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Should prison ever be 'For life'?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-23372604

    It just doesn't sit well with me that this man can ever get released.

    You're confusing "can" and "will".

    He should have the opportunity to prove he's reformed. In reality he probably won't be able to. If you don't give the opportunity of parole you may, to a large extent, just take them round the back and shoot them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Are you in favour of capital punishment?

    Not at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ok, well what AR said is basically my point.

    If you aren't going to let someone reform themselves, you should just execute them.

    If you aren't willing to execute them, there must be some space for reformation. Like AR said, can and will are very different things, someone getting a review on their sentence, and being paroled based on their attitude are worlds apart.

    Myra Hindley would never have been released, but it's possible, if unlikely, that she may have changed enough during her imprisonment, or become harmless enough that releasing her on strict parole would have made sense.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're confusing "can" and "will".

    He should have the opportunity to prove he's reformed. In reality he probably won't be able to. If you don't give the opportunity of parole you may, to a large extent, just take them round the back and shoot them.

    Prison should be a deterrent BEFORE a crime is committed, not just retribution AFTER it is committed. Murder is the ultimate betrayal of someones personal human rights and society needs to make it perfectly clear that murder will not be tolerated.

    I'm perfectly comfortable with murderers getting parole under certain circumstances (e.g. a battered wife that kills her violent husband etc) but blatant premeditated murder for fun, financial gain etc should receive full life imprisonment.

    You and I are obviously in disagreement about this (I'm aware of your legal background and why you might prescribe to your views) but a murderer not only ends the life of a living being, but the devastation that is inflicted on those left behind cannot compare with the so called 'human rights' of the murderer involved.

    And no, I'm not a Daily Mail reader. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    ok, well what AR said is basically my point.

    If you aren't going to let someone reform themselves, you should just execute them.

    If you aren't willing to execute them, there must be some space for reformation. Like AR said, can and will are very different things, someone getting a review on their sentence, and being paroled based on their attitude are worlds apart.

    Myra Hindley would never have been released, but it's possible, if unlikely, that she may have changed enough during her imprisonment, or become harmless enough that releasing her on strict parole would have made sense.

    Executing them is violence and I am against that. Life prisoners live comfortably in this country compared to others, so it's not like they spend the rest of their lives hanging from wall shackles etc. They just live under a more ordered and controlled regime.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You've clearly never been in a maximum security prison if you think it's comfortable in there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Funny you say this.

    In a study in Tasmania, more than half the jurors involved in criminal law trials recommended a sentence which was more lenient than that provided by the trial judge. For property cases, 68% of jurors recommended a more lenient sentence.

    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/401-420/tandi407.html


    Would a jury in this country say the same thing? Surely the results of a study like that are going to be swayed by the prevailing mentality of the people, levels of crime in the area, what the prisons are like and a myriad of other factors.
    I think another thing to think about, and this is a genuine question, what are the chances of a victim of crime serving on a jury where the crime being judged is what they were the victim of?

    ie I find it improbable that during the selection process a defence solicitor would be happy having a victim of burglary deciding on the guilt of a burglar....

    Skive and others, after having first hand experience with the victims of more burglaries than I can count, and the emotional and physical trauma it can cause in a family, my opinion of burglars is rather low.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, a jury would say the same thing. Australians have more of a 'string em up' attitude than we do. They tend to be swayed an awful lot more by mitigation, especially in low level property crime. People don't generally burgle because they like it. Burglars don't generally even make much money; the secondhand market for household goods barely exists now.

    I'd like to see bigger penalties for Cash Converters though, given they're essentially a clearing house for stolen goods.

    in any event, the criminal justice system is not about making victims feel better by providing them with revenge.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, a jury would say the same thing. Australians have more of a 'string em up' attitude than we do. They tend to be swayed an awful lot more by mitigation, especially in low level property crime. People don't generally burgle because they like it. Burglars don't generally even make much money; the secondhand market for household goods barely exists now.

    I'd like to see bigger penalties for Cash Converters though, given they're essentially a clearing house for stolen goods.

    in any event, the criminal justice system is not about making victims feel better by providing them with revenge.

    I see your point, part of me accepts your first paragraph about burglars not stealing for the fun of it (although I know of some who do). Another part though thinks if you break into someone's house, trash it and steal their possessions, you're a cunt and deserve to be treated like one.

    Your last point, the JUSTICE system should be about giving victims justice. Where is the justice in a serial burglar going to prison for 4 years for 127 burglaries?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10055980/Freed-serial-burglar-preyed-on-elderly.html

    That is 127 families he has caused serious emotional harm to. And then he does it again and commits another 42 offences of theft and burglary and gets a paltry 6 years which will be automatically halved.

    Maybe, just maybe, the justice system should take into account the victims first, the wider impact on society secondly, and then finally, when all other options are exhausted we then stop to think about the twat who's doing it, but then to decide how shitty his food will be. You might argue that it does give justice, I've yet to see any evidence of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the police cared more about the victims he wouldn't have got to burglary 127. We all know coppers don't come out for a burglary, they come out days later to do the crime reference number.

    Burglary is unpleasant but it is usually only stuff. Stuff can be replaced. If I were to be burgled I'd want to chop the fucker's hands off. It doesn't mean that it's justice to let me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the police cared more about the victims he wouldn't have got to burglary 127. We all know coppers don't come out for a burglary, they come out days later to do the crime reference number.

    Our maximum response time to a burglary is an hour. For us burglaries are "drop everything else" jobs that we have to attend straight away.
    Burglary is unpleasant but it is usually only stuff. Stuff can be replaced. If I were to be burgled I'd want to chop the fucker's hands off. It doesn't mean that it's justice to let me.

    The first part is why we attend straight away. For a lot of people, a burglary is a damn sight more than unpleasant. I went to one a few weeks ago, single woman at home on her own came home to find her windows had been smashed and they'd trashed her house. She didn't give a shit about what was stolen, she was in such a fucking state at the fact someone had been in her house I had to sit with her for 2 hours until her friend could get to her. She has gone to bed since not feeling safe in her own home.
    You're right, things can be replaced. A sense of security can't be, at least not easily.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If burglary is a drop everything else job in your area then that's great - but my experience has definitely not tied in with that.

    Agree entirely that it's about far more than stuff. The irrational part of me is now refusing to look at ground floor flats because of previous experience in one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Out of all the people who commit crimes which the public deem to be worthy of a true life sentence, some of them will be more appropriately placed in a secure hospital setting. Either because of mental health issues at the time of the crime or the trial. These people aren't prisoners - they're patients - and they won't get 'life sentences'.


    What dya think?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    What dya think?


    Will they be able to roam freely amongst the general population potentially causing more harm to innocent people? If the answer is no, then I don't see a problem with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Burglary is far more than just stuff being taken. It's one of the cuntiest crimes a person can commit and is invasive in far more than just the breaking and entering sense: it strips people of their sense of safety and violates the sanctity of the Home. It's one of the few crimes that really tests my liberal sensibilities.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Will they be able to roam freely amongst the general population potentially causing more harm to innocent people? If the answer is no, then I don't see a problem with it.

    But..... Why shouldn't people in prison (with life sentences) not be given the same chance to change?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But..... Why shouldn't people in prison (with life sentences) not be given the same chance to change?


    Is it really so hard to see? You're basically running a big psychological test with the well being of the general public at stake.

    "So Billy Burglar you say you're reformed despite breaking into 200 houses? Well, there's only one way to find out, parole granted. Good luck out there".

    "Hmm, it says here you aren't sexually attracted to children anymore, well it must be true a doctor wrote it. Here's a house next to a school".

    It sounds farcical, but in a nutshell this is exactly what is happening right now and some people don't seem to get that it's the likes of you and me who suffer for the sake of liberal sensitivities.
    Locking someone up indefinitely isnt about revenge, it's about keeping the rest of us safe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dude - I'm just asking some questions to get a bit more of a debate going ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But..... Why shouldn't people in prison (with life sentences) not be given the same chance to change?

    I don't think these people will ever change. More often than not, they're too dangerous, hence the life sentence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dude - I'm just asking some questions to get a bit more of a debate going ;)

    edited accordingly ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It sounds farcical, but in a nutshell this is exactly what is happening right now and some people don't seem to get that it's the likes of you and me who suffer for the sake of liberal sensitivities.
    Locking someone up indefinitely isnt about revenge, it's about keeping the rest of us safe.

    But if you never give someone the chance to reform and move on, then actually it IS about revenge. It's got nothing to do with "liberal sensibilities", it's about treating people with a basic level of human dignity. The law was only amended in 2004 to the current situation to divert attention away from the fact that David Blunkett was fucking another bloke's wife; the ECHR have simply moved the law back to what it was.

    As I said up there, I'd want the burglar of my house to have his hands chopped off. But that doesn't mean the justice system should do it.

    Not that I'd expect a copper to grasp concepts like human dignity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not that I'd expect a copper to grasp concepts like human dignity.

    Don't get personal. Not on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't get personal. Not on.

    Fuck him. If me wanting to see someone who's broken into over 200 houses or molested kids locked up for the rest of their life then he must be right.
    At least I'm not the sort of hypocrite who advocates damaging peoples' cars just because they've impeded my passage along a footpath.

    Arctic, when/if you become a victim of crime, be sure to tell the cops who attend how you feel about prison. I'm sure they'll put a load of effort into catching the offender who did it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not that I'd expect a copper to grasp concepts like human dignity.

    I'm broadly in agreement with you on this issue but you need to clean the sand out of your vagina and stop being such a prick.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :impissed: Woah there.. enough of the flying insults.. don't want to have to start deleting posts as this is a really interesting debate.

    It really does discredit an argument if you end it with an insult. If you're getting fired up then take a break and come back and reply a bit later on.

    As ysh did, it's okay to pose questions to keep the debate going but personal attacks are not okay.

    /As you were
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Prison is necessary, both as deterrent and as rehabilitation. I don't think you'll see anyone disagreeing with that. Some people should never be released because it's not safe. That, again, is pretty much in agreement.

    Locking someone up for the rest of their natural life, and taking away any possibility of ever being released, is certainly not rehabilitative. What it is is a "cruel and unusual punishment". We're not talking about "giving a nonce a flat by a school", as you so intelligently and charmingly put it. What we are talking about is giving someone the opportunity to prove that they have changed. What we're talking about is the idea that "life without parole" is a bad sentence brought about through bad law. That bad law was brought about because David Blunkett was knocking up anything that moved and needed to distract attention from it. What we're talking about is changing the law back to as it stood before 2004, despite the fact we're supposedly so much more humanitarian in these modern times.

    The comment about the police is an important one. The police steal the identities of dead children to go around shagging greenpeace activists. The police kill newspaper sellers and then lie about it. The police have repeatedly and persistently stole money through the abuse of expenses and corporate credit cards. As Private Eye pointed out this week, the police deliberately falsify criminal records to revenge a girl who dumped a copper. So for a rozzer to start saying a burglar should be locked up forever because- woe of woes- he nicked someone's telly to fund a smack habit, well, I find that just a little bit hypocritical. Perhaps the police should be looking a little closer to home for the type of life-destroying filth that need putting in prison for a very long time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The comment about the police is an important one. The police steal the identities of dead children to go around shagging greenpeace activists.

    No I don't.
    The police kill newspaper sellers and then lie about it.

    No I don't.
    The police have repeatedly and persistently stole money through the abuse of expenses and corporate credit cards.

    No I haven't.
    To start saying a burglar should be locked up forever because- woe of woes- he nicked someone's telly to fund a smack habit, well, I find that just a little bit hypocritical.

    I gave an example of someone who broke into 200 homes. Regardless of the reason. He had "proven" he was safe to be released back into the community as well. Your problem is you're naive. You think people can change and you're gullible to believe them when they tell you. I don't know how many times I've heard the bullshit "I'm gonna turn my life around, honest". The difference between us is, you'd fall for it every time because you won't ever have to deal the shit caused by what you think is a harmless white lie and you'll lap that bullshit up like it's your last meal.
    Perhaps the police should be looking a little closer to home for the type of life-destroying filth that need putting in prison for a very long time.

    Need a coat? Must be chilly up there in your ivory tower. What the do you know about anything? All well and good spouting off about how we're life-destroying filth from the comfort of your office/home. Try saying it when you're lying in a car wreck surrounded by live cables whilst the cop tries to free you, or to the cop who's just run out in front of traffic to save your daughter who decided to run off, or the cop who sits with your wife for 2 hours until you get home because your house has been trashed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tarnishing everyone with the same brush? Only a select few will have been involved in the activities you listed. It's like saying all doctors are like Harold Shipman.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are definitely members of the police forces who should without a doubt be in prison. Think this is fair.

    To me they should be given the same chance as everyone else to have a chance at parole after a suitable sentence for punishment has been served. That's a proper sentence for punishment, not some soft one because of the uniform.

    As should child sex offenders, as should murderers. The challenge is how do you make the right decision about parole. I agree that repeat offences should make it much more difficult to get - but not that they should instantly make it impossible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Had two burglaries in my life:
    1. Entered house, stole TV and few other high ticket items, left everything else. No sign of forced entry, we think they crawled in one of the little windows and opened door from inside. Leicestershire police, response time: 72 hours.

    2. (Not sure if burglary or theft). Stolen £600 bike from bikeshed (forced entry) in garden. We were in at the time... response time: about 20 hours. N. Yorks police.
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