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Mark. Ah-hah so the problem is the way that a sentence is reported. Most of us assume that a six month sentence is six months in clink and then half is "forgiven" for good behaviour. I would prefer the judgement to be given and reported as three months in jail (with the possibility of a further 3 months for inappropriate behaviour). Lack of remorse or non disclosure could be grounds for remaining in jail.
Don't get me started on what half a life sentence actually means.
Thank you again.

Aug 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

May I reccomend the Polotical Compass website.

They suggest that you take their test, then read the analysis.

For comparison, I scored -2, -4 .

Aug 19, 2018 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

12pm LBC News report : Bob Ward just popped up to say
..'ooh drought scary, scary, be smart about water use'

... It is of course raining outside and the cut wheat field outside is about 7+ inches of lush green growth, as the past few weeks haven't been particularly dry.

Nothing on Twitter about him and water
The last Guardian article was
\\ Houses are being built today that will become ovens in future. @ret_ward on how the global housing affordability crisis and inadequate regulation may have deadly results //

Aug 19, 2018 at 12:06 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Supertroll, I don't disagree with you! You might find this website useful:

It includes these snippets:

"Sentences are given to:

punish offenders
protect the public
change an offender's behaviour
ensure offenders do something to make up for their crime
reduce crime in the future"


"When an offender is given a determinate sentence, half of the sentence is served in custody and half of the sentence in the community.

Offenders sentenced to 12 months or longer in prison will be put on licence when they are serving the second part of their sentence. This licence is supervised by the Probation Service and includes conditions that offenders must meet, like not having contact with victims. If the offender doesn't meet the terms of their licence, they might have to go back to prison for the rest of their sentence.

Offenders sentenced to less than 12 months also serve the second half in the community but are not actively supervised by Probation.

If offenders commit another offence while they're serving the second half of their sentence, they may be sent back to prison. They will also be punished for the new offence. So offenders given determinate sentences always have to complete their full sentence. But half of it is in prison, and half of it is outside prison."

I hope that helps.

Aug 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark thank you for responding about my enquiry upon false sentencing. I had hoped that since you were a lawyer (of whatever stripe) that you might have a passing acquaintance with other aspects of the law including this one. I repeat what I wrote in my original post, the usual explanations are not logical. The practice deceives victims (although in practice no one is really deceived). It would be more logical to sentence for a specific term with the possibility of doubling the period for bad behaviour. As to controlling behaviour upon release, the high recidivism rates demonstrate just how ineffective this is. Who is deceiving who? Are the authorities treating us as stupid?

Aug 19, 2018 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


"What is the explanation for, what seems to me to be the inanities of sentencing for a specific time period, with everybody having the expectation that the period served will be half that?"

I confess I know no more than you, not being a criminal lawyer. I have always assumed that the headline sentence was to grab the headlines and satisfy the public's desire that criminals should be "properly" punished (and that consequently the public are also protected from the criminal while they are in prison). I think the ability to be released after serving only half the jail term is to encourage good behaviour while in prison and also on release - the release before the end of the sentence will be on licence, and re-offending while out on licence should see an immediate return to prison to serve the remainder of the original term.

Aug 19, 2018 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Robert Swan. I wasn't going to comment further on this topic but you have misunderstood my meaning and I must clear this up. I meant you to understand that it should be, as far as possible, the responsibility of the courts (or other agencies) to look after victims. I definitely did not imply that courts DO fully recompense victims or even can. In many cases full restitution is impossible. The victim is dead, the money is all gone. What would you have us do ? Allow victims to become Shylocks? Criminals do wrong and there is just no way victims can be fully compensated. From what some write here they would allow victims their pound of flesh or set off and condone clan warfare.

Aug 19, 2018 at 6:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

golf charlie:

I was not advocating mass killing

I would have been astonished if you were; I was just looking at a possible ramification of justifying state killing on the basis of some sort of cost equation. As EM says, it's all a moral minefield.

Let's go mining then ...

The usual order of ceremonies:
1. crime defined by legislators
2. crime committed by felon
3. crime detected by police
4. felon identified by police
5. crime prosecuted by the state
6. penalty determined by the court
7. penalty effected by the state

I believe there are failings at all these stages. I have strong doubts that stiffening up 6 and 7 is addressing the biggest problem. The families of victims where no felon is prosecuted won't be greatly comforted.

The pious "better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent man is convicted" is all very well, but I'm pretty sure that ratio has inflated over the years. And of course there are still plenty of innocent men who have been convicted (and sometimes executed, even in the UK). But loosening up the rules of evidence is a slippery slope too.

Aug 19, 2018 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

Just to be clear, I am against capital punishment.
Aug 18, 2018 at 11:46 PM | Robert Swan

Just to be clear, I am for capital punishment, for certain types of murder, but have no expectation that the Law will change in the UK

Aug 19, 2018 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"golf charlie: You're right that imprisoning people is expensive, but you haven't considered the plus side of the ledger. E.g. they don't need roads or trains; prison guards add to GDP, etc. Not that it will end up in the black, but a fair number of people not in prison wouldn't make it into the black either. Should we kill them too?"
Aug 18, 2018 at 11:46 PM | Robert Swan

I was not advocating mass killing! As a culture rises above the simple maths of a single bullet, once, towards annual costs roughly equivalent to School Fees at Eton, there is some expectation of a better financial return. Having the same faces returning, year after year, for the same type of offences, does no one any good, especially the latest victims.

When victims of crime discover the perpetrators have been locked up before, they are not very happy. When relatives of murder victims find out the murderer had previously been convicted for murder, where should they direct their anger? Has any member of a Parole Board ever been prosecuted for incompetence or held liable for damages?

If someone is found Guilty, how should any Sentence be deemed to have had a successful result? Taxpayers expect that people will emerge from prison as better people, the reality is often the opposite

Aug 19, 2018 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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