Re: Resend : That file (not in MIME format)..

Matthew Gream (
Thu, 3 Nov 1994 15:22:21 +1100

"Scott Hopwood" wrote:
> Actually, I think your just about *exactly* wrong. Judges do not give
> sentences as a form means of personal revenge for the victim. Judges give
> sentences for the "good of the community". The law is visible justice, a
> quote often used by judges is "justice must be seen to have been done".

What I said was that judges don't sentence to `appease the community'.
This does not mean that the judge fails to take into account the
implications of having the criminal in the community. What the judge is
concerned about is the reformation and rehabilitation of the
individual. I have heard (by listening to court proceedings) a judge
give sentencing on an individual with a long past history, _however_ it
turned out that this individual had (even after getting out of gaol)
managed to hold down a job, get a drivers licence and significantly
alter his life. In this circumstance, even though the crime involved a
bad traffic offence _and_ the individual absconded from the scene, he
was _not_ taken in custody. Her reason was that he had a better chance
of reformation that way and she admitted that without these extra
circumstances he would have been taken into custody. Naturally, at the
macro level, his rehabilitation does do good for the community.

I did not say or infer that judges exact some sort of personal revenge
on the victim. I was specifically referring to the fact that a judge
does not sentence according to the lynch mob mentality of the wider
community (and _they_ are the ones that want revenge). The poster
was talking about "public hangings" (or similar imagery) and it was
within that context that I answered.

As for deterents, they don't lie with the ruling of _judges_, they lie
with penalties in the legislative acts. The judges are only there to
interpret. To suggest that the outcome of the courts is what deters
people from crimes suggests that one could take the ruling of "a woman
who murdered her partner because he sexually abused her for years" and
interpret that as "cool, I'll get off, therefore it is an acceptable
way to deal with the situation".

> Rehabilitation of criminals is there for the community good. The benefit
> to the criminal seems to be only secondary in nature.

Like I said, the judge doesn't appease the communities lynch mob
mentality (these are the people that see sentencing as a black and
white procedure).

> On a less etherial point I suggest, given the transitory nature of data,
> that any accused persons account should be locked *immediately*, until the
> matter is decided. Also that false accusation should be considered grounds
> for possible offence.



Matthew Gream 
(02) 821-2043
(sw/hw engineer)