View Full Version : Families 'to have voice in court'

Stoney X
1st Sep 2005, 10:31
From the beeb (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4202618.stm), families members of murder victims are to be allowed to address the judge after conviction but before sentencing. I honestly don't see the point. Does it matter what the family member's think or feel? Surely the purpose of a court case is to prove guilt or innocence, and if guilty to apply the appropriate punnishment. If the judge takes into account the number of kids, opinions of loved ones or the victims social record when handing down the sentence, then is that not doing an injustice to victims who don't have caring relatives or kids? Is murdering a loner any less punishable than murdering a head of a family?


1st Sep 2005, 10:42
Judges will still have to apply a sentence that lies within the prescribed parameters. They too are bound by the law in that regard. Victim impact statements have been taken into account (prior to sentencing) for years now and this is just a live version of that. I can see that some would welcome the opportunity to face the offender but many will not, relying instead on the VIS to speak for them.

1st Sep 2005, 10:55
Had a similar thing here for ages - victim impact statements.

eg. My wife and two children were killed by this drunk driver and my life is now in ruins.

Judge: Right, 180 hours community service, two years probation, five years ban on driving and don't ever do it again.

The law is an ass, sometimes.

tony draper
1st Sep 2005, 11:18
Only sometimes Mr RT? to most observers it seems to be on a perminent state of Assdom.
Dizzy bint on the telly here says that this idea smacks of seeking revenge, so what?, revenge is exactly what we should seek, make the bastards suffer,this reforming the scumbags is nowt but huggy fluff bollix, it does not work,it has never worked, cause the feckers pain,make em regret.

1st Sep 2005, 11:22
Yup Mr. Draper...if I had my way roadside executions, drawing and quartering and village stocks would be common.

Send Clowns
1st Sep 2005, 11:45
Why have justice when you can have revenge ...

One of the stupidest political ideas I have ever heard; I assume that they will now remove the blindfold from the statue of Justice on the Old Bailey. Does this ridiculous government have no idea of the history and philosophy behind the development of British institutions? They never consider the ultimate effects of their legislation, and have a terrible record of unintended consequences. I agree that sentences are often too light, but this is not the correct way to address that issue.

1st Sep 2005, 12:04
Surely, you can have justice and revenge, and why not?

Send Clowns
1st Sep 2005, 12:09
But you can't. Revenge is not just.

Justice is punishment or restoration for the crime, not primarily for the benefit of the victim; revenge is for the victim and his or her suffering, not simply for the crime. Compensation could be used as restoration, but that is a different issue, and again should be just rather than vengeful.

C130 Techie
1st Sep 2005, 12:13
Just a thought....... in an ideal world maybe by compelling the judiciary to listen to the feelings of the victims of all types of crime we may just awaken them to the realities of life and thus move a little closer to punishments that fit the crimes.

Or maybe thats too optimistic:(

In reality the emotional outpourings of bereaved loved ones will simply provide an ambrosia of material for this countries gutter press!!

The Voice
1st Sep 2005, 12:33
Justice = magistrate listening to evidence, reading and taking more than a passing interest in the Victim Impact Statement, and passing a suitable sentence.

A bit of time passed then the Victim of Crimes Compensation was awarded.

Revenge = knowing the the people concerned had their benefits suitably garnished until the entire sum was paid back!

That was the single most satisfying thing that came out of the whole entire episode.

1st Sep 2005, 12:57
I shall be off the net for a few hours, I am afraid.

I have just found myself in total agreement with Send Clowns, and I am going to lie down in a darkened room for a couple of hours to recover.

1st Sep 2005, 13:14
If this is given the go ahead, how long will it be before relatives of the victims are given acting lessons, so the are more appealing to the judge and jury?

As Stoney said in the first post, why should the sentence for murdering a married father of 3 be any different to murdering a single man, who has no children.
If we start going down that road, why not have lower sentences for theft, when the victim is wealthy, and can afford to be robbed.

1st Sep 2005, 13:24
They already have this in courts in some states over here. I don't think it makes much difference to the judge anyway, he's probably made his mind up before the theatrics ensue.


PS: I think televised executions would be a highly popular pay per view event:E

1st Sep 2005, 13:48
Ozzy me old ........... your words may become very true very soon.

1st Sep 2005, 13:58
I think the missing word is 'closure'.

By allowing the wronged to have their say in court is believed to assist in 'closure'.

1st Sep 2005, 15:06
While I can see some logic behind the "closure" you mention Blue, are the courts going to allow Mrs Chavette McChav stand up in court and try to eloquently say "My honour innit, that f***ing prick whot killed my Chav, needs to be shot". After which the judge sentences him to a couple of years (minus time served). IMHO Mrs Chav (as many) probably won't see that as closure. Just a thought

1st Sep 2005, 15:43
Fair enough Jerrico, so the salient point/word is assist in closure.

Personally I think this whole debacle of 'closure' and 'counselling' is out of control but we musn't go there otherwise we will have all the you-know-who's joining in!:ok: