Friday, September 05, 2008

Is this justice?

Two teenagers convicted of a brutal and cold blooded murder of another teenager are sentenced to life - but will be out before they reach 40. Leaving them with. potentially, another 40 years or so of life and freedom - something they chose to deny to another teenager

Sean Downes, (19) and Thomas Luddington (18) beat 17 year old student Robert Gill "like a punchbag", marched him to a cashpoint to extract cash (which he couldn't due to insufficient funds) and then threw him into a fast flowing and - as it was just two days after Christmas - freezing river.

Is this justice? The abolition of the death sentence was sold to the general public on the understanding that murderers would serve life imprisonment. I'm sure the actual bill contained lots of "get out" clauses, but the public were led to believe that life meant life - or at least a substantial portion of it.

Both murderers will be free by their 36th birthdays giving them the opportunity to resume their lives, have children, watch them grow, have grand children - something young engineering student Robert Gill can never do.

Judge Bevan said there was still a chance both teenagers could “start afresh and make some amends for the terrible damage (they had) done by setting a very different example in the future.”

I think that sums up just what is wrong with our judiciary. Why should murderers such as these two be given the opportunity to "start afresh"? Is it likely they will set a different example in the future? Not if their past is anything to go by.

The murderous duo had a history.

The court heard Luddington was first convicted as a juvenile when he was 12 and had already served two custodial sentences and been given an Asbo.

Downes’s offences dated back to 2003 and mainly involved vehicle crime.

When it comes to murder, the life sentence should be set according to the expected lifespan of the victim (with a minimum of 20 years). Take the life of someone under 16 and you should expect to serve a minimum of 60 years. Murder someone between 16 and 30 and you should go to jail for 50 years - and so on.

The tariff for murder should be much more severe the younger your victim with the death sentence reintroduced for certain murderers - those who use sexual violence on children, cop killers, terrorists and serial killers.

The hand-wringing liberals will try to tell you that the sentences handed down to these two are tough, but they aren't. They are roughly what you could expect for armed robbery thirty years ago - and a sentence of under 20 years for murder was unimaginable not that long ago. On top of that, prisons were a lot tougher back then.

As I've maintained since I started this blog, the root cause of the burgeoning criminal behaviour in our society is the moral breakdown which derived from the abandonment of our Christian heritage, but the fact that sentencing and prison are no longer the deterrent they once were is a contributory factor. Successive governments moan that there just aren't sufficient prison places to keep offenders locked up for long periods, but they never bother to do anything about that - like building new prisons.

And the limp libs will repeat endlessly the tired old mantra that we lock up more people than many other nations - but this is a myth as we lock up fewer people as a proportion of offences than virtually all our EU partners. The simple fact is that you are LESS likely to go to prison in the UK for committing a criminal offence than you are in France or Germany.

This is not justice. It is a travesty. It is time our government stopped quoting statistics, ended their rhetoric and started taking real action. The primary duties of a government are two fold.

One: To protect the people and their property from attack or harm by foreign peoples from outside our society.
Two: To protect the people and their property from attack or harm by criminals in our society.

They are clearly failing to do either.

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