The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > General Discussion > What are underlying reasons for bias towards the offender re: leniency?

What are underlying reasons for bias towards the offender re: leniency?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
Many people have lobbied state government about initiating legal form and tougher sentencing guidelines. It is obvious that the judiciary, legislators and the adversarial system as a whole is highly resistant to change. I think it's not just that the victim is devalued in criminal justice, but that there seems to be an underlying emotional bias in favour of the perpetrator. Any ideas about what psychology is at play here? Is it just lack of empathy for the victim, and where does this come from? Most Australians are probably pro the victim, but the issue of criminal justice is highly polarised. There is a small element who are just as passionate about the pros of leniency, and it really does suggest a lack of compassion for the victim. Does anyone have any idea of what the underlying attitudes/psychology that would make a person favour the perpetrator over the victim?
Posted by Bilby, Saturday, 13 October 2007 9:35:58 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Bilby you are completely wrong with you idea about criminal sentences. No body favours either side and if they did it would more then likely be the victim.

We should be working on reducing the amount of time prisoners spend in jail not increasing it. I currently think prisoners spend to long in jail and there is not enough done to stop them from re-offending.

The idea of increasing sentences is only logical to those who believe that for example if you send someone to jail for 20 years for murder itís a fair exchange for a loved ones life.

Speaking for myself if someone I loved was murdered, torturing the murder slowly to death for 1000 years wonít make me feel the slightest bit better over the loss of my loved one.

Itís all about the primitive human idea of revenge. Thatís what they mindlessly believe and follow in the Middle East and take a look at their society.

We should be working more on prevention and deterrents instead of listening to howling of the ignorant pleb.
Posted by EasyTimes, Sunday, 14 October 2007 8:02:52 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
What evidence have people for jailing as a deterrent?
Except for the ultimate deterrent of sepperating them from society? they then just form another society, one of criminal behaviour.
There is no better place to do this than a goal. Having the experience thru canoe trips and sitting around fires, there discussing attitudes with high school kids I believe is a better way of reformatting attitude than locking them together and letting them then exchange anti social experience, which afterall is just boasting! Adults do it too.
I have a friend who currently does such outdoor activity with high school kids now, he tells of rewarding experience.
The sepperation that occurs when taking part in such activities is far more positive than the experience that goal does for them.
More of this should be done instead of cutting the funds for his participation, education authorities should be making it more widely available.
It is invaluable experience both for the leaders and the students.
I also advocate that it not be done with the disiplinary focused leader, familiar teacher or school rules. Mix the schools taking part and leave the leader to determine the discipline that may be required.
A stranger that encourages respect. Now we must find competent leaders.
fluff4
Posted by fluff4, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 10:38:15 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The issue isn't with sentencing - it's more with how hard it is to actually get convictions.

There is most certainly a bias in our legal system - largely because we follow an adversarial model, based on the British system.

This concept is based largely around the old adage 'better to let ten guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man.'

Fair enough, but the thing is, the inquisitorial system used in places such as Germany and Japan not only jails more offenders, but has a lower rate of wrongful imprisonment. Put simply, it's far more efficient and there's numerous reasons why.
There's also numerous reasons why our system isn't going to be dropped in favour of that model any time soon, despite its clear superiority.

Our current system withholds a great deal of information from jurors. For some reason, we trust them to be able to weigh up evidence, but not all evidence. Prior convictions for instance, aren't given as evidence. For instance, an offender could have a long history of violence or sexual assault, but the jurors wouldn't be told that.

Then there's the fact that often, the rules are clearly obscured. I've sat through a trial where jurors requested clarification regarding the necessity of 'intent' for grievous bodily harm.
Effectively, there was no question that a man had badly sliced another man open, but when the jurors requested clarification on whether it was necessary that was the intention, beyond all reasonable doubt, the judge gave a twenty minute narrative that clarified absolutely nothing. Part of it was about whether a reasonable person could have expected that would occur, part of it was saying intent wasn't a factor, part of it was saying intent was. There is a definition out there, but effectively it comes down to whether the defence or prosecution can persuade the jury to pick their interpretation.

If anyone's interested I can provide much more reasoning on adversarial v inquisitorial, but that oughta do it for now.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 11:06:47 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
As far as I'm concerned if someone kills any of my family especially the children, 20years in prison is not justice. Why should this person be able to enjoy reading books and watching television in prison. They are still getting some enjoyment out of life when they do this, aren't they? MY dead loved one can never get any enjoyment out of life ever again. If you take a life with any kind of malicious wounding or intent then the only justice is if you forfeit your own life. 20years does not equal a life therefore it is not justice. Justice balances the scales. A life for a life. Now that's justice.
Posted by sharkfin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 10:16:04 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Nothing can balance the scales sharkfin. Killing the offender may give the victim's family some fleeting satisfaction, but ultimately the victim will still be dead.

Were I to pick one single attitude that is responsible for more pain and suffering in the world than anything else, it would be that old 'eye for an eye' adage.

You're not talking about justice sharkfin, you're describing vengeance.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Wednesday, 17 October 2007 10:34:15 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy