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Thread: Insanity. Time for a review of crimes and sentencing.

  1. #1
    Boggle
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    Default Insanity. Time for a review of crimes and sentencing.

    I made this point in a thread about Paul Cullen, the man shot dead in Dublin recently, but I thought it merited a thread of it's own.

    Background reading:
    Independent article regarding man's death: Criminal shot dead by masked gunman in busy pub - Independent.ie
    Breakingnews article regarding seizure of drugs: Cocaine addict had bullet posted to his home, court hears | BreakingNews.ie
    RTE article regarding his assault of Garda Amanda Lynch: Cousins await sentence for attacking gardaí - RTÉ News

    Key points:
    Drug posession:

    - Cullen was 21 at the time of the drug posession
    - He had no substantial convictions prior to this
    - He was a cocaine (addict?) who had racked up debts
    - He had no choice but to store the cannabis for evil and sinister persons (judges words)
    - Judge Hunt said this was another sad case of a young man going to jail because he used cocaine
    - This crime normally gets 10 years
    - He got 6 years(18 months suspended) because
    --He cooperated early
    --pleaded guilty
    --lack of "any substantial previous convictions"
    --the motivation for his involvement through fear of the "evil and sinister persons" who had also had him seriously assaulted.
    6 YEARS for this.


    Assault on garda Lynch:
    - hit her on the head, took the baton, beat her with it and kicked her in the stomach.
    - Garda Lynch was detained in hospital for 17 hours and suffered spleen, facial and back injuries and blurred vision.
    - 3 years, 18 months suspended


    Now, compare the crimes.

    • One is an act of thuggery and could have ended a life. It is the type of thing that can ruin a life. Not only is it illegal, it causes harm to other and so is demonstrably wrong.
    • The other is holding cannabis. It hurts nobody and so it cannot be demonstrated that it is in any way wrong. It is illegal, make no mistake, but not wrong.


    How does the crime that hurts nobody merit 10 years mandatory when you can be a violent criminal, a real threat to society, and be back out in a few months? The punishment should fit the crime but there is no comparison here.

    We actually make it worth criminals time to be violent as it gives them cred with limited chance of a custodial. It makes them powerful and allows them to threaten people like this man and create genuine fear.



    What is the point of our gardai and laws? Are they there to keep us safe or not?
    We have limited resources so why are we wasting so many of them on crimes that don't matter?

    It is time for a serious review of crimes and sentencing and it is time to swing the pendulum back in favour of preventing crimes which matter to society instead of using resources to make people do as they are told.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytuesdays View Post
    Drugs kill.
    As a society we have to stamp them out.
    Otherwise the criminals win.
    His crime was storing cannabis so how does it merit 10 years?
    It is the one drug that doesn't kill.

    Do you not think violent assault to be an infinitely more dangerous crime than posessing cannabis?
    Shouldn't sentencing reflect that?
    Last edited by Boggle; 4th March 2013 at 01:36 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by happytuesdays View Post
    Drugs kill.
    As a society we have to stamp them out.
    Otherwise the criminals win.
    Legalise them and the criminals might just lose.
    I have no money, but I love my life.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    Legalise them and the criminals might just lose.

    What I am most concerned about is how the laws have been hijacked and are used to enforce ideologies rather than to protect citizens.

    This is a good illustration of that because we have two crimes, one representing a far more significant threat than the other and yet that crime gets only a slap on the wrist. The crime which hurts nobody and which could arguably be dealt with far better through legalisation gets all the resources.

    It's about control, not protection. Thats not good enough.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytuesdays View Post
    We don't know enough about the effects of cannabis to be sure. This isn't some young guy who deserves sympathy. He was a junkie.

    The other sentence is a joke. Both of these men should have been executed but the Irish people love criminals and don't want them killed.
    Of course he deserves sympathy, he was just a kid when this all started.

  6. #6
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    I feel that judges give crazy sentences - It seem to be far worse to to take property than it is to hurt and maim a person.

    Two cases:

    1. The An Post Manager who get eight years for stealing (a hell of a lot of) money from An Post. Gets 8 years.

    2. A 19 year old girl who uses a broken bottle to slash another girl's face and breast in an unprovoked attack. Gets 4 years with the last two suspended.

    Riddle me that?
    No a la vista, no en mente!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggle View Post
    Of course he deserves sympathy, he was just a kid when this all started.
    I don't think we are going to agree on this. I respect your position but am unlikely to change my own.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    I feel that judges give crazy sentences - It seem to be far worse to to take property than it is to hurt and maim a person.

    Two cases:

    1. The An Post Manager who get eight years for stealing (a hell of a lot of) money from An Post. Gets 8 years.

    2. A 19 year old girl who uses a broken bottle to slash another girl's face and breast in an unprovoked attack. Gets 4 years with the last two suspended.

    Riddle me that?
    This is exaclty what I;m getting at. We have lost all sense of perspective and we have stopped basing sentences on severity of crimes.
    Unless there is money involved it just isn't a real crime any more.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytuesdays View Post
    Drugs kill.
    As a society we have to stamp them out.
    Otherwise the criminals win.
    This is a bogus argument that has been used since certain drugs became illegal. The "war on drugs" has been in place for 50 years in the USA and look at how this has worked out? You have the same amount of addicts now as you had when these drugs were not illegal.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggle View Post
    What I am most concerned about is how the laws have been hijacked and are used to enforce ideologies rather than to protect citizens.

    This is a good illustration of that because we have two crimes, one representing a far more significant threat than the other and yet that crime gets only a slap on the wrist. The crime which hurts nobody and which could arguably be dealt with far better through legalisation gets all the resources.

    It's about control, not protection. Thats not good enough.
    There are drug mules in our prisons who have been sent down for 7 years or more for smuggling drugs into the country. Some of these are very vulnerable people, desperately seeking a way to pay for medical treatment or education for a child, or the likes. They are exploited in their own country and then arrested and locked up in ours. Meanwhile the drugs barons go about getting other unfortunate mules to do their work for them, and remain unpunished.
    I have no money, but I love my life.

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