Friday, March 09, 2007

Geriatric Lifers


Geriatric lifer

Once again our Lord Chief Justice is complaining about the minimum jail sentences for murder laid down in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. He says:

"...I believe that the starting points are having the effect of ratcheting up sentences in a manner that will be regretted many years hence... in many cases almost to double the length of time that those convicted of murder will stay in prison. In 30 years' time, the prisons will be full of geriatric lifers."

They just don't get it, do they. Most of us out here- even those who oppose schh... you know what- still want convicted murderers locked up and the keys thrown away. We don't care if the jails do fill up with geriatric lifers. After all, the top judicial benches already are.

Of course, behind Phillips' remarks is the age-old judicial discomfort at being bossed around by politicos. And we've got some sympathy with that- our Westminster politicos do far too much bossing all round.

But neither do we trust judicial discretion. We all know the arguments- unaccountable to us, living chauffeured cossetted Hampstead lives, etc etc. We want to exercise some control, and as things stand, our Westminster politicos are the only lever we've got. Warts and all.

Locally elected hangin' judges. That's what we really need.

Sorry. It slipped out.

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