Monday, 15 May 2006

The price of justice

These legal reforms seem to be sensible enough:
Figures for the first year of the new system showed there was a 144% rise in early guilty pleas, resulting in fewer people being called to court.
It's the job of opposition politicians to monitor and challenge the executive (paging David Cameron) and a Tory MSP makes this point:
However, Conservative MSP Bill Aitken criticised the new sentence discounts for those pleading guilty.

He claimed this had resulted in too many criminals serving a minimal amount of time in prison.

The discount problem is caused by the system's emphasis on prison instead of compensation for victims. Criminals should pay full compensation for their actions, including the costs of any necessary police and court time. It follows, I think, that a guilty plea should result in a "discount" in respect of court time not incurred but not of course for either compensation to the victim or the cost of policing.

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