Sunday, July 19, 2009

ZenTiger The Hangers of the Hang-Em High Brigade

The SST editorial wants to hang the "hang-em high brigade".

The editor makes a couple of useless points about Dame Sian not having a right to free speech because she is criticised by some for her suggestion of letting people out of prison solely for the reason there is no space.

The editor either stupidly or conveniently confuses the right to free speech as being a right not to be criticised.

In criticising the criticism, they reveal themselves to display the usual combination of intolerance, elitism and arrogance of the left wing intelligensia, such as it is in this country. They think if they make their argument in cool measured tones instead of the impassioned ranting style more characteristic of the right (although communists such as Trotter share this skill) they will come across as sounding far more reasonable. They don't. A bad idea is still a bad idea, no matter how it is packaged.

They re-summarise Dame Sian's proposition with a handy slogan: "the lock-em up approach has reached it's use by date"

Except it hasn't, because the reasons for locking up repeat offenders and violent criminals are nothing to do with the need to provide rehabilitation. Even Dame Sian acknowledges this.

You cannot dispense with justice, and you cannot risk the safety of the community simply because it might be time to re-think our approach to rehab. Indeed, releasing criminals for the reason of saving space will make things worse.

Less prisoners in prisons will come naturally as we fix the root causes - counting less prisoners is not a solution, it's a measuring stick; a barometer. Hiding the numbers is an abrogation of responsibility and shows an inability to face up to the real problem.

The editorial goes on to say that prisons are a monster factory. And yet not one real question on why this might be. Just an assumption that this is another problem that has no solution (other than letting monsters out sooner). How ridiculous. I've already made a couple of points on that issue.

Perhaps the hangers of the hangers high brigade could take a deep breath and stop and listen before criticising, if criticism is supposed to be so offensive?

Related Link: Today's SST Editorial, Print Edition.

7 comment(s):

KG said...

Free speech in Enzud is just fine, so long as it doesn't rock the PC boat, that is...

Anonymous said...

Read in context it seems to me that Dame Sian was playing a game of academic brinksmanship.

If both political parties continue to think being seen to be 'tough on crime' by locking people away will solve the problem then prisons will become ridiculously fill and ridiculously expensive. If you don't want to pay for it or introduce executions or let people walk then you better do something about tackling whatever it is that causes blameless babes to grow into criminals.

Which is what people are talking about now. Mission accomplished?

Ciaron said...

I like execution, not just for murder, but rape, assault with weapon, burglary with weapon, child abuse & preventing/ perverting the course of justice.

KG said...

"If both political parties continue to think being seen to be 'tough on crime' by locking people away will solve the problem then prisons will become ridiculously fill and ridiculously expensive."

That's a nonsense argument. The answer to getting tough on crime is to make prisons a deeply unpleasant experience. What few people are talking about is the level of comfort and laziness prisoners enjoy. No more is there 'hard labour'.
If prison meant spartan conditions and work, instead of a bro's Club Med the principle pool of offenders would shrink dramatically.

mojo said...

Judges are in the position they are because of their ability to adjudicate, their ability to weigh the information in front of them in respect to their knowledge of the law. Their position should, and to an extent does reflect societal 'feeling.' For example any sexual offender sentenced after a particularly dastardly case of similar kind cannot expect any leniency in sentence.
Their role does not, however, give them any especial insights in to prisons, the running of prisons, as to what is most likely to effect change in those incarcerated, in to the individuals before them motivations for criminal behaviour or other related information. They are, and always have been, exposed only to information presented by a defence intent on minimising the full nature and quality of act or ommission, and a prosecution endeavouring to gain a prosecution specifically in relation to the law ... so again a full presentation of information is actively avoided.
To espouse views as did Dame Elias, is to undermine her very position of objective arbiter ... to be supported by the law society, be it in respect to free speech, is simply professional arrogance, academic elitism, self aggrandisement ... like 'crap.'
The principal role of the justice system is to take away an individual's natural right to retribution.
Quite simply she has compromised her role, and if her behaviour is accepted, then surely anyone before the court must then have the right to choose who should adjudicate in the case.

ZenTiger said...

Well said Mojo.

It can lead to a suspicion that a judge might be relaxing prison sentences simply because the prison is full, and so the integrity of sentencing decision is called into question when people see the occasional incident of surprising leniency.

Perhaps a child abuser getting off on the pretext of ""reasonable force" for the purposes of correction.

Perhaps a person with hundreds of traffic fines and many cases of being caught driving without a license; driving dangerously; driving under the influence; etc rather than finally going to prison for the latest offence, has all debts wiped and given a clean slate.

Except that would never happen, right?

MathewK said...

Perhaps they should release the prisoners and relocate them to the suburb were this editor lives. I'm thinking they'll be calling to lock em' up real fast and not in cool, measured tones anymore.

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