More Meddling with the Justice System
Posted by rantingkraut on June 18, 2008
Labour’s former respect Tsar, Louise Casey, has come up with some more “reform” proposals to deal with the perception of a problem:
“She says people do not believe crime has fallen, and think the law is stacked in favour of offenders’ rights.” (source) What is at issue here are people’s beliefs about crime, not actual crime figures. This kind of emphasis is not surprising among the post modern left: once you accept that facts are mere social constructs, it becomes unimportant how high the incidence of crime really is. Note also the notion of offenders’ rights: this very categorisation takes it as given that people are known to be offenders in advance –quite a different notion from the old fashioned concept of due process establishing whether the defendant has committed an offence or is merely being accused of it.
This is followed by some of the usual harebrained ideas such as wasting more resources (e.g. on a “public commissioner on crime”) and some gimmicks (“She recommends that offenders serving community sentences be made more “visible” …”). The most worrying proposal is the one to extend provisions for anonymous witness statements to the elderly, the disabled and anyone who claims to fear reprisals, i.e. anyone. The latter suggestion not only would limit a defendant’s ability to confront and question his accusers, it would also render the justice system yet more Kafkaesque.
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