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Criminal justice ain't justice

July 09, 2008 01:00

Here are three examples of our wonderful criminal justice system today.

First, the now traditional 'punish the victim' story:
For more than two years, Sydney Davis's house has been under siege from youths throwing stones. After two hours of bombardment in the latest attack and no sign of the police, the 65-year-old retired builder decided enough was enough. As a particularly large missile landed in his kitchen, he grabbed a plank of wood from the garden and ran towards the gang to scare them away.

The police arrived just in time - to arrest Mr Davis for possession of an offensive weapon. He now faces up to six months in prison. Yesterday Mr Davis said he was bewildered by the decision to prosecute him. He claims objects have been thrown at his house on 700 separate occasions. His windows have been smashed five times in eight months. But heh, it would be quite wrong to punish criminals: Burglars should no longer be sentenced to jail, official advisers have said. Unpaid work or a curfew would normally be a better way of punishing break-ins and thefts, said a panel that issues guidelines to judges. This is my favourite bit:
For the first time, magistrates and judges could be ordered to listen to victims

July 09, 2008 01:00

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