Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Raemonn Gormley’s death was tragic, Justice needs revamped, it’s not a one man job, Scottish Government needs two Deputy Justice Ministers
Knife crime is a bread and butter election issue; however given the significance that political parties attach to such an issue as part of their ‘tough on crime’ stance, nothing to address properly this issue has been undertaken.
Frankly politicians don’t know what to do to deal with people such as those who killed Reamonn Gormley.
So, we get ‘tough after the event’ action, to make up for their inadequacies and to try and direct public opinion.
Some times away from them.
One of the Labour Party’s problems is their phoney knife crime scam.
How do we know it’s a scam?
Ask yourself, how long have they been running it?
The answer is years, and not once have they produced a private member’s bill at Holyrood.
It’s an election gimmick.
And young people like Reamonn Gormley pay the price, he was the type of young man that anyone would be proud to have as a son, bright, intelligent and kind.
His charity work speaks volumes.
Reamonn Gormley was killed by Daryn Maxwell, 23, and Barry Smith, 19, as he walked home with a friend in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.
Maxwell and Smith left society’s values behind, in their minds; they were predators outside society’s norms and acted like such.
Their acts to them were normal; it was how they were brought up.
They weren’t born evil, but grew into it, they in their minds had nothing to lose, no future to speak of, no sense of loss.
Maxwell was on bail at the time when he committed murder.
In order to get release early Maxwell pled guilty to murder at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday.
Smith admitted culpable homicide.
By pleading early, they get an automatic reduction in sentence under the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995, section 196 (1).
If they thought they had a chance of beating the case, they would have fought it that is the mindset of these people.
It wasn’t out of any great regard for the family of Reamonn Gormley.
And of course, when the sentencing takes place, expect a plea of mitigation, of how terribly sorry they are and whatever plan their lawyer dreams up.
This will be an act to get a lower sentence.
Labour’s justice spokesman, James Kelly, said:
“What makes this case even more tragic is that it could have been avoided ... People are rightly asking why on earth this violent knife criminal was ever granted bail.”
That is a good question.
Why was a violent knife criminal ever granted bail?
The answer is simple; the entire justice system is in need of radical overhaul.
Unfortunately, there isn't anyone of high enough calibre to take on such a serious task.
It has to be a team effort.
I therefore propose that the Scottish Government appoint two deputy Ministers of Justice to beef up justice.
The deputy ministers would be seconded to special projects only.
The first thing to be tackled is the knife crime problem and the new crime bill.
Punishment for using a knife must be draconian.
Anyone arrested for using a knife, remand, refused bail.
Anyone convicted of stabbing or cutting someone with a knife, automatically sent to prison.
No section 196 (1) provision for weapon offences.
No parole for anyone convicted of using a weapon on someone, they serve the entire sentence of the Court.
The death of Mr Gormley is incredibly tragic; society cannot afford to lose the Reamonn Gormley’s of the world.
Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Allan, the officer in charge of the murder inquiry, said:
“Reamonn was someone who had so much to offer in life. He had a very bright future ahead of him.”
It is time that as part of the reform agenda for Scotland that the problems in the justice portfolio are now tackled.
“When there is crime in society, there is no justice." - Plato.
Therefore we need to make a new start, a new crime bill, writing a law that makes sense.
People like Daryn Maxwell and Barry Smith have to have it spelt out for them clearly, if you use a weapon on someone, you can forget making plans for the rest of your life.
Because we are going to take the vast majority of it off you!
And you will be doing the entire sentence, every day.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University