Stay strong, UK Magistrates – your job is to uphold actual justice, not mob “justice”

There’s apparently a great deal of pressure being applied to Magistrates and Judges in the UK to throw aside years of legal precedent and understanding and, if the person in front of them has committed a crime during the time of the riots, LOCK THEM ALL UP REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING ELSE SHUT UP I DON’T CARE ABOUT CIRCUMSTANCES LOCK THEM ALL UP:

…it is clear magistrates and judges are under intense pressure to come down harshly on anyone convicted over the riots.

“It’s fairly obvious that David Cameron saying what he said about the way in which these people would be come down upon, senior police officers: we will find you, we will track you and you will be convicted etc,” he said. “This big rhetoric was designed to put pressure on the judges to make sure that they act within their discretion, as forcefully as they can and with as little leniency. The extent to which that will work is debatable but when we are seeing these sentences which I say must be unrepresentative, this is not what’s happening in most courts.

“But the fact that we are seeing it at all when press agents are in public galleries, in courts, all waiting to see what happens and judges know that their names will be published; they will be named and shamed as being too lenient if they don’t show a disproportionately harsh response.”

Screw the independence of the judiciary! We don’t know or care why that’s important! We demand the right to rack up huge bills for prisons that will require tax increases or futher service cuts! We demand that minor offenders who could be rehabilitated be turned into lifelong criminals! We demand that the offenders who are poor be turned into an army of homeless people with no chance of a job and no lawful means of obtaining money to live! We demand that you make us feel avenged by taking this situation and making matters worse!

Unfortunately, the idiots and shysters demanding destructive revenge aren’t just damaging their own country – they’re wrecking the country for everyone. Worse, and with more long-term damage, than the rioters.

Here’s hoping the independent judiciary, which is independent precisely for times like this, when the mob is lashing out in anger and demanding “action” which it hasn’t thought through, withstands the pressure and upholds actual justice. It’s going to be difficult for these Magistrates and Judges, being smeared by the disingenuous and the stupid and the spiteful, and not being permitted to respond – but that’s their job. It’s a tough job, but an honourable one.

And much depends on their holding fast.

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18 responses to “Stay strong, UK Magistrates – your job is to uphold actual justice, not mob “justice”

  1. And now the Cameron government has hired the US lawmaker Bill Bratton famous for his zero tolerance programs, which arguably have not been a success.

    I hope Cameron plans on building dozens more super prisons in the UK and is putting aside huge funding for the damage the path he is heading down is going to cause.

  2. Its a massive joke.

    You know I wouldn’t be surprised to find that those messages encouraging the riots were sent by the prison industrial complex lobby as an attempt to drum up more support for their industry. Stoke a riot overload the prison system with the underclass then step in with a version of debtors prisons to put further pressure on wages. Everybody wins.

    Maybe not. William Bratton is interesting, he took over the LAPD after the King Riots and when he left some people were saying the LAPD was infinitely better thasn it was 20 years ago.

    Honestly I would love to put the boot into him but I dunno if its fair yet.

    He also said this:

    “Police Chief William Bratton said Thursday the city has had fewer problems with paparazzi since Britney Spears “started wearing clothes” and other celebrities changed their partying ways.

    “If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody anymore, thank God, and evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don’t seem to have much of an issue,” Bratton told KNBC-TV.

    Bratton said the altered behavior makes a proposed crackdown on paparazzi an unnecessary “farce” because photogs who swarm neighborhoods and shopping districts have been losing interest in snapping stars in trouble.

    “If the ones that attract the paparazzi behave in the first place, like we expect of anybody, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. The rest we can deal with,” he said.”

    http://www.accesshollywood.com/lapd-chief-fewer-paparazzi-problems-since-lindsay-has-gone-gay_article_10606?

    “…since Lindsay Lohan has gone gay …”

    You can’t make this shit up.

  3. Splatterbottom

    There is definitely a case for considering alternative punishments here. Community service is a very good idea, although that should not be considered as a punishment so much as making restitution. It should be accompanied by corporal punishment.

    The poms don’t need to send for some Yank policeman. They would be much better off importing Lee Kwan Yew. Now there is a man who has brought peace and prosperity to his country although he had some lapses on the free speech front.

  4. What evidence is there in that story (and I hardly think that the opinion of one former government employee and one defence counsel counts) that “There’s apparently a great deal of pressure being applied to Magistrates and Judges in the UK to throw aside years of legal precedent and understanding”?

    I would join you in being rather horrified if that was the case, however I can’t actually see any evidence or indication from the link you posted that that is so…

  5. There’s not much in that story, I agree – but it is evident that Cameron and other politicians are demanding jail sentences for anyone committing an offence in the circumstances of the riots and looting; and it’s also evident that the UK press is demanding magistrates lock people up.

    I’ll try to find some more specific examples – if any readers have links to online versions of particularly egregious efforts by the Fleet St hacks, particularly ones directed at naming and shaming Magistrates, please feel free to share the links here.

  6. Hang on a minute!!
    Aren’t you supposed to be in the throes of conjugal passion??
    Is the honeymoon already over?
    Are you multi-tasking?
    Or simply taking a breather?

    Anyway, congrats for the nuptials.

    Cheers

  7. SB corporal punishment is an upper class privilege in England. Perhaps they won’t appreciate the oinks and chavs having access.

    “Community service is a very good idea, although that should not be considered as a punishment so much as making restitution.”

    Yeah. Its clearly the most useful response, and it might do something for their sense of community.

  8. Marek – the wedding’s Friday.

  9. The government, the magistrates and the police have been castrated by political correctness and a BBC brainswashed elite! That’s why all that is happening! I predict that the big majority of rioters will have a slap on the wrist and will be ordered to report a some leftist social workers instead of doing hard time in jail.

    The difference between America and Great Britain is that in America, many people are armed because of the second amendment. In Great Britain, they don’t like guns, the cops don’t even carry guns. But here is a really good example of if you are a shop owner or a store owner and you don’t have a gun, you’re in big trouble. Is any of that been raised by the BBC and the other liberal British press that maybe the cops should be tougher and maybe should be armed?

  10. Some of the British cops were armed in this instance – the riots started when a person was shot by police and the cops lied about what actually happened. In fact, this is probably a textbook example of why adding guns to the problem of fighting crime only makes the problem worse.

    And you want to arm everyday shopkeepers? What happens when a shopkeeper shoots a 16 year old girl for stealing a pair of sneakers during a riot? She can’t do community service or make amends if she’s dead. Do you think that would be acceptable losses to restore order? The shopkeeper should get a medal instead of life in prison for murder?

  11. Yeah, what the riots needed were more guns. (Also, Frederic apparently hasn’t heard of the LA riots.)

    Frederic places property ahead of human life. He’d rather kill someone than have any of his stuff stolen. Nice.

    As for “The government, the magistrates and the police have been castrated by political correctness and a BBC brainswashed elite!” – come on, that’s parody, isn’t it?

    “I predict that the big majority of rioters will have a slap on the wrist and will be ordered to report a some leftist social workers instead of doing hard time in jail.”

    Anything other than jail is a “slap on the wrist”? What’s the bet Frederic has never done 200 hours of community work and would not find it a “slap on the wrist” if he did?

    Fred, not everyone is as keen to turn the UK into a prison state as you. Many taxpayers think their money can be better spent on health, education, defence and so on, instead of facilities to turn minor offenders into lifelong criminals.

  12. narcoticmusing

    if you are a shop owner or a store owner and you don’t have a gun, you’re in big trouble

    And yet, with the exception of the hit and run that seems to not really fit the overal gist of the riots, there have been very few cases of violence aimed at people, just at property. So you must think that violence against people, including murder, is a lessor crime than destruction/theft of insured property (and lets face it, any property not insured is likely to be covered by the blathering government sucking up to business owners).

    We have a situation where many well off people were also engaging in opportunistic threat, with no rationale of desperation and/or anger at the original trigger shooting. Yet, the Govt wants to punish the people that have some even vague reasonable excuse more than those with none, using retrospective punishments outside the gambit of the courts. It is a disgrace.

  13. jordanrastrick

    I agree that sentences must be within the bounds of existing law, rather than in reflection of high running public emotion and political rhetoric, and obviously community service and other provisions should be used where appropriate.

    However I have to disagree with narcotic:

    there have been very few cases of violence aimed at people, just at property.

    This is nonsense. While many of the actions of rioters may have been targeted primarily at property, its totally misleading to construe that as “very few cases” of violence against people. Setting fire to businesses and homes, particularly in those cases where people were still inside the premises, poses a direct threat to human life. Threatening someone physically, whether to take their property or for any other reason, is an act of violence, even if the threat is ultimately not carried out – so this would encompass all cases of mugging, including those instances where rioters invaded businesses such as restaurants and robbed or attempted to rob the patrons. And of course throwing bricks at police is most definitely violent.

    Perhaps what you were trying to express, narcotic, is that there have been relatively few *murders*, at a current apparent death toll of 5. But clearly the scale of assaults is much larger than that.

    Now that’s not to say the perpetrators of those assaults should receive any harsher punishment than someone who commits a crime of similar gravity on another occasion. But you can call for reason and the rule of law to prevail without downplaying the seriousness of what has happened.

  14. narcoticmusing

    Sorry Jordan, to be technical then, while there have been assaults, threats and intimidating tatics, there have been very few cases of this actually being followed through to battery, causing injury or serious injury, causing grievous bodily harm, or causing death. With the exception of the police, who have caused many injuries and a death. And if we were to arm shop keepers, instead of just a threat and some property stolen, we’d have more deaths. Is that your preference?

    I am not, for a second, excusing the conduct of the rioters and I agree that threats and invasion of property (in particular people’s homes) is abhorrent. I am simply suggesting that killing them for it is disproportionate.

  15. jordanrastrick

    And if we were to arm shop keepers, instead of just a threat and some property stolen, we’d have more deaths. Is that your preference?

    Perhaps I should have made this clearer, but I certainly don’t agree with Frederic that arming shopkeepers is a good idea, or would have necessarily reduced rioting in London at all.

  16. Marek – the wedding’s Friday.

    Oh, that Friday!!

    ….Well…shouldn’t you at least be practising?

    Cheers.

  17. Okay, a show of hands…
    Who here is relieved that Cameron has finally decided to confess to his inner chav* by hiring a cop who presided over 400 gangs?

    SB
    The poms don’t need to send for some Yank policeman. They would be much better off importing Lee Kwan Yew. Now there is a man who has brought peace and prosperity to his country although he had some lapses on the free speech front.

    As CEO of Singapore Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Ltd), Lee Kwan Yew has as much peace and prosperity and free speech as the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the PRC deign to grant him.
    .
    .

    *(bogan)

  18. His inner chav used to trash restaurants and bars in ridiculous evening dress.

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