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.
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
- 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
--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.