As his heroine Priti Patel has been caught lying about her previous support for the death penalty, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines has felt the need to indulge in a little whataboutery, and in doing so has demonstrated just how knowledgeable he and his rabble really are when it comes to the criminal justice system, or maybe not.
Feared. But only by rickety furniture
The Great Guido has clearly decided to push the idea that sentencing for those convicted of murder is getting “softer”, that these people are spending less time behind bars than in those Good Old Days That Never Were, when the act of sloshing a Bogey in the execution of his duty meant you could be in line for a handful on the Moor.
Sadly, Staines has come badly unstuck, and has shown only that he is staggeringly ignorant, and wilful with it. He opened with “When capital punishment was abolished parliament promised ‘life would mean life’. It often means 7 years. Now we are being promised ‘life will mean life’ again”. He does not understand the principle of being released on licence - and that a lifer can be recalled to prison at any time.
But it then got worse: “The killers of Jamie Bulger were sentenced on 24 November 1993, and released in June 2001, 7 years and 6 months later. Life did not mean life in that case”. Where do we start with that one? One, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables had already been in custody for nine months when they were sentenced. Two, they were not given a life sentence (minor point, eh?), but were sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Three, they were children - both were 10 years old at the time of the abduction and murder. And Four, the murdered toddler was called James, not Jamie.
Could it get even worse? Sadly, it could. “Murderers cop a plea of manslaughter and serve short terms”. Bloody hell, that must have been a good lunch. We do not have plea bargaining in the UK. Also, what plea is accepted is not down to the accused to dictate.
Unsurprisingly, The Secret Barrister was on the case in short order. “This is a lie. No murderer is sentenced to 7 years”. Could the time served work out at that amount? “No”. Author Julie Bindel added “Absolutely right. I have seen sentences for murder (I am thinking specifically about women who have killed in response to violence and are wrongly convicted of murder in the first place) start at around 16 – 18 years. 20 years ago sentences were considerably lower for such cases”. Quite.
The Secret Barrister agreed. “Exactly. There has been a severe ratcheting up of sentences for murder over the past decade. And Johnson’s new proposals for whole life orders for defendants who murder children under 4 will disproportionately affect mothers of young children … Usually women with severe mental health problems who don’t qualify for the defence of diminished responsibility, and in respect of whom judges currently have a discretion to tailor an appropriate minimum term. They are who he is going after”.
Well, well. Tories going after the vulnerable and mentally ill, cheered on by the ignorant and unprincipled? They don’t need experts, because they just make it up anyway.
Anyone still unsure how honest the Fawkes blog is? Now you know. Another fine mess.
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