Some proper sentencing?

matticus

Über Member
I do wish however that we could stop calling sentences "excessively lenient" based on our very sparse knowledge of events, and without seeing the actual Judgement in question. There is no way that we can gauge whether the sentence was "excessively lenient" unless we attended the full trial.
Yes we bloody well can; we can read the facts of the case, then look at the sentence. It is that simple.

You can defend the judge for just following the rules - and you may be right in this situation - but it's all a bit
"I was only following orders!"
Our justice system is supposed to protect us; it is not a pension scheme for lawyers and court staff. It should be fair and reasonable - it should not be a game where clever people sift through the rulebook for loopholes.

... there really isn't much definition as to what constitutes dangerous driving rather than careless driving.
Again, another easy one; negligent driving that led to someone dying. /sensible_layman_view
 

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Yes we bloody well can; we can read the facts of the case, then look at the sentence. It is that simple.
Where can we read them? The best I have found is a brief summary. I haven't found the case for the prosecution, the case for the defense, the arguments and mitigating factors. Knee jerk law is bad law.

Our justice system is supposed to protect us; it is not a pension scheme for lawyers and court staff. It should be fair and reasonable - it should not be a game where clever people sift through the rulebook for loopholes.
I would suggest reading @secretbarrister - he/she will soon disabuse you of this sort of notion. There is no loophole in this case, only the law as it has been laid down by government.
Again, another easy one; negligent driving that led to someone dying. /sensible_layman_view
OK - so now define the difference between death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving.
All you have defined is a category that doesn't exist.
 

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
The family of the victim were in court so I think I'll go with their verdict on the sentence.
I'm not sure that a bereaved family are the best people to go to for an objective opinion about the sentence. This is why we have knee jerk petitions for laws like "harper's law" which would make terrible law if implemented - unless you want a penal system like America where you just throw everyone in prison for ever regardless of the severity of their crime.
 
There is no way that we can gauge whether the sentence was "excessively lenient" unless we attended the full trial.
I explained earlier in the thread the sentence in the Boxter case was almost certainly correct, according to sentencing guidelines.

However, the facts are clear.

He was speeding in the wet, lost control, hit a tree, and whacked a cyclist hard enough to kill him.

Anyone is perfectly entitled to say that anything less than a decent stretch for doing that is 'excessively lenient'.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
The bereaved family are the ones affected by the actions of the speeding driver so have to be considered. Although he used a car instead of a knife or a gun the result was the same. And while we’re being objective to say the US penal system throws everyone in Jail for ever is simply untrue.
 
The bereaved family are the ones affected by the actions of the speeding driver so have to be considered
As do the opinions of ordinary members of the public - the prosecution is primarily in the public interest.

Just because I happen to understand the trial and sentencing process doesn't make my opinion in any way superior.

I reckon most people would agree the sentence in the Boxter case is excessively lenient.

If so, there is a strong case for reforming the system that produced it.

As remarked earlier in the thread, the system is not there to produce six figure incomes and five figure pensions for lawyers and judges.

It is there to see justice is done in the interests of the public.

Which doesn't mean we have sentences decided by a braying mob, but it does mean sentences must make sense to a reasonable person.
 

matticus

Über Member
matticus said:
Our justice system is supposed to protect us; it is not a pension scheme for lawyers and court staff. It should be fair and reasonable - it should not be a game where clever people sift through the rulebook for loopholes.


I would suggest reading @secretbarrister - he/she will soon disabuse you of this sort of notion. There is no loophole in this case, only the law as it has been laid down by government.
I don't think he will disabuse me of anything! I've read his stuff, but I'll say it again:
Our justice system is supposed to protect us; it is not a pension scheme for lawyers and court staff. It should be fair and reasonable

Do you have a problem with that?
 
The Secret Barrister is often quoted by those outside the system.

He probably is a barrister, but some of his patter doesn't make much sense to me, or to some others who inhabit the same crown courts as I do.

His stuff, like mine on here, is inevitably a mixture of fact and opinion, which may explain our differences.

It's rather like two keen football fans discussing a game - their views will differ in some respects.
 

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
I don't think he will disabuse me of anything! I've read his stuff, but I'll say it again:
Our justice system is supposed to protect us; it is not a pension scheme for lawyers and court staff. It should be fair and reasonable

Do you have a problem with that?
Nope. I don't think anyone has ever suggested that the Justice system is a pension scheme. It should be fair and reasonable. Most of the time it is.
The things that suggest that it isn't tend to be the baying hounds of the tabloids trying to sell newspapers, trying to make capital out of others misfortune.
 

matticus

Über Member
Ok, then we agree on many things! But it's not just the "baying hounds" who find some sentences risible; I'm seeing fairly reasonable people (such as the fine folk here on Cyclechat) who judge many sentences for motoring offences to be unreasonably low.

It doesn't help matters to defend the individuals involved, as merely doing their jobs; these cases suggest a systematic problem. Which is contributing to the insane death-toll on our roads.
 
I might suggest that the driver in that case was offered a deal to plead guilty to if the charge was reduced to causing death by careless driving.
Which is another way of saying that the CPS weren't sufficiently confident of getting a jury to deliver a guilty verdict on death by dangerous.
 

Mugshot

Cracking a solo.
If we can get people thinking that they will GO TO PRISON if they feck-up badly - just as they will with drink-driving - we WOULD see a step-change in behaviour.
Wasn't much of the success in combating drink driving down to changing the public's perception of its acceptability?
I'm not convinced that tougher sentences would be that much of a deterrent, even if I often find myself thinking that they should be handed out. Perhaps a more psychological approach would be more effective.
 
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HMS_Dave

Über Member
Location
Midlands
Wasn't much of the success in combating drink driving down to changing the public's perception of its acceptability?
I'm not convinced that tougher sentences would be that much of a deterrent, even if I often find myself thinking that they should be handed out. Perhaps a more psychological approach would be more effective.
In part for certain, public awareness programs do work to a point. But even when the law changed in 1991 effectively meaning those causing death by dangerous driving must serve a sentence up to 5 years, the numbers of drink driving fell for a short period before dramatically rising again throughout the late 90's early 00's. When in 2003/4 the law changed to a maximum of 14 years it fell dramatically again.

There is statistical evidence for both methods working. A combination of the two in effects to what is currently being proposed would have the maximum effect on road safety... This for me isn't about banging people up for 14 odd years, its about a strong deterrent to those with weak impulse control. Yes, some will still ignore everything and kill somebody, they rightly should be made an example. It could result in less people going to jail and not more in the long run, save lives and save money... What is the problem with that?
 

theclaud

It's teeceegawnmaaaad
Location
Swansea
The Secret Barrister is often quoted by those outside the system.

He probably is a barrister, but some of his patter doesn't make much sense to me, or to some others who inhabit the same crown courts as I do.

His stuff, like mine on here, is inevitably a mixture of fact and opinion, which may explain our differences.

It's rather like two keen football fans discussing a game - their views will differ in some respects.
:laugh:
 
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