Monday, January 09, 2006

 

Killed, But Not Murdered

The endless stream of Quasi-victims continues..

(Apologies that links are missing in this post.. all stories are easy to find, many in my archive).

As Englishman's Castle notes, the two career criminals who ran down a farmer whilst he tried to stop them stealing his car were convicted of manslaughter.

Outrage has generally focussed on the fact that they'd done this kind of thing before and been released early.

But I've been looking out for these cases for a while. And my conclusion is that the manslaughter law in England is an absolute disgrace.

This one isn't even the worst example TODAY. Check this out:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4595348.stm

.. And the gang who killed the gay man in London? 'Manslaughterers', the lot of 'em. (It was comic the way ITN news couldn't get their jaws around this. They referred to the victim as being 'murdered', whereas of course he wasn't. The people who repeatedly kicked him in the head whilst he was on the ground only 'manslaughtered' him).

This is all extremely worrying in the light of the Gov's plans to change the murder law to a US-type system of 'degrees'.

Superficially, this might be good as more people get 'murder' (juries being more willing to convict). But, on the other hand, the whole point about 'degrees' is that there is no mandatory sentence. There can already be a life sentence for manslaughter. So we need to look at how this discretion is actually used.

The worst example is well known - the man who chopped up his wife, put her in the freezer and fled the country got 2 years for MS. (At least the CPS are appealing this disgrace).

It's surprising how often men who kill their wives are not murderers..

Keep an eye out. Before long, you'll be utterly digusted. In effect, we have an 'honour-killing' defence. There was international outrage recently over the Jordanian parliament's refusal to ratify a law which made wife-killing 'murder'. The petty sentences (eg, 'two months') so scandalous when handed out in Jordan are more or less the same as what men actually serve here. The only difference is that this is openly part of the legal system in sharia countries and covertly here.

Further point, re joint enterprises:

The farmer case has again drawn outrage over the fact that the perpetrators were released early from previous sentences. Do you remember the last such case? The guy who was obsessed with Jewels and Wealth? Not mentioned anywhere, but much more outrageous, was the verdict on his accomplice: manslaughter. There's supposed to be a rule about 'going in contemplation of violence' which has two results - if you took a gun to a bank robbery and somebody died, you couldn't then claim you didn't mean to use it. It also meant that any unlawful killing charge could apply to the participant who didn't actually pull the trigger, or even carry a gun. These principles both seem to be frequently abandoned. if two people do things together, it should ALWAYS be more serious, never less, as it is conspiracy.

Simple solution (for there is one): The Ape's law, "Manslaughter should always be sentenced as murder if there are previous convictions for violence, or proof of previous violence against the victim." Ta - da!

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