Friday, June 01, 2007

Criminal Injustice


Diamond Geezers... back with us real soon


I sometimes wonder if I'm a Visitor From Another Planet...

Imagine this: a highly professional and ruthless criminal gang (above) steals expensive cars, sometimes at knifepoint or even gunpoint, systematically fabricates new identities for the vehicles, including new documentation supplied by a confederate inside the DVLA, flogs 'em on, and pockets £4.5m.

By some miracle, they get caught, they stand trial, and are found guilty.
What sentence should they get? Bearing in mind also that the unwitting buyers of their stolen cars now have them confiscated, losing up to £100 grand apiece.

20 years? 30?

Er, no.

At Southwark Crown Court the VERY WORST they can expect- and this only for the top man you understand- is 5 years (bearing in mind also that you have to halve that for the time he'll actually serve). For the treacherous double-dealing civil servant at the DVLA, guilty of "corruption in a public office", it's 200 hours community service.

WTF?!!???

Car crime costs an estimated £3.5bn pa. A prison place costs £40 grand pa (£25 grand if it's the top value Scrubs).

Duhh.


PS We no longer talk about you know what, but here are acouple of US charts someone kindly emailed. The first is an update of that US-executions-vs-homicide-rate-but-of-course-correlati0n-does-not-imply-causation-and-there-could-be-a-million-other-reasons-for-such-a-jump-off-the-page-association-with-its-whopping-correlation-coefficient-of-minus-0.7 chart:



And the second is a chart plotting the homicide rate against the overall incaceration rate- ie including both prisons and mental hospitals:


Just like Britain, care in the community swept the board from about 1960 onwards, and the US saw massive closure of mental hospital places. As we can see- and who knows why- it could have been for any one of a million reasons- homicides (and other violent crimes) rocketed.

Now, we've agreed that BOM doesn't comment on stuff like this any more. So let's just note that the number of beds in our mental hospitals has dived by well over 80% since the early 60s. Prison places have recently increased somewhat, but as everyone keeps saying, there are many people in prison who shouldn't be there. They should be somewhere else... like proper mental institutions.

I'm going to dig out some UK data on all this, but so as not to breach the self-denying ordinance I may post it elsewhere. Meanwhile, I strongly recommend this post at Back Talk, and this at the Volokh Conspiracy (htp A Reader).

1 comment:

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