Poll: Are the sentences too harsh?
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View poll results: Are the sentences too harsh?
Yes
76 54%
No
59 42%
I don't know
5 4%
Voters: 140.
Page 1 of 3
#1
Prime Minister David Cameron has defended courts for handing out tough sentences for those involved in the riots across England.

Some MPs and campaigners say some sentences dealt to the 1,277 people who have appeared in court are too harsh.

On Tuesday two men were jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite riots. One of them, Jordan Blackshaw, 21, is to appeal against his sentence.

But the PM said it was good that the courts were sending a "tough message".

Speaking in Warrington, he said: "It's up to the courts to make decisions about sentencing, but they've decided to send a tough message and it's very good that the courts feel able to do that."

Blackshaw, 21, of Marston, Cheshire, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Warrington, also Cheshire, were jailed for four years each after admitting using Facebook to incite disorder, although none actually resulted.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14559294

Thoughts? Are the sentences just fine, or a vote-grabbing gesture from a desperate PM? Some more sentences:

  • Anderson Fernandes, 22, was warned by a judge at Manchester Magistrates' Court that he may face jail after he admitted stealing two scoops of ice cream. He will be sentenced next week.
  • Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, was jailed for six months for stealing a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket
  • Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin, from Manchester, was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts given to her after they had been looted from a city centre store.


If you read through the top rated comments on the BBC article most of them think they're not hard enough. To me they seem really tough. I don't think people should be made an example of either, everyone should receive their punishment accordingly. What future are these people getting, or opportunity for re-adapting to society by getting such harsh sentences?
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#3
The one about receiving stolen goods is debatable. I laughed hard at the 2 scoops of ice cream though.
I think people will be punished relatively rather than accordingly. If someone is found guilty of arson or criminal damage, they'll get a good few years, and people just stealing some water will get a couple of months.
It's more than you'd normally get, but the whole scale of this shit is more than we'd normally get on our streets.
#4
Too tough in some cases for sure. Obviously the people stealing big shit and destroying shops and homes should be given tough sentences, but half a year for stealing water is ridiculous.
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#5
Just regular people getting fucked in the ass so some piece of shit can get elected again.
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#6
Quote by FireHawk
You steal...you should have to pay the penalties. What did the ice cream man do to deserve his stuff being taken?

but the punishment should fit the crime.

a custodial sentence is hardly appropriate when two scoops of ice cream were all that were taken. similarly, tell me how it's possible to justify a prison sentence when the value of stolen items is a massive £3.50

there are around 2400 vacant prison places in the UK, over 1000 people have so far been charged, and if all of them are going to receive custodial sentences we're gonna have a huge problem on our hands in a few months.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#7
Quote by FireHawk
You steal...you should have to pay the penalties. What did the ice cream man do to deserve his stuff being taken?



What is the ice cream man receiving in damages? These numbers are too low to get into civil court in America, I can't imagine that they'd sue over it in the UK.
#8
It's nonsense "Look at me Daily Mail I'm tough on crime" posturing from Cameron. It's worrying, tbh, that he keeps meddling in the sentencing at all. In theory, the judiciary is independent, but it's hard to believe he isn't leaning here.
#9
Holy shit! Receiving stolen shorts and using facebook like an idiot should not net you that kinda time.
#10
I think some of them are rather harsh, yes. Punishment needs to fit the crime. Clapping people in irons for pinching 2 scoops of ice cream is over the top.

Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin, from Manchester, was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts given to her after they had been looted from a city centre store.


That is just stupid.
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#11
As a member of the Legal Profession in the United Kingdom, I can honestly say no. I know the sentencing guidelines inside out and although the sentences seem harsh there's an extra part in the guidelines that takes in acccount the circumstances irrespective of severity of the offence itself. In the circumstances, the riots have produced a national enquiry and negative international responses as well as calls on other jurisdictions on part of their own saftey fears.
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#12
I found it harsh that the woman who recieved the stolen shorts was sentenced to 5 months in prison, even though she herself didnt steal them...
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#13
Quote by Guitardude19
I found it harsh that the woman who recieved the stolen shorts was sentenced to 5 months in prison, even though she herself didnt steal them...

I wonder what the guy who stole the shorts got. The guillotine?
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#14
Quote by Harmonius
As a member of the Legal Profession in the United Kingdom, I can honestly say no. I know the sentencing guidelines inside out and although the sentences seem harsh there's an extra part in the guidelines that takes in acccount the circumstances irrespective of severity of the offence itself. In the circumstances, the riots have produced a national enquiry and negative international responses as well as calls on other jurisdictions on part of their own saftey fears.

we're not discussing whether they're too harsh in the sense that judges are going beyond their powers, we're discussing whether they're harsh in a moral sense.

It's absolutely ridiculous to have a 6 month prison sentence for a £3.50 theft.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#15
Quote by Kensai
I wonder what the guy who stole the shorts got. The guillotine?


Well, if the recent petition to bring back the death penalty gathers more support, you never know.

I seriously think stupid people should be barred from society. They should be put on a useless Island and left there... Like the Isle of Whight...

>_>
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#16
Quote by Lemoninfluence
we're not discussing whether they're too harsh in the sense that judges are going beyond their powers, we're discussing whether they're harsh in a moral sense.

It's absolutely ridiculous to have a 6 month prison sentence for a £3.50 theft.

This.
This is like the student protests again, insanely harsh punishments to try to make an example of the people due to the state wanting to clamp down on this out of fear.
#17
Of course they're too harsh - 4 years for posting something on facebook that wasn't even hate speech? that's obscene.
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#18
Quote by Guitardude19
Well, if the recent petition to bring back the death penalty gathers more support, you never know.

I seriously think stupid people should be barred from society. They should be put on a useless Island and left there... Like the Isle of Whight...

>_>


wtf why the hell the Isle of Whight?
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#19
Quote by Harmonius
As a member of the Legal Profession in the United Kingdom, I can honestly say no. I know the sentencing guidelines inside out and although the sentences seem harsh there's an extra part in the guidelines that takes in acccount the circumstances irrespective of severity of the offence itself. In the circumstances, the riots have produced a national enquiry and negative international responses as well as calls on other jurisdictions on part of their own saftey fears.


And as a member of the pit, I can honestly say pff...

If it seems harsh it's because it is.

These sentences are absolutely ridiculous and if you feel you can turn a blind eye to that you're just as bad as Mr. Cameron.

Maybe the government should look a little further to see what they're doing wrong to incite riots in the first place. The problem always begins at the top and becomes more visible the further down the ladder you go.

Lock up your PM and set the people who didn't vandalize or injure people free. He's the real criminal. The blue-collar working class are the ones who make your country run, don't forget that.

Sometimes people make bad mistakes.. The majority of you seemed to have elected Cameron. MISTAKE. You should all go to prison for that by the logic I'm seeing here.

Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Aug 17, 2011,
#21
Put them all together and bury them.
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#23
Quote by Zeppelin Addict
And as a member of the pit, I can honestly say pff...

If it seems harsh it's because it is.

These sentences are absolutely ridiculous and if you feel you can turn a blind eye to that you're just as bad as Mr. Cameron.

Maybe the government should look a little further to see what they're doing wrong to incite riots in the first place. The problem always begins at the top and becomes more visible the further down the ladder you go.

Lock up your PM and set the people who didn't vandalize or injure people free. He's the real criminal. The blue-collar working class are the ones who make your country run, don't forget that.

Sometimes people make bad mistakes.. The majority of you seemed to have elected Cameron. MISTAKE. You should all go to prison for that by the logic I'm seeing here.


Cameron's party got 36.1% of the vote, and the election turnout was 65.1% so only 23.5% of the country actually voted for him, less when you include those under 18 or in prison.
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#24
Quote by Neo Evil11
wtf why the hell the Isle of Whight?


... Because I dont like the Isle of Whight
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#25
Quote by jgbsmith
Cameron's party got 36.1% of the vote, and the election turnout was 65.1% so only 23.5% of the country actually voted for him, less when you include those under 18 or in prison.



My point is he won, some of you voted, it was obviously a mistake, and by the logic being thrown around for these sentences, mistakes=prison.
#27
Quote by Lemoninfluence
we're not discussing whether they're too harsh in the sense that judges are going beyond their powers, we're discussing whether they're harsh in a moral sense.

It's absolutely ridiculous to have a 6 month prison sentence for a £3.50 theft.


In that case, then it's harsh but you will never really get moral guidelines in law unless it comes in the form of equitable remedies (and that's only for people who have not wronged).

Quote by Zeppelin Addict
And as a member of the pit, I can honestly say pff...

If it seems harsh it's because it is.

These sentences are absolutely ridiculous and if you feel you can turn a blind eye to that you're just as bad as Mr. Cameron.

Maybe the government should look a little further to see what they're doing wrong to incite riots in the first place. The problem always begins at the top and becomes more visible the further down the ladder you go.

Lock up your PM and set the people who didn't vandalize or injure people free. He's the real criminal. The blue-collar working class are the ones who make your country run, don't forget that.

Sometimes people make bad mistakes.. The majority of you seemed to have elected Cameron. MISTAKE. You should all go to prison for that by the logic I'm seeing here.



And the typical legal response is - tough. Don't do it again.

In the UK, there have been calls for tougher sentences for people who are social delinquents. There are calls that the government is not doing enough to prevent it - now is the time when the government is doing something, imposing strict sentences justified (in my opinion) in respect of the circumstances surrounding the offences.

AND THEN...

Fucking Human Rights comes in yet again and the UK will start being lenient only for calls for harsher sentences to resurface (X. Repeat Inifinity).
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Last edited by Harmonius at Aug 17, 2011,
#28
Quote by jgbsmith
Cameron's party got 36.1% of the vote, and the election turnout was 65.1% so only 23.5% of the country actually voted for him, less when you include those under 18 or in prison.


Which means even less voted Lib Dem or Labour non?

OT: But yeah from a moral viewpoint the sentences are harsh in these cases, particularly the ice cream thief.
#29
Quote by slash=god
Which means even less voted Lib Dem or Labour non?

OT: But yeah from a moral viewpoint the sentences are harsh in these cases, particularly the ice cream thief.

not as much less as the voting system would make out

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/

Conservative
307 seats, 36.1%

Labour
258 seats, 29.0%

Liberal Democrat
57 seats, 23.0%
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#30
I voted no but now I'm thinking yes. Although I suspect that the bizarre cases are getting most of the publicity.
#31
Quote by Harmonius
In that case, then it's harsh but you will never really get moral guidelines in law unless it comes in the form of equitable remedies (and that's only for people who have not wronged).

it's not even about having moral guidelines it's about following the guidelines morally.

Quote by Harmonius
In the UK, there have been calls for tougher sentences for people who are social delinquents. There are calls that the government is not doing enough to prevent it - now is the time when the government is doing something, imposing strict sentences justified (in my opinion) in respect of the circumstances surrounding the offences.

AND THEN...

Fucking Human Rights comes in yet again and the UK will start being lenient only for calls for harsher sentences to resurface (X. Repeat Inifinity).

these call come from idiots who can't see that our current system of punitive justice doesn't stop people reoffending. Especially when the underlying issues aren't being addressed (if anything they're being made worse).

but yeah, just keep bitching about the Human Rights Act. THAT's the important thing.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
Last edited by Lemoninfluence at Aug 17, 2011,
#32
It seems to me that the Clash is very relevant to the riots.
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#33
Quote by Harmonius

And the typical legal response is - tough. Don't do it again.


Mhm...

You call someone a criminal and lock em up they're going to adapt to their new environment. You had over 1200 individuals whom, most were not criminals, will now be around actual criminals and influenced.

I feel so stoked for you England. These people will get out and well some will have 'learned their lesson', others will be enraged with what has happened and may very well adapt to being more hardened criminals. Look forward to retaliation and a vicious cycle of the people against the government. This will be what the world knows you for.

#34
A month in prison seems like a long time to me, so these sentences are utterly ridiculous. Especially kicking families out of council houses when only one person was involved in rioting [and seriously, that's plain retarded... no one should lose their home like this... what if these riots were politically motivated instead? taking away homes of people with differing opinions is wrong and this is setting a bad example in case there are actual real politics involved in future riots/events]

But, I see my parents watching stuff like on the news and they're all "Well, good" etc etc so this must be politically motivated to make the government look good over this whole thing.
I use my parents to judge politics and events because they seem to hold reactionary, usually ill-informed, opinions that are just plain retarded in many cases.
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Last edited by Simsimius at Aug 17, 2011,
#35
Its basically just the realisation that they ****ed up the whole situation and looked weak and pathetic and are now trying to look 'ard by handing out jail time to everyone. All this bollocks of sending a tough message annoys me too, the riots were a once off adrenaline rush thing for idiots. Its not going to happen again any time soon on the same scale.

Being jailed for 4 years for creating a facebook group about rioting and then not actually rioting? Ridiculous, I'd be worried that someone will do the same thing for a laugh some day and the idea of trolling will be lost on the judge


Quote by Simsimius

But, I see my parents watching stuff like on the news and they're all "Well, good" etc etc so this must be politically motivated to make the government look good over this whole thing.
I use my parents to judge politics and events because they seem to hold reactionary, usually ill-informed, opinions that are just plain retarded in many cases.


the amount of people Ive heard come out with "They should all be shot", being serious, is disturbing
Last edited by duggyrocks at Aug 17, 2011,
#36
Quote by Lemoninfluence
it's not even about having moral guidelines it's about following the guidelines morally.


Morality and Law are two different things. There's even a dedicated scholarly area (Jurisprudence) which tries to refute that statement or support it. What you're talking about is purely a philisophical matter. I prefer to leave the law to its own.

Quote by Lemoninfluence

these call come from idiots who can't see that our current system of punitive justice doesn't stop people reoffending. Especially when the underlying issues aren't being addressed (if anything they're being made worse).

but yeah, just keep bitching about the Human Rights Act. THAT's the important thing.


It's not idiots (for the most part) - it's the liberal and anti-conservative (and also people in this thread complaining that the harsh sentences are outrageous). I for one think that Human Rights is going too far.

Disclaimer: By the way Lemons - I'm not being angry at all with you - just nice solid debating so don't think otherwise.

Quote by Simsimius
I agree, it's crazy.
And that four years punishment really angers me... I mean FOUR years. That's a fucking long time!


It's not really 4 years. It's usually half the sentence served and the rest on probation.
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Last edited by Harmonius at Aug 17, 2011,
#37
Quote by duggyrocks
Being jailed for 4 years for creating a facebook group about rioting and then not actually rioting? Ridiculous, I'd be worried that someone will do the same thing for a laugh some day and the idea of trolling will be lost on the judge


the amount of people Ive heard come out with "They should all be shot", being serious, is disturbing


I agree, it's crazy.
And that four years punishment really angers me... I mean FOUR years. That's a fucking long time!
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#38
So an MP who steals tens of thousands of pounds of tax payer's money gets less time than two blokes who plotted to riot on Facebook?

Oh my.
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#39
Quote by Harmonius
Morality and Law are two different things. There's even a dedicated scholarly area (Jurisprudence) which tries to refute that statement or support it. What you're talking about is purely a philisophical matter.

It's not like the discussions on here are going to have any effect on the real world outcome, so why you expect everyone to be taking a purely practical legal analysis of the situation is beyond me.

The issue has never been 'have the judges gone beyond their remit and delivered harsh sentences?' the discussion started as and continues as 'are the sentences fair/just?'.

And while legal scholars have argued over that point for hundreds if not thousands of years, doesn't mean that we can't have a thread discussing specific examples.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#40
Quote by Lemoninfluence
It's not like the discussions on here are going to have any effect on the real world outcome, so why you expect everyone to be taking a purely practical legal analysis of the situation is beyond me.

The issue has never been 'have the judges gone beyond their remit and delivered harsh sentences?' the discussion started as and continues as 'are the sentences fair/just?'.

And while legal scholars have argued over that point for hundreds if not thousands of years, doesn't mean that we can't have a thread discussing specific examples.


When you try to differentiate the two apart, I for one disagree that they're completely separate. I feel as if the question of "going beyond their [the judges] remit" is a qualifying question to ask before the second question of "are they fair/just" can be asked.

Philsophy itself provides no real solution, it just makes more room for argument against established principles - the law, however, does.

EDIT: Going offline now but I'll continue next time I'm on. Happy debating.
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Last edited by Harmonius at Aug 17, 2011,
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