    prosecutors want to win the case badly so that they ignore evidence that does not lead to a conviction

    poor defendants are assigned incompetent legal counsel

    guilt is assessed by an incompetent jury / judge who are influenced by the passions of an angry public

    I used to support the Death Penalty but I have done a 180 on it, since everywhere you look you see evidence that it is wrongly assessed in states like Texas or other assembly line states.

    The moral horror of the government – the state- executing an innocent person is so great that this is an issue that needs to be re-examined by those who like most here are strong supporters of law and order.

  7. “The fact that rapists, child-abusers and those who show gross neglect towards children could also now end up in jail “for life” means that the taking of a human life is no longer to be set apart as the most heinous crime. So we remove the sanctity of life sanction and substitute some general abhorrence towards several other crimes.”

    If you believe in the death penalty then you have already removed the taking of human life as being set apart as the most heinous crime

  8. Surely this is just a recognition that we often say or think of a particularly awful crime – that was as bad as murder (or even worse).

  9. The only crime worse than murder in David’s eyes is not liking Elvis Costello 😉

  10. David – many of your articles report the incompetence and corruption of our police and judiciary, and you want them to wield the death penalty? I could make the argument against the death penalty by listing the innocent people duly convicted of murder – especially Stefan Kiszko, a shocking case – and who would have been executed, but I don’t believe that you’re open to persuasion.

  11. What would be better would be have a Global ‘Peace’ agreement?
    Free them all.
    Give them jobs in the Government.
    But then that could never happen…could it?