cp123 wrote:40 yo vs 50 year old?
Twiz - do you reckon this was your dude...? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... 2t51l.html or are there more crazy nutjobs out there?
Update: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-06/c ... ection=act
Update: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-06/c ... ection=act
A man who has admitted assaulting and intimidating bike riders on the Old Federal highway north-east of Canberra will be sentenced later this year.
Daniel John West, 26, from Bywong has faced Queanbeyan Local Court.
He has pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and one count of intimidation relating to an incident on April 21, 2013.
Sentencing will be 16th of Dec
What about a dangerous driving charge? He did use his car to strike the back wheels of the bike.
Update - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-16/m ... ra/5158900
Yes, the legal system and society encourages not taking responsibility for your actions. Use violence and claim you were abused as a child to reduce the sentence. It's de rigueur.
It has somewhat happened. I know a good number of cyclists that now avoid OFH from the tulip farm to the washing machine hill turn off. They now continue on the main hwy and turn in at washing machine hill. There are also some who avoid OFH completely now.
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What a ridiculous and completely unquantifiable claim. Its the sort of thing espoused by modern thinkers like Hinch and Alan Jones. True, there is no perfect system and that means a small minority fall through the cracks, but to suggest the judiciary are soft on crime because of political correctness is absurd. Sorry. Sick of the generalisations.
As for violence boy, just deserts. Hope he is on parole in another jurisdiction and gets stung again once released.
Good rant. And unfortunately justified constantly.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .
Yes, the judiciary is soft on crime. They have too much discretion in sentencing. For example, they can take into account the background of the offender (not breast fed, tough upbringing, etc.). Moreover, their university education includes units on causes of crime which attributes much of it to socio-economic circumstances (it's Western capitalism's fault), so political correctness is indeed responsible for the judiciary being soft on crime. BTW, I don't listen to Hinch nor Jones and can make up my own mind. I don't appreciate the erroneous association.
Yes, biker jk is right. There are numerous reports of multiple repeat offenders getting suspended sentences or fines for serious crimes that have resulted in the victims being seriously hurt or worse.
Below is a recent example.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cycli ... 2zqor.html
Article doesn't say the reasons but I can't think of a single reason why this "punishment" would be so light. For killing someone and leaving the scene of the incident.She didn't even get her licence suspended or cancelled. In comparison Daniel West is having the proverbial book thrown at him as his crime wasn't as serious. If this incident in Victoria is anything to go by then Daniel wll have his appeal upheld for sure.
What an utter load of bollocks.
1. The system has some discretion because there ARE genuine cases where applying the normal legal precedent for a particular crime isn't appropriate in exceptional circumstances. It isn't used for socio economic reasons. Usually they relate to mental health, and a condition has to be diagnosed by an actual psychologist/ psychiatrist. There are checks and balances.
2. There are legal precedents for crimes which, to a large degree, dictate the maximum term of a sentence. This is discretionary and protects people from potential bias in getting overly harsh sentences which are historically unprecedented. If a sentence is too lenient, the prosecution can appeal the length of the sentence, which happens. It is a system with checks and stops. It isn't just entirely up to the discretion of an independently thinking judge who sits in judge-la-la-land without any concept o what is happening in society. It is absurdly easy to sit in judgement from behind a shock DJ mic or a computer keyboard, but the actual circumstances behind sentencing are complex. For someone to judge a sentence based on hearing about the crime and then hearing what the sentence is, without knowing the circumstances of the case is bordering on inexcusable ignorance.
There is no perfect system, and the imperfections are usually in their to protect the weakest or most vulnerable in the most extreme circumstances, but they are most publicly exploited by an extremely small minority of offenders.
Do I agree with every sentence I hear about on the news? Nope, but I don't know all the details, and therefore have no right to judge. If I had sat in the courtroom for the duration of the trial I might be able to speak from a position more authoritative than my arse.
Ignorantly jumping on a populist bandwagon is offensive to those charged with the unenviable responsibility of sitting in judgement of one of their peers, which any offender is, as judges poo and wee the same as them, is not very becoming. Making up your own mind without knowing ALL the facts is ignorance. It aint as easy as you have painted it and ignores some fundamental principles of justice and the law.
Last edited by mrgolf on Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ross, there are two worlds here. What happens in the court room and what is reported in the media. By your own admission, the article does not offer any reasons for the decision for her to be released. In fact, the article is extremely short on any actual facts.
Fact is, a lot of reporters don't have time to sit through an entire trial (unless it is a massive nationally significant trial) and cherry pick their information so as to fulfil the brief of giving a reportable overview of the trial. This often does not reflect anything that transpires. Problem is, all the vocal judge haters use their reports as evidence. Its bollocks.
Yes judges are so soft on crime that the Australian prison population has increased by 8% in 2 years
Longer prison sentences however have almost no effect on crime rates. No need to take my word on it, here is what the director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics had to say full report
Bringing the matter back to topic, does anyone actually believe that Mr West had any thought about how long he would go to prison for?
From what I have heard of his offending I would expect rational thought is a foreign concept for him.
That's because our prison system is soft and weak.
We have become a society which values the rights of the criminal more than the victims or society.
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Veni, Vidi, Vespa -- I Came, I Saw, I Rode Home
Yes bring back hanging & flogging & transportation like the good old days.
Except for the minor inconvenience that sentencing someone to 7 years transportation for stealing bread didn't do much to reduce crime either
find_bruce - I take it you are being sarcastic? What would your solution be?
Mr Golf - Correct I don't know all the circumstances regarding that hit and run case and the journo probably doesn't either but what reasons could there possibly be to do such a thing? We are talking hit and run; running into a cyclist with a motor vehicle and fatally injuring them and failing to stop and check if they needed medical help.They didn't shoplift a Mars Bar, they killed a person. Perhaps if the driver had a medical episode themselves, this is the only excuse/reason I could think of. But this doesn't seem very likely as they managed to make it to a house in Morabbin a short time later. Even if their car had a major catasrophic mechanical breakdown that somehow caused this surely the driver could of stopped up the road and then alerted authorities as to what had happened. I'm sure if the rider had contributed to his own death somehow say by going through a red light with no lights on the bike while wearing black and not having a helmet on then ACA/TT/Daily Telegraph would be running it as main story and would be relaying these "facts" in great detail.
It does not say anywhere in that article that the matter was closed, either. You don't get held in custody til trial with motoring incidents, even when a death is involved. You can bet that she will be prosecuted accordingly within time. But unless she intentionally ran the cyclist down in a rage, she can't be treated like a murderer. Yep, she didn't stop, which is her biggest infraction here. All else is a traffic incident.
With this case, the biggest concern is that her punishment will be typically soft because there is cyclist involved and there is some crazy perception that we contribute to our own demise somehow. There is an injustice, right there.
But this is a different issue as the people involved are not criminals in the same way as the others referred to. We can play semantics and say anyone who breaks the law is a criminal, but a traffic violater, even when a death is involved and what negligence was displayed, is not the same as a rapist, burglar or murderer.
I still maintain absolutely that there are checks and balances in place to ensure that the same level of justice is distributed to criminals for like crimes. To suggest otherwise in ignorance because you don't agree with the sentence is pretty short sighted and unhelpful. Shock jocks love it because it gets a great response from their faithful, but it doesn't make society better and it doesn't better equip society with a better understanding of how the law works. The modern day lynch mob is only less ugly for lack of corpses hanging from trees.
It's complex. Ensures a greater likelihood of justice being carried through in the most complex of situations.
public floggings would probably be useful in some circumstances but can see any country allowing us to dump criminals on.
What I am referring to is how we still allow alot of luxury with the system without any requirement to earn it.
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Veni, Vidi, Vespa -- I Came, I Saw, I Rode Home
Yes, the argument that judges are soft on crime is all ill-informed populist claptrap. That's why a Supreme Court Justice said,
"(But) with sexual offences, violence, and especially domestic violence, I think courts have fallen short on sentence,"
"Courts need to give significantly more attribution to personal responsibility and to the consequences of that responsibility," Justice Cummins said.
"The even hand of justice requires that victims properly be acknowledged and properly be respected."
Your reference to mitigating factors such as mental health and psychologists/psychiatrists acting as defence witnesses is particularly illuminating in the case of Eugene McGee.
"The court accepted McGee was in a dissociative mental state after he killed Mr Humphrey, even though he made 24 phone calls to lawyers and others starting three minutes after running into Mr Humphrey."
The legal system needs urgent reform. Sentencing discretion for judges needs to be removed. Judges need to be accountable to the public, which they are clearly not currently.
So, one example which seems to imply that an offender feigned a mental illness sets the stage for ALL cases where mental illness is a factor? Ah, yes. Mental illness in Australia is a massive issue which has had funding slashed to a mere fraction of what it was 20 years ago. Now, people who wouldn't have had a problem getting a place or a bed in an institution where they might receive assistance years ago are left to fend for themselves on the street. I am certainly not suggesting for a moment that most crime is perpetrated by the mentally ill, but there are some serious crimes that could be avoided if proper support was given in the area of mental health.
But again, this isn't the issue. The implication was that judges take into account breast feeding and socio economic factors, which is bollocks.
You also are not actually understanding what is being said. I am saying judges are bound by historical precedents in terms of sentencing. For them to apply a sentence harsher than the historical precedent is not possible. There has historically been examples of some old school judges maintaining the 'old boys club' in terms of misogynist thinking when it comes to some crimes, but they are well and truly retired. From that perspective, these judgements contribute to establishing the basis of the precedents used as a guide to sentence criminals. But deciding what is an appropriate sentence is completely subjective when it comes to an individuals personal thinking. Judges don't get the luxury of applying their personal feelings on a sentence. Their decisions are based on precedents which they are accountable to. Moving too far from the precedent yields very close scrutiny. So, if there is a problem, it isn't the judges, it is the established precedents within the system. I am certainly not saying all judges are perfect, but their hands are fairly bound by the law. If there is a problem with lenient sentencing, it is beyond a judges control.
To imagine that judges are immune from experiencing some of the criminal activity that they see come before them is a nonsense. As human beings that operate in the same way as the rest of society, they are just as likely to be victims of crime as any other citizen. They aren't living in a cotton wool wrapped bubble where they only are able to view the real world from afar. Which is evident in the words of Justice Cummins.
The main point is that no one has a right to make a judgement on the legitimacy of a sentence until they have actually experienced the entire case as it was tried and observed the historical precedents. I personally believe rapists deserve a pretty harsh penalty, but I am not going to mouth off when a rapist receives a sentence I don't agree with because I am not a lawyer, solicitor or judge, have never studied law and never attend court to hear cases. I would also struggle to deal with the hefty responsibility of putting someone in prison knowing they are a human being with family that will suffer as a result of your decision. I wouldn't sleep easily at night. Its not an easy job.
What about the family and friends of the victim?! I'm sure they are suffering worse. Yes the family of the person who comitted the crime might be upset because their loved one is going to jail but they must understand it is for good reason.
No one is discounting their pain, but you make a good additional point. On top of the responsibility of potentially ripping a family apart, there is the family of the victim who the judge ends up feeling responsible to. In a case where an offender doesn't get the sentence the family and society want, the judge ends up with their pain on their conscience.
Don't get me wrong. No one suffers as much as the victim. I'm just sick of the soft on crime rhetoric where the holders of the opinions have given no more than a fleeting thought to the issue.
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