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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

PostPosted: 13 May 2016, 03:58
by SeanK
I was recently interested in reading up on British police, and- as I often do- I checked the line of duty deaths. What astonished me was how many officers who were murdered in the line of duty had their killers given such light sentences. A couple of examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Nina_Mackay
-Killer was mentally ill, which I understand, but- released ten years after his conviction. Now, my question is- if a person is so mentally ill that they murder anyone- I don't even mean especially a cop, but anyone- shouldn't they be removed from society both for our protection and their own? That seems far more humane to me...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Phillip_Walters
-Killer received an 18 year sentence, of which he served 12.

For the murder of a police officer.

That just astonishes me, especially as an American cop. When I was reading Wasting Police Time, I remember being astonished that the author viewed a three year sentence for burglary as a "result" rather than what we view it, a joke. Career burglars generally commit around 30-40 burglaries a year. If they have three or four convictions, it generally means they're career burglars, not just (for example) a kid who did something stupid once. My reasoning is simple- lock 'em up. For every year the crook is behind bars, that's another 30-40 burglaries prevented.

Sometimes our courts manage this, sometimes they don't. Ideally, the crooks go for a jury trial, because then they tend to get serious time (burglary is probably the most serious crime that most regular citizens have ever had to deal with). I've run into several burglars with 10-15 convictions who are on parole for the next 40 years (don't even get me started on that). I generally ask them how they got a 50 or 60 year sentence for burglary (which generally- even in my state, even with multiple priors- gets you a year or two) and the reply is inevitably that they took it to a jury trial.

Of course, now, whenever I catch a burglar and he protests his innocence (generally despite the fact that he was caught inside the building in the middle of the night- yeah, they still claim they didn't do it), I urge him to take it to jury trial. "Because," I say earnestly, "Juries love burglars."

Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

PostPosted: 02 Jun 2016, 19:58
by Jonathan
SeanK wrote:Of course, now, whenever I catch a burglar and he protests his innocence (generally despite the fact that he was caught inside the building in the middle of the night- yeah, they still claim they didn't do it), I urge him to take it to jury trial. "Because," I say earnestly, "Juries love burglars."


I'm trying to imagine the look on the face of a fellow officer overhearing that remark. :)

was recently interested in reading up on British police, and- as I often do-


I'm curious - I hope you don't mind my asking - have you ever read the blog of Richard Horton (aka nightjack)? It's rather a sad story, and I can't seem to find any of his posts online any more. I thought you might find it interesting. I'm afraid this link is the best I could do, but the archive it mentions seems to be down: http://jackofkent.com/nightjack/

Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

PostPosted: 02 Jun 2016, 21:30
by Maxwell
Jonathan wrote:I'm curious - I hope you don't mind my asking - have you ever read the blog of Richard Horton (aka nightjack)? It's rather a sad story, and I can't seem to find any of his posts online any more. I thought you might find it interesting. I'm afraid this link is the best I could do, but the archive it mentions seems to be down: http://jackofkent.com/nightjack/


The archive is available at the Wayback Machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20091108160608/http://nightjack2.wordpress.com/

Slow to load, but at least it's preserved. As Wayback Machine archives can be blocked by whoever has control of the original domain, there's no knowing how long it will survive there.

Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

PostPosted: 02 Jun 2016, 21:36
by Paul
It's a pity the excellent 'Inspector Gadget' blog was discontinued and eventually taken down - as late as 2013 I discover. I only became aware of the blog, written by an anonymous British police officer, in the last couple of months of its existence. Truly some eye-watering tales were contained therein.

Having just remembered it upon reading this thread I've done a search again. Apparently, copies of the blog posts are contained on another site. Link below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_Inspector_Blog

http://www.emergencyshorts.co.uk/author ... CTOR_BLOG/

Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

PostPosted: 17 Jun 2016, 22:09
by Jonathan
Thanks for finding that, Maxwell. It's a relief to know that it hasn't been lost for good.

And that inspector gadget blog looks a bit familiar, Paul. Isn't he the author of 'Wasting Police Time?' I thoroughly enjoyed that book. I found that it echoed many of the themes in Dalrymple's writings... except for those bits where policemen make up ludicrous excuses to avoid arresting criminals. :)