Thursday, December 08, 2011

Life and all that it is worth

The concept of 'worth' in terms of someones life is hard to quantify. Is some drug addled criminal who has spent their years causing misery to others feeding their habit worth the same as say someone who has say dedicated their life to charity or has worked tirelessly to solve or eradicate disease?

Stepping back and looking at it it is a difficult call as everyone clearly has different ideas of 'worth' and say another vague concept of 'value' to society
(another concept marginalised by the 'me me me' word we live in)

As a Police officer it is reasonable to believe that I have strong ideas on what is right and wrong,punishment and its deterrent effects on those that offend.

I am not an advocate of capital punishment although I believe the notion of 'life' imprisonment for a number of certain offences should be what is said on the tin. Either you are carried out the back door in the wooden box with the padre sprinkling some water having spent your years behind four walls or spent such time inside when you are released you are not a danger to anyone( unless your zimmer fame has a sharp edge and you catch someone in the queue at the post office collecting your over 75 heating allowance )

This does not detract that if someone murders someone ( malice aforethought and all that) be it that life is some violent smack head or a Nobel Prize winner you should be treated any different in the eyes of the law.

There is much talk by those high up in the legal profession of some form of grading of offences,the taking of someones life should be graded according to circumstance.
The life sentence tariff is a nonsense anyway in the courts as 'mitigation' plays such a part in what time is actually served.

What disturbs me and is prompted by this article
is the notion that Tariffs should be effectively doubled because the victim is say Transgender (as in this article).
Ken seems to believe that Hate crime should be dealt with appropriately and this sends out a message.
Amen to that.
But isn't Murder, no matter who or what you are a 'Hate crime' in itself?

Ken if we kept with and maintained this enhanced Tariff for anyone who decides to murder somebody no matter what sex, age, sexuality, disability or race then you wouldn't need to make political soundbites to try and make some form of point that the Criminal Justice system is on message.


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