Russell Goldflam makes a lot of good points here … …

Comment on Criminal lawyers oppose Country Liberals on mandatory sentencing by Ian Sharp.

Russell Goldflam makes a lot of good points here … particularly about provocation. If an assault is committed as a result of provocation then it can be raised as a mitigating circumstance in sentencing (not as a defence). The Magistrate can then decide how much weight to give it when deciding the sentence. Many times the provocation will be slight and the Magistrate will ignore it, but there are times when it is real and worth taking into account.
Mandatory sentencing denies the Magistrate the ability to take all circumstances of a case into consideration when sentencing. Bad Law, made by politicians for electoral reasons. Takes discretion away from the courts and gives it to the police / DPP when they decide what charges to lay in a matter. No appeal against their decision, unlike sentences imposed by courts. Therefore reduces accountability. Not everyone understands the system well enough to appreciate this, we need to inform ourselves. This article from the Alice News is a good start.
Hard to believe that everyone who has commented has in fact read it. Thoughtfully.

Ian Sharp Also Commented

Criminal lawyers oppose Country Liberals on mandatory sentencing
Good to see a more reasoned view Janet. You make a good point about responsibility, howeverI don’t accept the mandatory sentencing aspect. Offenders do need to accept responsibility for their actions – I’m not sure locking people up always achieves this.
As for Keith’s comment, lock up all the crims, that begs the question: who are the “crims”? Shoplifters too? And where are you going to house all these jailbirds? Got the funds to build all the prisons you will need? And what about jail will do these people, thought about that? What happens when they get out of “crim school”? Shouting populism from the rooftops might make you feel good, but contributes nothing meaningful to our situation.


Criminal lawyers oppose Country Liberals on mandatory sentencing
@Erwin … take your point, but wanted to highlight the illogical nature of Janet’s argument. Reminded me of the curfew debate last year,when Samih Habib, Eli Melky and Steve Brown all stated that anyone opposing their support for a curfew was in favour of kids roaming the streets and worse. Just a silly argument, but one they seemed to sincerely believe. We need people in the public debate who are capable and prepared to be rational in support of their point. The benefit of this is that occasionally such rational people can persuade their opponents, or be persuaded to alter their own stance. Result, a better outcome.


Criminal lawyers oppose Country Liberals on mandatory sentencing
Erwin, you have issued a yellow card to both Janet and Bob. Crikey. I think Bob’s response was mild given the [irrational] nature of Janet’s logic. You should moderate the comments for rationality I think.


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