Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I could commit crimes for a living

Who was this judge? Teenage boy (apologies, location and sentencing judge unknown), who chose to spend his time breaking into, stealing, and trashing houses. His punishment? An agreement reached with a (probably waste of money) non-government organisation to provide him with a gym membership, on the basis that this would keep him busy and out of mischief, $700 to buy gym gear, and an amplifier for his guitar, along with tickets to a rock concert.

I'm guessing he had a ridiculous name, too (but that's a whole new blog).

So what's the message this boy has been given? Where is the deterrent? How will this boy understand what he has put his victims through? Isn't empathy an important quality to learn? Where's the victim's voice in this?

I'm not proposing a Sensible Sentencing Trust approach to sentences. If anything, their approach is too soft. Do away with judges at sentencing - let the victims of the crimes dictate how they wish to be compensated. And if all they can come up with is a sentence that is vengeful, then so be it. Kudos to those who eliminate these low-lifes from the gene pool.

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