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tony draper
2nd Jan 2014, 20:57
The Boss man is advocating 100 year prison sentences for murderers,stand by for at least a 100 fluffist talking heads shrieking in horror being paraded across the news channels tomorrow.
:uhoh:

airship
2nd Jan 2014, 21:08
Uhmmm, who's the "Boss man", man?! :confused:

Oh crikey. I mean't to say "who's the "Boss man", Admiral?! Or may one address you as 'Boss'? :\

radarman
2nd Jan 2014, 21:12
100 year prison sentences are only politician-talk to keep the right-wingers satisfied. It will never happen in reality. The Gruniad-reading fluffies will make sure that lifers will qualify for parole after 5 years of TV, wi-fi, and free porno films in HMP.

tony draper
2nd Jan 2014, 22:08
Our Prime Minister Mr Airship,trying to thwart the European court of human rights who are saying a whole life tariff violates a murderer's human rights,but as Mr Radar says it's just bean breeze.

onetrack
3rd Jan 2014, 00:12
"The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it is considering a number of options in response to the ruling by the Strasbourg court in July last year, which concluded that whole-life terms without any prospect of release or review amount to inhuman and degrading treatment."

1. When a foreign court in another country passes laws that overrule the sovereignty of the lawmakers in your country - do you think there might be something wrong with that scenario?? :ugh:
I do - and my response, if I were the leading lawmaker in my country, would be to give the large, single-upraised-digit message, to those pontificating lawmakers in other countries, who think they can set the laws for my nation.

2. Inhuman and degrading treatment, eh? But, of course, the perps would never have instigated any inhuman and degrading treatment against their victims, would they?? :ugh: :rolleyes:
Methinks some of these EU law pontificators need to be subject to some inhuman and degrading treatment by crims, to reset their ideas of "justice".

I always remember a "soft" magistrate in a big country town in Western Australia, who always let crims off with a light smack on the hand, who had stolen or damaged other peoples property.

However, when a crim damaged this "soft" magistrates car, and broke a window in it with a hammer - the attending magistrate who heard the case, jailed the perp for 6 months!
Oh, yes - it was obvious this bloke was a "hardened" criminal - as compared to the "naughty boys" who damaged property belonging to others, who weren't in the judicial profession! :rolleyes:

alisoncc
3rd Jan 2014, 00:22
Locking people up in a dungeon deep underground and throwing away the key does nothing to dissuade others from following a similar path. Much prefer "Hanged, drawn and quartered, and head paraded around town on a pole" as a method to control crime. Like to think this would have a salutory effect on other potential perpetrators.

waldopepper42
3rd Jan 2014, 00:29
It certainly stops them re-offending!

11Fan
3rd Jan 2014, 00:43
And who doesn't love a parade?

alisoncc
3rd Jan 2014, 00:53
Remember being told of the last public hanging in Papua New Guinea when I was there in 1970. Apparently the locals enjoyed it so much they volunteered a member of the crowd to be done next.

meadowrun
3rd Jan 2014, 01:19
One good step would be to ban lawyers from running or holding political office.


Need people who know real life.

Then re-write all the law books in plain language

Blacksheep
3rd Jan 2014, 07:12
I'm baffled. :confused:

Surely the whole purpose of putting criminals in prison is to subject them to humiliation and violate their human rights?

radeng
3rd Jan 2014, 08:23
>One good step would be to ban lawyers from running or holding political office.<

Didn't Hitler do that? Suggests that he had the occasional bright idea.

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Jan 2014, 08:25
One good step would be to ban lawyers from running or holding political office.


Need people who know real life.

Then re-write all the law books in plain language



Have mercy, Meadowrun. You'll put all the fluffies out of a non-job...:}

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 09:56
But, of course, the perps would never have instigated any inhuman and degrading treatment against their victims, would they??And, of course, the law identifies the perpetrator accurately every time, doesn't it?

onetrack
3rd Jan 2014, 12:48
With the current high level of forensic tools in use by police, particularly DNA testing, the chances of the wrong person being nabbed is exceptionally low.
In fact, DNA results are closing a lot of "cold cases" where no perp could previously be found.

I'll wager a lot more guilty hoods escape any form of punishment, because they employ top-flight criminal lawyers who succeed in finding loopholes or putting enough doubt in the jurys minds, that the jury has no choice but to acquit.

galaxy flyer
3rd Jan 2014, 13:48
And, of course, the law identifies the perpetrator accurately every time, doesn't it?

As the I was taught, "you have to expect some losses in a big system".

GF

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 14:01
With the current high level of forensic tools in use by police, particularly DNA testing, the chances of the wrong person being nabbed is exceptionally low.How low is acceptable if it is you who are the wrong person being nabbed?
I'll wager a lot more guilty hoods escape any form of punishment, because they employ top-flight criminal lawyers who succeed in finding loopholes or putting enough doubt in the jurys minds, that the jury has no choice but to acquit.I'd agree, but would argue that I would rather that happen than some innocent be punished.
As the I was taught, "you have to expect some losses in a big system".That works both ways. Better to let 1,000 guilty men go free than one innocent be punished wrongly.

SMT Member
3rd Jan 2014, 14:15
Surely the whole purpose of putting criminals in prison is to subject them to humiliation and violate their human rights?

It's mainly supposed to be for rehabilitation purposes, actually, unless you're mentally ill. It is my conviction, however, that in order to commit a crime so heinous as to warrant a life imprisonment sentence, the perpetrator must have serious head wiring issues. As such, the best course of action - again in my opinion - is to admit said perpetrator to a mental institution, where he or she will spend the remainder of their lives. Undergoing therapy, if possible and likely to yield a positive result, restrained from neck to toe and doped to a vegetative state if necessary.

If you are 'merely' a murderer of passion, and in my neck of the woods 70+% of all murders are crimes of passion against family or friends, there is a chance of rehabilitation once a sentence suitable to the crime has been served. While that process is going on, there really is no need for humiliation.

If, however, the criminal belongs in the latter 30-ish%, chances are he or she should be in the aforementioned mental institution.


When a foreign court in another country passes laws that overrule the sovereignty of the lawmakers in your country - do you think there might be something wrong with that scenario??

Nobody, and you're being taken for a ride by a set of opinions that are not in tune with reality. The charter that has been signed is about human rights, and with that in hand the local government of a certain island in the North Atlantic has gone and signed some daft laws. When those daft laws has proven to be, well, daft, the gutless swine that poses as elected officials of the island pretends it's all been passed down on them by foreigners, usually from 'Brussels'.

The fluffist brigade ain't so much in Brussels; it's the focktards marching down the streets of Blighty, spurred on by the DailyHate on one side and the Graunaid on the other, that's the problem. A bunch of xenophobic ignorant little people of the littlest kind on one side, the gut of Greenpeace madness on the other. It's pretty 'effin rich blaming that lot on Johnny Foreigner, if you ask me.

vulcanised
3rd Jan 2014, 14:21
Better to let 1,000 guilty men go free than one innocent be punished wrongly.


Rubbish!

Might settle for 10.

lomapaseo
3rd Jan 2014, 14:28
would this be enough to dissuade unapproved activity ?

Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report - World News (http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/03/22156917-kim-jong-uns-executed-uncle-was-eaten-alive-by-120-hungry-dogs-report)

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 14:38
Vulcanised: how wonderfully authoritarian of you.

dubbleyew eight
3rd Jan 2014, 15:32
I think we need to bring back beheadings for serious crimes.

...after all if we get it wrong we can always apologise.:E

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 15:36
From a purely utilitarian perspective, it is clearly nonsense.Not at all. It's entirely utilitarian, just not to your liking.

It's actually based on the Old Testament (Genesis 18:23-32), and is one of the bits I agree with.

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 17:00
Bentham's argument is fallacious (as is yours): it strawmans a slippery slope. Where is his arbitrary line? Or should we presume guilt, instead?

It's entirely utilitarian and very sensible from the perspective of maintaining a society where individuals have any rights at all.

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 17:06
Worth noting you cherrypicked his argument there. Read the previous few pages.

Mr Chips
3rd Jan 2014, 17:15
Isn't this about sentencing? If we are discussing sentencing, then we must presume that the convict has been tried by a jury of his peers. The issue is about our legal system being able to dictate sentencing.

If you are so concerned about innocent people being jailed, then it matters not whether it is 100 years, whole life or a week....

But this is about sentencing

603DX
3rd Jan 2014, 17:39
As Jeremy Bentham put it:


Quote:
According to this maxim, nobody ought to be punished, lest an innocent man be punished.
I first came face to face with the gentleman being quoted here in 1958, as a young "fresher" on my first day at UCL, the excellent institution that his unusual philosophy is always claimed to have inspired. I thought then, as I gazed in astonishment into his piercing blue glass eyes, that the views of someone who had specified that on his death his body should be prepared, stuffed and put on public display in a glass fronted case, should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. A very odd bird indeed ...
My opinion has not changed over the last 55 years.
Auto-Icon (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project/who/autoicon)

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 17:46
If we are discussing sentencing, then we must presume that the convict has been tried by a jury of his peers.Indeed, but when sentencing it must be accepted that the jury is not always right, that not all evidence may necessarily be available and, ultimately, that a sentence may be overturned. onetrack, back here (http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/531071-one-hundred-years.html#post8243898), appeared to be advocating the use of "inhuman and degrading" on the basis that the victim was treated inhumanly and degraded. While that may well be the case, to treat someone else in the same way with even the possibility of an incorrect sentence removes the possibility of repeal. This is why I am against the death sentence for all except the most cut-and-dried cases (and I am not sure where the line would be drawn for that given how one can manipulate even the most apparently direct evidence nowadays).

For clarity I'd have no issues with 100 year sentences.

@ john_smith
The fallacy is two-fold: first, nobody is making the argument he is arguing against; second, the argument he is making is a slippery slope of the one which is being made. Although to be fair to Bentham it's you who is subverting (through selective quotation) his argument to your own purpose.

Nobody is calling "the integrity of the entire system into question". All that is being suggested is that any sentence should be capable of being revoked. An eye for an eye is all well and good until you find someone else with your eyeball on a necklace instead of the half-blind sop in jail.
I'm not sure how you can possibly draw that inference from either the Bentham quotation or my post.It was a mickey-take of the fallacious argument being made, but in the opposite direction - if "nobody ought to be punished, lest an innocent man be punished" is "clearly nonsense" then "nobody should be go free, lest a guilty man go free" would seem to be the proposition, being the opposite stance. Since it obviously is not, as that is a nonsensical extreme, then your own suggestion that nobody should be punished is also clearly a nonsensical extreme and not what anyone is actually saying (there's that strawman again) :ugh:
Your "better to let 1000 guilty men free" test implies that criminal justice requires a significantly stricter test than the already stringent one we have nowWhere on earth did I say that? The stringency we have now is just fine, thanks, so long as the system accepts that it may be at fault and does not pass any irrevocable judgement.I read the whole thing as research for my jurisprudence dissertation a few years ago, thanks.Then perhaps you need a refresher.

Rosevidney1
3rd Jan 2014, 18:01
Bring back the stocks in every town. Let the public see who the criminals are.

Romeo Oscar Golf
3rd Jan 2014, 18:36
Never mind 100yrs, why are sentences given to run concurrently , not consecutively? If a crime is "worthy" of x yrs why are not two identical crimes worth 2x yrs? Or several crimes all with different tariffs result in only the longest being served?:confused:

Blacksheep
3rd Jan 2014, 19:24
Conviction is not absolute, it requires proof of guilt "beyond reasonable doubt". Reasonable. It is reasonable to punish people convicted beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of evidence that satisfies "Judges Rules".

Our Crown Prosecutor daughter tells me that they have to withhold prosecution of many clearly guilty people because the available evidence fails one or more "Judges Rules" test.

So, I submit it is better that one innocent man convicted on such evidence should suffer punishment than to allow a single guilty man go free.

sled dog
3rd Jan 2014, 19:25
ref post #20 I think that is a load of nonsense. One bullet to the back of the head perhaps.

radeng
3rd Jan 2014, 21:14
Surely, where you get a repeat crime - such as rape, manslaughter, murder, death by dangerous driving etc, especially where someone got out early, a second offence shows that the public need protecting. So a 100 year minimum sentence before consideration for parole is justified. IF evidence appears proving innocence, then pay £300k for every year of incarceration.

Unless the Houston police forensic lab was involved - then pay $20 million (tax free) for each year, since they were such crooks!

PTT
3rd Jan 2014, 22:36
Bentham cautions against applying the rhetoricBentham cautions against taking such matters to the extremes, which is precisely what you (falsely) accused me of doing. He uses a slippery slope argument to make his point just as I used rhetoric to make mine about the use of "inhuman and degrading" punishments.
Our Crown Prosecutor daughter tells me that they have to withhold prosecution of many clearly guilty people because the available evidence fails one or more "Judges Rules" test. If by "Judges' Rules" you mean Code C of PACE then yes, prosecution must work within that act. That act is there to protect the innocent by ensuring that the massive power of the state is held in check. No matter how "certain" your CP's daughter is that someone is guilty, unless the state can be shown to be scrupulously fair then it cannot in all conscience act as judge as well as prosecutor.
I submit it is better that one innocent man convicted on such evidence should suffer punishment than to allow a single guilty man go free.I submit you wouldn't be saying that if you were the innocent man in question.

Romeo Oscar Golf
4th Jan 2014, 05:32
If by "Judges' Rules" you mean Code C of PACE then yes, prosecution must work within that act. That act is there to protect the innocent by ensuring that the massive power of the state is held in check. No matter how "certain" your CP's daughter is that someone is guilty, unless the state can be shown to be scrupulously fair then it cannot in all conscience act as judge as well as prosecutor.

Quote:
I submit it is better that one innocent man convicted on such evidence should suffer punishment than to allow a single guilty man go free.
I submit you wouldn't be saying that if you were the innocent man in question.


I think the term above is "accused" not innocent and to put the discussion into perspective I reproduce the item below.
Sorry its long and despite referring to Irish law I believe it's relevent to the discussion

Richard Humphreys– 28 July 2013
TO most citizens, a criminal trial should be a way to find out if the accused is actually, in fact, guilty or not guilty of the offence charged.

But to a criminal lawyer, this description is barely recognisable. A trial is a highly specialised type of ritual, with much in common (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Common_(musician)) with a complex game. It is full of technical pitfalls for the prosecution which can and often do result in relevant evidence being withheld from the jury.

In Ireland, we have a very vocal human rights industry that is rightly vigilant against any miscarriage of justice that involves the conviction of someone who is, in fact, innocent of the crime concerned.
But who is to be vigilant for the other type of miscarriage of justice – the acquittal by a court of the person who is in fact guilty of the offence? Such a miscarriage of justice is not something that can simply be accepted with a shrug. It can have devastating effects, firstly on the human rights of the victim of the crime, and secondly on society by releasing the person to offend again and violate the human rights of some potential future victim.
Where a jury has properly considered all the evidence and acquitted the person, that decision is quite rightly final. The only exceptions are if the jury has been interfered with or if compelling new evidence emerges – changes that were introduced in 2010 as recommended by the Balance in Criminal Law Review Group of which I was privileged to have been a member.
The real problem is not so much decisions of juries, which rightly must command great respect, but acquittals directed by a judge or convictions quashed by an appeal court. Of all of the reasons why judges feel obliged to rule out relevant evidence, the most objectionable must be what is known as the "exclusionary rule" – the rule that evidence that is obtained in conscious and deliberate breach of the Constitution must be excluded, in the absence of extraordinary excusing circumstances.
This rule came centre stage in 1961 when the US Supreme Court (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States) held it binding on state criminal trials. After that, it was only a matter of time before it reached our shores, and in 1964 the Supreme Court here decided that it formed part of Irish constitutional law. Despite a fairly narrow initial interpretation, it has widened over time to the point where courts regularly, for example, rule out relevant evidence because of a flaw in a search warrant.
Judge Benjamin Cardozo, later a justice of the US Supreme Court, sarcastically but accurately said that under the rule, "the criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered".
Yet this principle is currently the constitutional law of our country, according to the courts. This is a luxury we cannot afford, and I wonder how long we are going to tolerate it.
The rule is completely disproportionate and allows virtually no discretion to the judge to weigh and evaluate the competing interests. It places no real value on the rights of the community or of the victim, or on the substantive weight of the evidence in terms of showing of innocence or guilt.
Murder weapon found in the accused's house? Doesn't matter – the warrant is flawed so the jury never gets to see it. It seems like the State is playing by the Queensberry rules against an absolutely ruthless new breed of criminal. When are we going to take the gloves off?
No one would argue for a free-for-all where gardai would be held back by no legal rules in their thirst for evidence. Where evidence is obtained in breach of the Constitution, a judge should have discretion as to whether to admit it or not. But the notion of ruling such evidence out in almost all circumstances has introduced a massive imbalance at the heart of our criminal justice system and turned trials into technical battle grounds.
Evidence obtained "in breach of the Constitution" sounds like a serious matter. But seeing as the Constitution quite properly protects the home and personal liberty, any minor irregularity with any arrest or any search of a dwelling puts the gardai on the wrong side of the Constitution.
The legal context is now entirely different from that in the Sixties. An Garda Siochana (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Garda_Siochana) must be one of the most over-regulated sectors in the public service. As well as numerous statutory codes applying to their activities, they are policed by a powerful independent Ombudsman Commission and held to the highest standards. There are multiple remedies for any abuses should they come to light Is it really necessary, if garda error occurs, to take it out on the victim by acquitting a defendant?
The understanding of society and the legal community as to the need for proportionate remedies has developed a great deal since the Sixties. The whole concept of "proportionality" has come into our law via the EU (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/European_Union) and the European Convention of Human Rights in a way that was not the case in previous times. The European Convention also protects victims' rights in a way that was not recognised by our traditional criminal justice system.
There are, I suppose, two options. We could wait for the Supreme Court to cut the exclusionary rule down to size. But we have been waiting – and real damage is being done in the meantime.
Or we could amend the Constitution to give judges discretion instead of being forced to rule such evidence out. I believe that this is the route to go and that the constitutional convention needs to take this matter up urgently. If my belief in the common sense of the Irish people is correct, a referendum to stop criminals getting off on technicalities would pass by about 80 per cent.
Richard Humphreys is a senior counsel and is the Labour councillor for the Stillorgan Ward in Dublin
Sunday Independent

He says it better than me and the cricket is depressing hence my early post.:)

Loose rivets
4th Jan 2014, 06:59
I recall from many years ago, a quote from a senior member of our judiciary.

"Better let ten guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man."

I concur. What you have to consider is the mental torture inflicted upon an innocent man, when the confinement he is suffering in a hellish place lasts for every waking hour - and he knows it was inflicted upon him by a society he trusted and a legal system he believed in. The guilty man will bear the burden, but be aware of the justice and so the punishment is nowhere near as cruel.

For me, I'm just bewildered that a man that has the learning of a consultant surgeon can sit in command of a court while twelve totally unskilled, often rather simple people, make decisions that might devastate a large family.

PTT
4th Jan 2014, 07:44
I think the term above is "accused" not innocentNo, it was innocent. Blacksheep's suggested that it is ok for an innocent man to be punished so long as guilty men are too. My retort was that if he were that innocent man I doubt he would be so sure: after all, who is to say what the actual proportion of innocent punished to guilty punished is?

I also disagree with the Humphreys quote. To accept (even with judicial discretion) unconstitutional evidence against a man is to tacitly accept that unconstitutionally gathered evidence is a sound basis for a prosecution, and de facto encourages the gathering of such evidence: it would encourage the law enforcement authorities to break the law.

PTT
4th Jan 2014, 11:23
it is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer. However, as I asked earlier, how do we, as a society, decide where to draw the line?Part of the problem is that we don't even know where the line is. We do not have perfect knowledge of who has been convicted rightly or wrongly, so we cannot claim perfect knowledge of where the line is. That's why the argument of "where do you draw the line" is fallacious: you simply can't know where it is. It is also why the counterargument, the slippery slope one, misses the point: the use of the number is itself rhetorical and simply illustrates the desire that the law should protect the innocent over punishing the guilty. It's not quantitative at all, and getting hung up on the number illustrates misunderstanding of both the argument itself and the very point of having laws.
Nobody is suggesting the law should or even can be perfect. The aim, though, is to protect the innocent. With that in mind the law must be held to extremely high standards, and must always be able not only to admit to its imperfections, but to rescind previous judgements (which is very difficult to do with the death penalty!).

Just as dangerous as applying a quantitative analysis to the issue, is applying a personal one. Of course, none of us would like to be on the receiving end of an unfair result in a criminal trial. However, the above quotation from PTT is not a valid argument.On the contrary, for any social system to be considered "fair" the veil of ignorance can be used as a valid test, and that is what my statement espouses, not some "personal analysis". It does precisely the opposite of what you are claiming (making it personal) by depersonalising the individual assessing the situation, and forcing them to consider the possible permutations of the system itself outwith their current position within that system. It is similar to empathising with others: try it ;)

it is necessary to accept that any criminal justice system will be flawed. Rightly, there are significant safeguards in place to make the chance of an innocent person being punished extremely small. However, the wheels of justice should not be allowed to grind to a halt, by placing undue obstacles in the way of the state when it attempts to prosecute.Nobody is suggesting otherwise. I suspect we disagree on the definition of "undue" obstacles.
Some procedural changes in England and Wales, for example allowing the introduction of "bad character" evidence in certain circumstance are a step in the right directionI disagree entirely. Just because someone is of "bad character" does not mean they did a "bad thing". Only the evidence of whether they did or did not do it is relevant. By allowing "bad character" evidence you implicitly accept "good character" evidence, suggesting that "good people" (or at least people who come across as such) are less likely to do "bad things". It's a nonsensical prejudgement which puts more weight on outward appearances of an individual than on facts of a situation.
For too long courts in the UK have in many respects had their hands tied: it is time to start redressing the balance.More power over individuals in the hands of the state? No thank you! Better training of appropriate procedure and improved resources for the investigative powers, while remaining subject to procedure which protects the individual from the state (as per the principles of the Magna Carta), would be far, far more desirable.

onetrack
4th Jan 2014, 13:33
There is only one area to concentrate on to avoid imprisoning the innocent - that of making sure that all police are trained never to set their minds as to the guilt or innocence of the person - but to merely gather the evidence as they find it, and to present it to the court to decide.

We had a wrongful imprisonment episode here in Western Australia, which is a shameful stain on the character and training of the police officers involved. Neither of those police officers are in the police force any longer.

The case involved the brutal murder of a woman jeweller. The murderer was sighted in the jewellers store by a particularly-gifted young girl aged about 13, who was a passenger in her mothers car, as it was stopped outside the jewellers store for traffic lights.
She spotted the murderer, and he realised he had been spotted, and ducked down.

The girl was very artistically inclined and drew an excellent portrait of the murder suspect, that she presented to the police.
However, the two senior officers on the case dismissed her eyewitness and sketch evidence as having no value.
They decided they knew exactly who the murderer was - a dope-smoking, mentally ill young man who was a drifter.
These two officers matched what little evidence they had to the drifter, and pursued him until they secured a life conviction.

The drifter served 12 yrs and continuously protested his innocence. He was saved by a good investigative woman journalist who made the police re-open the case.
The re-investigation turned up an extremely-likely suspect who was already serving a sentence for another murder. As soon as the new suspect found out he was under investigation for the jewellers murder, he committed suicide.

The young girls sketch perfectly matched the crim who committed suicide, without even a shadow of doubt. The difference in features between the drifter and the sketch of the actual murderer, are that unmistakeable, even a layperson could see it.
How the police could dismiss this evidence out of hand is utterly amazing, and shows officers who were totally incompetent and very poorly trained.
In addition, the murderers palm print was found on a display case in the jewellers store in the initial investigation, and this evidence was also dismissed or hidden by the two officers.

The drifter was pardoned and released and he sued and was given AUD$3.25M compensation. He demanded more, but it was decided that AUD$3.25M was adequate compensation for 12 lost years.
What should have been done, wasn't - and that was, those two officers should have been charged with incompetence or worse, and they should have suffered financially.
As it was, they merely resigned to avoid investigation of wrongdoing - and they promptly found other senior Govt jobs on top money.

Andrew Mallard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Mallard)


The OP has of course - along with Cameron - brought up the important factor that a "life term", should be just that.
"Life" is not 20 yrs, despite what the law says. To add insult to injury, many people convicted of serious offences such as 1st degree murder, rarely serve anywhere near 20 years.
They get nearly always automatic sentence reductions, sentence reduction for good behaviour, and early parole.

We have in this state, an example of that, whereby a man playing cricket on a beach with his family, sees a petty crim stealing beer from his cooler.
The man confronts the petty thief, whereby the petty thief grabs the mans cricket bat and prompty bashes him to death in front of his family.

This murdering crim then gets a pathetic 5 years for the outrageous murder of a good upright, outstanding, local citizen - because the murder charge was downgraded to "manslaughter" - as happens all too often.
There is general community outrage and an appeal - but the pathetic sentence stands.

There was not a shred of mitigation in favour of the murderer - apart from the fact he was a member of a racial group who have been determined to be "at risk", because of alcohol abuse, poor parenting, and a general perception of regularly being "unfairly targetted" by police.

Cricket bat attacker jailed for 5 years - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-12-02/cricket-bat-attacker-jailed-for-5-years/226752)