Sentencing reforms – a serious debate would be helpful

The scrapping of the proposal to introduce an enhanced discount scheme of up to 50% off of sentences in some cases, for those who pleaded guilty at the earliest stage, has paved the way for a serious and informed debate about sentencing reforms.

Now that David Cameron has announced the scrapping of the government’s proposal to introduce an enhanced discount scheme of up to 50% off of sentences in some cases, for those who pleaded guilty at the earliest stage, this may have paved the way for a serious and informed debate about sentencing reforms. Whether Kenneth Clarke did or did not get too bogged down on the issue of serious sexual offences and rape does not alter the fact that in view of the importance of the subject of sentencing, surely it warrants a serious debate and there now needs to be an opportunity for that to happen. Obvious claims of ‘U’ turns are one thing but there are other proposals at stake.


Other proposals to be included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill   include such matters as making prison life harder, the wider use of mandatory sentences, the introduction of a new criminal offence of squatting, a review of indeterminate or indefinite sentences and an addendum to the law relating to those who use reasonable force to defend themselves and their property to the effect that they will not be prosecuted. Proposed cuts in the legal aid bill have already sparked a very vocal and healthy debate –thanks to Sound Off For Justice  and others.


We really need to hear more about the reasoning behind these other measures.

 



 

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