Friday 18 November 2005

Tough on crime, tough on the perpetrators of crime

It goes without saying that the division between criminal and civil law will disappear once the day of the great libertarian revolution dawns.

If there's no victim, there's no crime. And if there is a victim the legal system should be geared to having the criminal compensate the victim and not "society". The criminal should certainly pay the cost of his apprehension and trial but the primary aim of the legal system must be to fully compensate the victim in so far as that is possible.

So when I read this:

Gary Craig, 42, lashed out at John Black in a brawl in Dunbar High Street last October, smashing his beer tumbler over his victim's head, permanently scarring him across his eye and neck.

An X-ray taken later at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary revealed that a piece of glass was embedded in Mr Black's neck.

The wound was so deep that Accident and Emergency medics refused to remove the shard in case they hit a major artery.

Instead, Mr Black was sent to the Western General Hospital for an operation

I get very annoyed to discover that the criminal was faced with "a £600 compensation order". £600! I'd have thought that 60 Grand was more in order.

Rather surprisingly, the BBC posted this from Amanda Morton a few days ago:

Has the world gone barking mad?

Why am I, Johnny Working-Taxpayer, paying for their crimes?

Why don't offenders have to pay the actual cost of the crime they've committed?

And the comments are generally supportive.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Robert Speirs
If he couldn't pay, why could he not be sold into indentured servitude and work until the debt was paid? He's got an asset - his physical labor - that should be used to pay compensation.

29 November 2005, 16:44:21 GMT
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The Pedant-General in Ordinary
"but it would also be possible for people to get insurance to cover compensation for any crimes they may commit as happens in some places." 
And that isn't the solution either: the one thing insurance will NEVER cover you for is a deliberate action on your part that foreseeably causes a loss.

22 November 2005, 16:33:10 GMT
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Andrew Duffin
"This is extra incentive not to commit the crime." 
No it isn't. 
It's useless even to try to get money out of people who have none. Bankruptcy is meaningless in their world. 
I have no idea what the solution is, but it isn't this.

21 November 2005, 12:15:04 GMT
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Andrew Ian Dodge
Yes, Lord knows it would be terrible if criminals had to actually pay for the results of their actions. Letting them know the true cost of their crime would be a very bad idea...or so it seems.

21 November 2005, 11:13:54 GMT
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Chris A
"and if he couldn't pay should he have been bankrupted?" 
This is extra incentive not to commit the crime.

20 November 2005, 13:02:00 GMT
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If a bussinessman had employed Mr Black, and due to a trip or fall or work they had been permanetly scared themselves on the face then the bussinessman would probably have had to pay way more than £600 in compensation. You may argue that it is the insurance paying up, but it would also be possible for people to get insurance to cover compensation for any crimes they may commit as happens in some places.

19 November 2005, 12:50:03 GMT
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Kenny McCormack
So David should the guy have been presented with a realistic bill, and if he couldn't pay should he have been bankrupted? 
The thing is, people who earn the kind of money to compensate in a case like this are the sort of people who would never carry out such an act in the first place.

18 November 2005, 22:15:11 GMT