Monday, April 28, 2008

Three Strikes Is The Only Way


Richard Whelan - killed by our negligence

So someone else has died as the direct result of criminal failings in our criminal justice system.

The official report into the shocking murder of Richard Whelan finds that he was stabbed to death by a thug who was only out on the streets because of grotesque incompetence among those we pay to keep us safe:

“What we have found is what may best be described as a lackadaisical or nonchalant approach within the CJS to many routine aspects of the handling of cases".

Well, yes. Tell us something we don't know.

There is “too ready an acceptance of the commission of offences while on bail, insufficient rigour in respect of checking the validity of proposed bail conditions, and an apparent acceptance of the continual breach of bail conditions.

The lack of diligence in verifying suggested bail conditions, scant evidence of enforcement of those conditions and a failure to deal effectively with breaches when they occurred, all contributed to events taking the course they did.

This was compounded by a lack of communication between the agencies in the various parts of the country.”

It's about as bad as it could be. Even if it is pretty well par for the course.

But there's a key fact about this case: although the authorities reckon there were no signs the killer was “capable of extreme spontaneous violence”, he had been convicted of various offences nine times before. And his previous included possession of an offensive weapon.

As regular readers will know, BOM strongly favours three strikes and you're out. And you couldn't ask for a stronger demonstration of why we need it than this appalling case.

And that is why, once again, we are the ones responsible for murder. Because we are the ones who have failed to insist that our lib elite rulers institute an effective criminal justice system. A system that places public safety at the top of the agenda, not buried away in the footnotes.

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