Khaled Hosseini once said, “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
This started me thinking. You see, I’m getting sick and tired of opening the paper, turning on the television news and watching or reading the same thing over and over again. Another drug pusher… burglar… thug… drunk driver… abusive partner… just to name a few, all walking free!
These pieces of excrement laugh in the face of justice! Just recently I watched in astonishment as the perpetrators of a serious domestic violence assault walked free from the court. Not once, but on numerous occasions, I’ve witnessed the Judge just give the offender a “slap on the wrist”. I don’t know about you, but I find this is an insult to our judicial system! Magistrates are making a laughing stock of our laws and these offenders know it! Mind you, this is nothing new… it’s been going on for a long while. Theirs is a unique club that we are not privy to.
So, where does the blame lay? Is it with the Magistrate or the Solicitor defending the offender? As I write this column, once again I am disgusted at a headline in the paper that shows a woman believed to be Queensland’s drunkest driver, having set a new record for DUI of 0.48, walking ‘Scott Free’ from the court! Let’s look at this case a little more in depth… The Magistrate handed down a sentence of 2 months in prison. This was appealed by the woman’s counsel, citing the fact that she would have served her sentence before an appeal could be heard. Even the Police prosecutor suggested she be sentenced to a term of probation, rather than imprisonment. Well, I’m sorry, I don’t agree!
Quite frankly, I don’t really care about the extenuating circumstances! Even the Magistrate said, and I quote, “There needs to be an element of public deterrence because to endanger everyone’s lives on the road is absolutely appalling, absolutely outrageous”. Yes, she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and even the medical authorities have indicated such a level of alcohol in the system could easily have lead to her death.
Well pardon me? what about all the innocent people in her path? Children, mums, grandparents, people with disabilities, the list goes on! I can only hope and pray that this is a ‘wake up call’. Sadly I am not sure it will be. This is not an exaggerated example or for that matter isolated. It is an every day occurrence. One we are becoming far too familiar with.
Just cast your minds back the the beginning of the year and the coward punch on the young 18 year old, who sadly had his life support disconnected. This started a flood of vicious cowardly punches. Not all, thankfully, ended in tragic loss of life but once again the sentences handed down to these thugs was laughable. I could go on and on, they all read the same and have a common thread!
Sure, there are others that have been given a ‘second chance’ and they have embraced it. Their night out fueled with drugs and alcohol has cost them dearly and they have sat and thought about their mistake. Most have never re-offended. Others who have been involved in the selling of class A drugs and because of their high profiles again, have been given a ‘slap on the wrist’ and told ‘don’t do it again’. These people have been in a position of having the means to afford the best of the best when it comes to defending their charge. Tell me money doesn’t talk…. It sure does!!
Once again, do any of these people, Magistrates, lawyers, the offenders really care about the damage they have done and are doing to the victims? Personally and in my opinion I do not think so!
Hey, I’m not perfect either!! In my younger days, I got away with ‘blue murder’, drinking, driving drunk, experimenting with substances (yes, I’m sure most of us can relate) we didn’t have a care in the world. (My mother, God bless her soul, would often say I was chemically enhanced!) I never meant any harm by my actions. The only person I hurt was me…. Or so I thought! Sadly that was not true! I hurt those around me, those that loved me and cared about me. It’s no different today. Unfortunately we just have to look at the news and see this carnage reoccurring.
Judges need to return to sensible sentencing. Someone needs to grow a pair! Remember, “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
Do you agree?
To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.