Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Poster takes George Laird to task on the nature of justice, a two tier justice system based on wealth can never work in a modern society

Dear unfair justice

You wrote:

“It seems an unfair punishment seizing cars. Shouldn't justice be meted out equally for the same crime?”

If every drunk drivers car is seized that is equal justice.

Are you seriously floating the idea that because someone is rich using your brand new BMW example that they get special treatment?

Why should they?

“How can seizing someone's new BMW that they've just started payments on be equal to seizing an old banger off someone?”

That is easy to answer in the eyes of the law a vehicle is just a vehicle, the fact that someone maybe starting payments is a moot point.

Although it maybe floated in a mitigation plea post guilty verdict, no decent lawyer would use it as an excuse during a trial because it asks the judge to be lenient because someone is wealthy.

And in the eyes of the law justice is supposed to be blind to such considerations.

No, the place to ‘beg’ would be under the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995 section 196 (1).

Here is the section 196.


Sentence following guilty plea.

In determining what sentence to pass on, or what other disposal or order to make in relation to, an offender who has pled guilty to an offence, a court [F2shall] take into account—

the stage in the proceedings for the offence at which the offender indicated his intention to plead guilty, and

the circumstances in which that indication was given.

In passing sentence on an offender referred to in subsection (1) above, the court shall—

state whether, having taken account of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that subsection, the sentence imposed in respect of the offence is different from that which the court would otherwise have imposed; and
if it is not, state reasons why it is not.]

Where the court is passing sentence on an offender under section 205B(2) of this Act and that offender has pled guilty to the offence for which he is being so sentenced, the court may, after taking into account the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) above, pass a sentence of less than seven years imprisonment or, as the case may be, detention but any such sentence shall not be of a term of imprisonment or period of detention of less than five years, two hundred and nineteen days.

Drink driving kills, we all know, if people are wealthy enough to be paying up a ‘beamer’, they can pay for a taxi or other mode of transport.

People make a pro active choice to drink drive; they should expect to feel the full force of the law when caught.

Given the choice of upsetting a drunk driver or telling a family that their husband, wife, mother, son or daughter is dead because of a drunk driver, who would you rather upset?

Justice should be fair, but that doesn’t mean it should be weak.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

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unfair justice said...

George. Are you not making the mistake of judging someone's wealth by the type of car they drive ?
My neighbour's son spends all of his wages paying off his car installments. He has a new Audi.
I drive an old banger that I bought 2nd hand 5 yrs ago. It's on it's last legs but might squeeze through another MOT before the scrappie takes it. I live an otherwise well off lifestyle. I've just never been into shiny toys and baubles.
If I drunk and drove and had my car taken it would be an inconvenience but it wouldn't affect me as the car is worthless. If my neighbour lost his car he would still have a £24K debt to pay off and have no car to show for it.
We'd both lose our licenses but he would be worse off financially despite being a lot poorer than me, having no ther assets like a house or pension or savings etc.