"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

No mitigating circumstances

There have been several instances recently whereby murderers and rapists have had insufficient sentences or been set free on parole after a ludicrously short time in jail. Several of them went on to resume their killing sprees after being released. Something is seriously wrong with the legal system that sets the individual criminal's needs higher than those of the general public. For instance, a week or so ago, a man was sentenced for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. He got an 18 year jail term with a minimum of 14 years. Inside, he's likely to learn from the worst and will eventually emerge, still, and probably even more of a danger to society. A life should be worth more than 14 years if it is taken, especially in such a manner. One of the reasons taken into account when the judge sentenced him was that he 'had grown up in a brutal society in his African homeland', in other words, this was used as a mitigating circumstance. Something is seriously wrong with this. Not everybody who grows up in a bad environent goes on to become a murderer. This person was granted refuge in our country, and had a chance of making a good life, an opportunity which not many have handed to them. Instead he goes on to murder a young mother. I don't understand how mitigating circumstances can have bearing on any case; they are just excuses. You do the deed, you pay the price. In full.