Is This Justice?

Postby fatwombat on Sun 11/Jul/10 5:03pm

Compare these 2 punishments:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3907435/Driver-jailed-for-killing-German-cyclist
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3902267/Serial-parking-meter-ram-raider-jailed

You get 2 years jail for driving into a cyclist, 5 years for driving into parking meters. :angry: You can say one was a one-off accident while the other was a deliberate series of offences, but how much (or little) is a human life worth compared to a lump of metal and plastic on top of a bit of pipe?
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Oli on Sun 11/Jul/10 5:06pm

Come on FW, you're an intelligent man, surely you know it's never as simple as that? I'm not saying either sentence is more right than the other, but the two have nothing to do with each other apart from being in the paper on the same day.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby way_downsouth on Sun 11/Jul/10 7:40pm

fatwombat wrote:...but how much (or little) is a human life worth compared to a lump of metal and plastic on top of a bit of pipe?


I like how a punishment for someones death has to relate to the value of the victims life. Actually, no I don't like it. I think it is one of the stupidest judgement calls that can be made. How can someones punishment ever make up for someone's life?
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby musket on Sun 11/Jul/10 7:57pm

FW, justice isn't purely retributive. You're not silly, so perhaps explain how the offender derserved a more or less serious penalty with culpability in mind.

I dare you.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby happybaboon on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:02pm

Isn't the truck drivers sentence about the same than the sentence that drunk old whore got when she killed that guy near Otaki? If anything, in comparison to that, the truck driver got a harsh sentence - overworking and driving when a bit tired are, to me, far less naughty things to do than driving while completely wasted.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby fatwombat on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:13pm

I don't know what I think about what the right thing would be. I think it SHOULD be meaningful to compare sentences for different crimes to see how the justice system ranks those offences for their relative "net social harm" or whatever term one should use to indicate the negative effect on society (Owen, Lyskey: what do you learn in criminology about relativity of sentencing?).

Another sentencing reported on the same day:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3902093/Beauty-therapist-fraudster-jailed - stealing $300k and not hurting anyone gets the same sentence as killing a cyclist. Is that a valid reflection of the monetary value of a cyclist's life? Is it a valid indication of relative social badness?

I ask myself whether it indicates we as a society don't value human life highly enough, whether it just reflects inconsistent punishments as a result of the historical development of property rights and criminal law. But I don't have answers for myself. That's why I put the post out there, so i could read some different perspectives.

I agree, Musket, retribution should be at most a small part of the justice process: much more important are restitution (putting it right) and rehabilitation (empowering the offender to make better life choices in the future). But the existing system works on the basis of fines and imprisonment, so within the context of the present system, it seems to me that killing cyclists is at the low end of any "social harm" scale.

In terms of restitution, how can you make up for a lost life? Maybe if a parent is killed, the killer could be obliged to pay for the basic life needs and education of the children, but that doesn't compensate for the loss of nurture and emotional support that the children and spouse suffer. And of course a lot of fatalities (and property crimes) are caused by people who have no capacity to provide economically for anyone.

It's more complicated than anyone can answer in a post or two on Vorb, otherwise we would already have a much better justice system, but the difference in those sentences just looked unfair to me.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby CrustyMTB on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:22pm

fatwombat wrote:I don't know what I think about what the right thing would be. I think it SHOULD be meaningful to compare sentences for different crimes to see how the justice system ranks those offences for their relative "net social harm" or whatever term one should use to indicate the negative effect on society (Owen, Lyskey: what do you learn in criminology about relativity of sentencing?).

Another sentencing reported on the same day:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3902093/Beauty-therapist-fraudster-jailed - stealing $300k and not hurting anyone gets the same sentence as killing a cyclist. Is that a valid reflection of the monetary value of a cyclist's life? Is it a valid indication of relative social badness?

I ask myself whether it indicates we as a society don't value human life highly enough, whether it just reflects inconsistent punishments as a result of the historical development of property rights and criminal law. But I don't have answers for myself. That's why I put the post out there, so i could read some different perspectives.

I agree, Musket, retribution should be at most a small part of the justice process: much more important are restitution (putting it right) and rehabilitation (empowering the offender to make better life choices in the future). But the existing system works on the basis of fines and imprisonment, so within the context of the present system, it seems to me that killing cyclists is at the low end of any "social harm" scale.

In terms of restitution, how can you make up for a lost life? Maybe if a parent is killed, the killer could be obliged to pay for the basic life needs and education of the children, but that doesn't compensate for the loss of nurture and emotional support that the children and spouse suffer. And of course a lot of fatalities (and property crimes) are caused by people who have no capacity to provide economically for anyone.

It's more complicated than anyone can answer in a post or two on Vorb, otherwise we would already have a much better justice system, but the difference in those sentences just looked unfair to me.
This post answers the question, but define "fair" and "justice".
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby happybaboon on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:28pm

Also that "guilty mind" (mens rea?) thing... Parking meter guy repeatedly went out and stole cars and then dangerously damaged property to steal money. Truck guy's guilty intent was limited to fiddling the log books and driving while tired. Sure, outcome in the second case is far far worse but it occured due to a much less-naughty offense.

If the universe was fair then the guy who done the more-badder thing would be the guy who did the most damage (killing someone) and would be the guy who would be going away for a heck of a long time, whereas the truck guy would have meerly done some property damage. But the universe is a mean bitch and that's just not how she rolls.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby musket on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:31pm

It fails to point out there is a Restorative element to the process, and also seems to remain focussed on punishment.

As Crusty says, you need to define the goals "fair" and "Justice" before you claim they've been met, or not.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Oli on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:32pm

fatwombat wrote:I don't know what I think *snip* but the difference in those sentences just looked unfair to me.
Needs more bold. :thumbsup:
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Henry Dorset Case on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:34pm

when I rule you all (and I will) there will be no perceived sentencing anomalies such as these because the sentence for pretty much everything is death.

Well that or cake.

Death or cake!!!!!!
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby fatwombat on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:36pm

Death will be preferable to the endless torture of looking at that slice and knowing "You can't have your cake and eat it too".
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Klarkash-ton on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:37pm

ummm, cake please.
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Bigfoot on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:37pm

Henry Dorset Case wrote:when I rule you all (and I will) there will be no perceived sentencing anomalies such as these because the sentence for pretty much everything is death.

Well that or cake.

Death or cake!!!!!!


DEATH BY CAKE!
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Re: Is This Justice?

Postby Oli on Sun 11/Jul/10 8:37pm

Henry Dorset Case wrote:when I rule you all (and I will) there will be no perceived sentencing anomalies such as these because the sentence for pretty much everything is death.

Well that or cake.

Death or cake!!!!!!

We're all out of skis, but we do have elephants! :thumbsup:
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