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Old 11-28-2011, 06:23 AM   #41
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Default Re: The English riots: the personal cost

Originally Posted by buddyholly View Post
A few days ago you were berating me for commenting on a Canadian case where an Afghan man and his son drowned the three girls in the family along with his other wife. (The girls liked nice clothes and talked to boys at school.) You said the press should not report this stuff, for some reason that escapes me other than that you must favour press censorship, so we would all end up reading Granma.

Given that English justice sets the standard for the world, I would think you would favour ignoring this small anomaly in favour of concentrating on the big picture.

Apart from that, if I were to clutter the forum by starting a thread over every little thing I found worthy of criticism in the non-Western world, I would rightly be called a huge mug clown. Why don't you stick to important stuff, like dwarf tossing?
I used to think this was true until I read this article and was alarmed by how familiar the whole situation is. Familiar, that is, because it reminded me of my country's deeply flawed criminal justice system. I must say that I'm quite disappointed in how the English courts have handled these rioting cases.

Originally Posted by GOAT = Fed
I think the system is giving her a punishment for all the other people that were not caught which I think is wrong. One thing this harsh punishment might accomplish though is that it will deter people from stealing and they'll think twice before looting.
Sorry, I completely disagree with you. I've heard this deterrence BS from my country's judges throughout my years in law school and in my one year in private practice and it's the biggest load of crap that the establishment can ever say to justify overly harsh sentences in complex situations. The most extreme example which unfortunately happens on a regular basis in my country is imposing the death penalty on drug traffickers and saying that it will deter future drug traffickers from doing the same. If it's really that effective a deterrent sentence, why is it that my country is about to hang another drug trafficker from Malaysia, if he's not already been hanged?

Of course, a harsh penalty is justified in some cases; I'm sure that a lot of the hooligans in the English riots deserve whatever punishment that befalls them, if they happen to be caught. But I just don't see how any of the cases mentioned in the article deserve the punishment that has been meted out. This girl that stole the shoes for example - she sounds like a stupid kid to me. But does she deserve 10 freaking months in prison? Hell no. The whole point of a criminal justice system that purportedly values the principle of innocent until proven guilty is to protect the individual from unduly harsh punishment, among other things. The problem with deterrent sentences is that they fail to distinguish the deserving cases from the undeserving ones, and in the process, might not actually serve the ends of justice.

Anyway, I'm not attacking you; I just feel really strongly about this. I guess I've seen enough BS done to people who don't deserve it over here and I honestly always thought that it's only stupid conservative Asian countries that pull this kind of crap. So yeah, I'm quite disappointed to read this article; seems like the English courts aren't immune to knee-jerk reactions.
"But certain interests of particular people are so important that it would be wrong - morally wrong - for the community to sacrifice those interests just to secure an overall benefit. Political rights mark off and protect these particularly important interests. A political right, we may say, is a trump over the kind of trade-off argument that normally justifies political action." - Ronald Dworkin (RIP)
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