Saturday, October 13, 2007

The US Judicial System ain't perfect, but the UK courts could take a hint or two...

I was watching the lunchtime news yesterday, and I saw this story.

I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Two men raped 2 little girls, aged 10 and 12, and only received sentences of 2 years each?

"The message must be that sexual activity with girls of 10 and 12
will not be tolerated," said Baroness Scotland.

Sexual activity? That makes it sound like they were just fooling around like teenagers. These were grown men that took advantage and violated little girls. These girls will never be the same again. These men will be able to get out of prison and go about their lives, pretending like nothing ever happened, but these girls will carry the emotional scars of what has been done to them for the rest of their lives. They will have trust issues, sexual issues, self-esteem issues, and most likely will suffer from some sort of depression. If they aren't getting counseling, they're more likely to end up getting into trouble themselves - drinking and doing drugs, staying out until all hours and generally just wreaking havoc in their family's lives. But it will all stem from what these 2 men did to them.

Then there are other stories, like this one for example.

A husband found guilty of killing his wife even though her body
has never been found has been jailed for life.

That sounds fairly reasonable, doesn't it? Especially if you read the actual story and find out all the sordid little details. But guess what? Here, in the UK, LIFE=20 years.

Yup, that's it.

So you get some teenager going nuts like Michael Myers and killing somebody (just for argument's sake), and he's still going to get out when he's a young man.

And it's just as ridiculous for other offences, not just murderers.

Check out this one.

A local man caught drink-driving twice in two hours was ...
banned from driving for three years and ordered to do one hundred hours of community service.

Banned from driving = got his license suspended. So he's been caught not just twice, but twice in TWO HOURS, and all he gets is a suspended license and he's got to pick up garbage on the side of the road for a couple of weeks???

The worst part about all this is that the courts do have minimum sentencing guidelines to follow, but they are ridiculous. I have actually read articles where somebody has been murdered and the murderer gets away with only an 18-month sentence. I'm not kidding. Granted, it doesn't happen all the time but when you're talking about a crime as serious as murder, just once is too much.

And this country is being inundated by what the media calls "yob culture." Teenagers are running rampant. They have no respect for anyone - least of all themselves. And people are always shown on tv saying something like "I don't understand why they don't just go play a game of football or something."

Why? Because they've been given more rights than any of us.

If I were to walk out the door right now and get attacked by a gang of teens and fight back... guess who's going to be the one arrested? That's right... me! A teenager robs a store and the shop owner fights back, and HE's the one in trouble. The government in this country has repeatedly taken rights away from law-abiding citizens (and non-citizens) and given them all to teenagers and children.

Bullies can't be expelled from school because it would be "infringing on their right to an education." But if another kid, BEING bullied, is to fight back, THEY'RE the ones that are going to get in hot water.

It's not just unfair. It's ridiculous.

Now I have to admit that with most things, the UK is just as good if not better than the US. But this is one area where they fall far short and really could use a few hints and tips from the US Judicial System.

I keep hearing "oh, but judges are giving lower sentences because our prisons are already overcrowded."

Okay, fine. BUILD NEW PRISONS!!! It'll create jobs in an economy that ain't that great right now, and we'll get these criminals off the streets where they're just going to commit even more crime. The crime rate will go down, I guarantee it. "Oh, but it costs too much to house prisoners." What about the cost of the crime itself? What about the victims? What are they being forced to pay? What about court costs - especially for serial criminals that just keep getting sent out into the street to commit their crimes again and again. I'd bet my left tit that, overall, we'd be SAVING money rather than LOSING it.

This whole situation scares me. It's my children I'm thinking of. I know I have taught them to have respect for both themselves and others - and a lot of this boils down to respect, in it's most simple terms. But what kind of world are we making for our children when they grow up thinking that the world owes them everything on a silver platter? And that when they do break the law, they're not EVEN getting a slap on the wrist?

It is truly frightening.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home