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The Forum > Article Comments > Sentencing our youth versus rehabilitation > Comments

Sentencing our youth versus rehabilitation : Comments

By Sebastian De Brennan, published 8/2/2006

Sebastian De Brennan reflects on a road tragedy and a girlís sentence.

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Your Kidding,

A bleeding heart for a nice young girl. What if he was a young teenage boy, driving at 90kmh over the speed limit, killed one of his mates and injured and mamed the others. Do you think he would get 2 months, and do you think you would care?

In this society, young women are protected and put on pedistals by all those around them.

Let the law be the same for young men and women, whatever the sentance would be.

The fact is, she will go away for 2 months to a minimum security prison. No university of crime can give you a crash course in 2 months. It is probably just enough time out to make her feel better, perhaps like she has paid for what she has done, and when she gets out she can begin again. Speaking from experience, it is alot easier to put something behind you if you are prisoned and feel like you have been punished than if you are not and live with yourself.

The author is very subjective and the private school girl got a rich white girls defence.

She may not be jail material, but she was not driving material either, and being an idiot in a car risking the life of others cannot be ignored or forgiven without redress for her actions.
Posted by Realist, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 9:47:44 AM
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I'm curious.

What sort of car was it to have a computer on board? an SUV , 4WD or a V8 ?

These are the cars that kill in the hands of in-experienced drivers.
Posted by Coyote, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 11:00:25 AM
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Do we have any evidence that there is a difference in sentencing - applied by the judiciary - regarding near identical first offences -involving inexperienced teenage drivers? Perhaps we do - if so, lets address it. Or are we simply assuming that sentences would be different based our broader experience of community attitudes toward teenagers of different gender, ethnicity and socio-economic circumstances. The judiciary faces much criticism from elements of society about its discretion - where that criticism often targets discretion applied to young people from challenged socio-economic circumstances. I've little doubt that this young woman will live a shattered life as a result of this accident which probably occurred amidst peer pressure. A gaol sentence would serve no more purpose for this young woman than it would for any young man - regardless of economic circumstances. The beauty of judicial independence is that popular opinion need not necessarily curb thoughtful discretion. To deny her your pity and the judiciousness of a thoughtful, independent judge where you would ask this for a young person of a different demographic is thoughtless. A sentence for any offender in this circumstance serves little purpose. Perhaps some will argue that sentencing is appropriate for repeat offenders - but for an accident caused by inexperience? No-one deserves that.
Posted by Shell, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 11:12:48 AM
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The sentence handed down for a young driver who killed one passenger and injured two others was pathetically inadequate.

People who break the law should be punished. Rehabilitation has no purpose and has no effect on lawbreakers, most of whom know full well that they are doing the wrong thing, but still go on doing it until they are caught out. These people simply need sufficient punishment to dissuade them from repeating their acts of stupidity or criminal behaviour. If the punishment doesnít work (and itís hard to see how the weak sentences handed out in Australia could work) then these menaces to society should be removed from society permanently.

Too many victims and families of these creeps are given a life sentence of sadness and misery. To hell with law-breakers, irrespective of age or circumstances.

Things are getting worse. We now have careless, stupid fools receiving nothing more than a good behaviour bond, if that, because they were not drunk, on drugs and didnít do what they did out of malice! It doesnít seem to matter that they have killed an innocent person!

Australia has already gone too far, with its interest in the lawless being far greater than that for victims. Most people do the right thing and have nothing to fear from the law being enforced to its fullest extent.

The stupid, criminal, uncaring and reckless minority deserve no mercy.
Posted by Leigh, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 11:29:33 AM
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I agree with Sebastian that the girl does have an obligation to make amends for causing this tragedy and that jail will probably not be of any value. However I disagree with this incident being dubbed a mistake. Driving double the speed limit is not a mistake it is a gamble; the gambler used lives as stakes and lost. Perhaps loss of licence for life would at least ensure no repeat performance and protect others. I wonder though just would would be appropriate punishment in lieu of jail?
Posted by Coraliz, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 11:37:48 AM
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I agree so much with Shell. Incarceration in these circumstances is a tribal retribution and serves little purpose for the rich, or the poor.

I was troubled last week when the Oz bike society reacted negatively to the non-custodial sentence of the equally novice female German driver, a result of the death and injury of the Oz bike riders. Of course I don't know the details ...

I am sorry all round but have experienced the cowboy climate created by bike racers and their supervision on 'ordinary' roads. It seems to me that they don their bike suits and mistake them for immortality outfits. Gaol serves no purpose in these unfortunate cases. None at all but retribution ...

As Shell wrote or implied: keep gaol for the repeat offenders in such crimes - to say the least it is cheaper!
Posted by aka-Ian, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 11:57:49 AM
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