There has been a lot of talk lately about the inadequacy and inaccuracy of prison sentences, relative to the seriousness of the crime. Murderers get 15 years or so, while rapists may only have to suffer for 10, and they often get out early on parole. Then there was the little monster who, while riding a ‘monkey’ bike (whatever that is), knocked down and killed a young woman, a mother with children, going about her own business, and he didn’t even stop to see if he could help her in any way. He has since failed to turn up at court on about six occasions when he had been ordered to and amazingly, each time he has been allowed to stay free – and he still is as I write this. There’s definitely something wrong with the system somewhere! Magistrates and judges seem to be too lenient in the punishments they hand down and then it seems, they do all they can to make sure the prisoner is set free as early as possible, on parole.
I am of the opinion that the choice of punishment should be taken away from the courts, with jail terms etc., being mandatory for each crime and set out in law. I can think of a few sentences that could be taken into consideration, (though bear in mind this is just me thinking aloud), which might or might not, make the job of law-keeping much easier to work with. Here are a few of my ideas:
- Murder (pleading not guilty) – a full life sentence with no parole, but pleadings allowed.
- Murder (pleading guilty) – 30 years, with parole possible after 20 years, pleadings allowed.
- Rape – Full life sentence with no parole and no pleadings allowed.
- Pedophilia – Full life sentence with no parole and no pleadings.
- Manslaughter – 20 years with parole possible after 15 years.
- Assault on police – Five years with parole possible after four years.
- Theft, over $100,000 value – 20 years with parole possible after 15 years.
- Theft, over $50,000 value – 15 years with parole possible after 10 years.
- Theft, over $10,000 value – 10 years with parole possible after seven years.
- Minor thefts, below $10,000 dollars value – eight years with parole possible after six years.
- 10 years for each $100,000 gained. Parole possible after eight years per 10 year unit.
- Car theft (joy-riding) – 18 months with parole possible after one year.
- Car theft (professional) – three years with parole possible after two years and two months.
- One year with parole possible after nine months.
- Minor crimes (pick-pockets, rude or insulting behaviour in public, shop-lifting, bicycle theft, racial taunts, etc.) – 10 months with parole possible after eight months.
- Public nuisance, vagrancy, etc – six months with parole possible after four months.
This is just a list I’ve toyed around with as I wrote it and I’m sure many readers of ‘Starts at Sixty’ will disagree with some, if not all, of my suggestions. But please remember, they are just that, a few ideas that might be interesting to kick around for a while. Many people would say there is no room for politics to involve themselves in judicial matters and I have no argument against that either. I would just be very interested to hear what other people think about the way our courts operate and what sort of rules and controls they should operate under. It’s a very interesting subject, to which there will naturally be many answers. I would love to hear what thoughts all the millions who follow our site, think about the subject.