WHY ARE UK CRIMINALS ONLY SEVERING A FRACTION OF THEIR SENTENCES – I just read a very interesting article by Richard Littlejohn on the MailOnline regarding the sentence that Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce received for ‘perverting the course of justice’; which was, as you may recall, over the swapping of speeding penalty points in order to avoid the loss of Chris Huhne’s driving licence for repeated speeding offenses.
The trial was pretty much a media circus and once again adequately depicted that our politicians are corrupt to the core; which will come as no surprise to anyone.
The on-going lies and deceit by Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce eventually cost them their liberty after the just found them both guilty in attempting to pervert the course of justice and both were sentenced to 8 months imprisonment.
As Richard Littlejohn rightly points out the whole criminal affair was rather trivial but judges do take seriously those trying to subterfuge the law and therefore imprisonment was inevitable.
Society appears to be extremely lenient when it comes to criminal activities. In fact over the last few years research as revealed that many criminals receive up to 11 suspended sentences before finally being imprisoned for their crimes.
What many people find disturbing is that like Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce most convicted criminals are often released having served just a fraction of their sentence. As with Chris Huhne he was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and yet after just 8 weeks he is now free. People are rightly asking the question; ‘where is the justice?’ and more importantly ‘where is the deterrent?’
If people like Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce can simply walk away with very little in the way of punishment how can it be viewed that these criminals have been rehabilitated in order to prevent a repeat of the criminal activities they were convicted for?
OK, in regards to Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce it is easy to argue that neither are hardened criminals; they are just habitual liars; which again is nothing unusual considering their careers. However a crime is still a crime and if a judge hands out a sentence then why are criminals allowed to escape that punishment.
This situation is not exclusive to Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce. There are literally thousands of convicted criminals each year walking free after serving just a fraction of the sentence handed out by a judge.
Many will wonder why a judge even bothered to hand down a sentence of 8 months with the knowledge that Chris Huhne was likely to walk within 8 weeks. If justice is going to be perceived to just then why not hand out a sentence that is appropriate to the crime; that is why bother sentencing someone to 8 months when a judge knows full well they’ll be out in 8 weeks.
I am wondering how many people find the whole Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce affair offensive; in terms that it is nothing more than a farces, a slap in the face of public justice and as most people might be thinking that Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are simply using their connections outside to secure such an early release.
Is it little wonder why the British public now feel that the whole justice system is little more than a bad joke that continuously insults our intelligence?
While the Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce example here is evidence enough for the contempt that Government and the Justice System shows the public it gets worse when you examine today’s courtrooms.
As I pointed out above; it is a fact that most criminals receive a suspended sentence several times before finally being convicted and sentenced to a term in prison. Take the recent case of Stephen Palmer, a man who hasn’t ever passed a driving test and yet was convicted and banned, without imprisonment, no less than 8 times.
The last time Palmer took to the wheel of a car that he borrowed from a friend he ended up killing 38 year old Louise Clarke. He was finally convicted of causing death by reckless driving and sentenced to just 6 years and despite this poultry amount it is perceived he will be awarded his liberty in less than 3 years.
Generally prison sentences are reduced for ‘good behaviour’ but where does this leave the victims or those left behind? Many feel this is a fraudulent way to run a penal system and yet as the population continues to grow; mainly from the issue of uncontrolled immigration, there is very little room left to house those who commit crime.
The travesty of justice here is that crime in no longer punishable and this is even more striking when you consider the luxuries afforded to inmate, despite Government rhetoric that it’s going to get tough on crime.
FARCE… it’s the only adequate word for our current system of justice but it’s no good blaming the judges. They are, and always have been, tied to the rule of law that Government provide. They cannot simply allow their feelings to determine a sentence however they feel; but must simply follow legislation provided by Government Ministers.
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The system of justice and moreover the sentencing is not about the ability to imprison criminals for longer periods of time but rather to ensure that those sentences that are handed down are enforced.
Does the Criminal Justice System need a complete overhaul? Can we only say that justice is served appropriately in the UK? Have your say… leave your comments below.