David Thompson
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March 16, 2020

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David

Somewhat related, the last three paragraphs here.

MC

I'd forgotten Mr Stafford-Smith, a man with so much compassion for the criminal that he has nothing left in his heart for the victim.

The UK definitely needs a '3 strikes and get in the sea' policy. A huge proportion of crime is committed by a small minority of career criminals. It would be to the benefit of all for these people to be banged up for the long term. The cost of prisons is an obstacle so I'd suggest building a few in Africa, thus solving a UK problem and bringing useful jobs to developing nations.

Killer Marmot

Readers are welcome to use the comments below to share alternatives.

Put repeat offenders out on the ice flows of Hudson Bay to fatten the polar bears. This proposal should be quite popular with the environmental activists. Alternatively, put the environmental activists on the ice flows.

David

I’d forgotten Mr Stafford-Smith, a man with so much compassion for the criminal that he has nothing left in his heart for the victim.

As I’m sure I’ve said before, the desire to excuse sociopathy and habitual criminal predation, and to spare its perpetrators from normal consequences – generally to flatter oneself - is, I think, a defining vice of the age.

David

Still, maybe we should thank Mr Stafford Smith for throwing into sharp relief the gulf that so often exists between the Guardianista mindset and the preferences and values of the wider public.

See also this.

Penseivat

If Boots, and other stores, post a notice that he is banned from their stores then, if he goes back, he enters the premises as a trespasser. If he then steals, the offence is not theft, but burglary, a much more serious offence which even the Police would find it difficult to ignore.

Squires

Nature abhors a vacuum, and between criminals and law-abiding citizens, someone is always going to step in when the government steps out. This is one more reason why feckless police show more interest in hounding the latter over the former: citizens expecting sane law and order are a threat to their status and to their jobs, the real criminals are not.

David

Nature abhors a vacuum, and between criminals and law-abiding citizens, someone is always going to step in when the government steps out.

I doubt I’m alone in noticing the extent to which the police have lost much of the regard in which they may previously have been held by the law-abiding public, largely as a result of incompetent management and absurd and facile priorities. Presumably, quite a few police officers have registered this too.

As I’ve said before, we’ve gone from the ideal of burly chaps who will apprehend lawbreakers as forcefully as necessary and send them on their way towards the nearest dungeon, to ladies in funny hats who will be terribly sensitive and empathise with our loss, while we get used to the idea that whatever wrong was done to us will most likely go unpunished.

And once public confidence is damaged or lost, I’m not sure that it can easily be restored.

David Davis

The British legal system, eagerly aided and abetted by the police,need there to be "The Right Amount Of Crime". Otherwise their heartfelt please for bigger budgets, more computers, more panda cares to tear around in sirens wailing, will fall on deaf ears. The point is not to "solve" crimes to the satisfaction of victims, but to "keep the flow going".

To this end, to repeatedly release a known serial villain into the wild, despite the frustrated anger of his victims, is so profitable. Two-dozen or more "cases" can be chruned over through the system, keeping squads of public-sector workers, probation officers, police, lawyers and judges in the style to which they have become so accustomed that it's natural for them.

David Davis

You know what? There's a rather inhospitable archipelago in the Deep South sub-Arctic Atlantic, called the South Sandwich Islands. I don't just mean South Georgia, which is just about survivable on as it even has buildings and probably a generator.

I mean the other, smaller, steeper, further south ones, mostly rock scree and the odd bird.

These folks could be put there in the clothes they stand up in, together with the bobbies that declined to arrest them. Wwe can watch, from satellite, these individuals enjoying each other's company. At some point, one bright spark will have to begin butchering and eating the others. Better than Love Island.

David

Better than Love Island.

I did once suggest a reality show called I’m A Diabetic, Get Me Out Of Here, but I think yours would get better ratings.

pst314

The UK definitely needs a '3 strikes and get in the sea' policy.

Can we apply it to the Wise Progressive Thinkers who are responsible for the insane government policies we suffer under?

pst314

If he then steals, the offence is not theft, but burglary, a much more serious offence which even the Police would find it difficult to ignore.

Call me cynical, but I think they'll find a way.

Mags

but I think yours would get better ratings.

Would watch.

David

There’s a rather inhospitable archipelago in the Deep South sub-Arctic Atlantic, called the South Sandwich Islands.

Somehow, you omitted to mention that the islands have at least one active volcano and a lava lake.

Again, ratings.

Karl

I'm no fan of “three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft” policies because of the obvious flaw that you end up executing people for stealing a Mars bar.

However I propose what I call "progressive" sentencing (tainted though that word now is) in which convicted criminals are also required to re-serve any previous sentences on the basis that they failed to learn their lesson.

Subject to some reasonable limits like expiry times and the length of the current sentence.

David

required to re-serve any previous sentences on the basis that they failed to learn their lesson.

I’m not entirely unsympathetic. That said, incarceration is expensive - compared to, say, rafts - and it occurs to me some may object to being forced to pay for the accommodation, heating, feeding and medical care of creatures who would happily prey on them, and prey on them again, until forcibly stopped.

[ Edited. Missed out ‘not’. ]

BrassG

"three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft"

Prison barges, poorhouses and debtors prisons existed for a reason. It is popular today for self-appointed liberal philosophers who've never missed a meal to clamber onto their moral soapboxes and decry the horrid social practices of the British Empire and early America. The fact is, however, those methods worked to control crime and keep the society as a whole in balance. When a government ceases to perform its one and only legitimate function -- providing a stable foundation upon which its citizens can grow and thrive -- it is time for it to be replaced.

Steve E

I suggested, not entirely flippantly, that a “three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft” policy...

The last time that happened you ended up with Australia. No offense Australia.

David

The last time that happened you ended up with Australia.

I don’t suppose the locals would let us have it back? No? Then I guess we’d better start working on Phantom Zone technology.

bobby

Person-on-person crime in every category went down here when they allowed for the carrying of handguns.

Karl

incarceration is expensive

I shall leave it to greater minds than mine to figure out why it costs more to keep a prisoner in a cell than to rent them a room in a nice fully catered hotel. Nevertheless it's going to be less expensive socially than executing people for dropping three pieces of litter or refusing to pay their BBC Licence tax three times.

The great advantage of "progressive" sentencing is that it self-corrects. An habitual criminal will receive increasingly severe sentences according to the crimes they commit until either the punishment reaches the level of convincing them to stop crimming, or they spend so long incarcerated that they can no longer prey on their long-suffering neighbours.

Take the scrote in question - suppose he had been sentenced to just 1 week imprisonment for each of his previous 25 convictions. In total he would have spent roughly 6 months in prison (if indeed he'd spent any time at all). Under a progressive system he would have spent closer to six years - a fairer outcome for all I'm sure you'd agree? (That's 1 week for the first offence, 1 week for the second plus repeating the first sentence, 1 week for the third plus the repeating the first and the second...)

Obviously with a criminal justice system determined to prevent criminals from serving any sentence at all no clever sentencing system is going to make the blindest bit of difference.

Karl

Incidentally, I couldn't buy any eggs today - the supermarket had been cleaned out of eggs, along with rice, pasta and toilet paper.

Now I can understand that people might want a survival stock of carbohydrate-rich rice, pasta and toilet paper come the Kung Flu apocalypse but what the FUCK are they going to do with a month's supply of eggs? You can't even freeze the bastards.

What the fuck people?

Felicity

The last time that happened you ended up with Australia. No offense Australia.

None taken

Another Calgary Marc

I dunno. I kinda think sometimes that the stocks and public flogging should make a resurgence. And no, I can't even tell if I'm joking.

Sam Duncan

My dad always suggested St. Kilda. And he was deeply saddened by the Isle of Man finally doing away with flogging back in the '80s(?).

He was a lawyer.

“Now I can understand that people might want a survival stock of carbohydrate-rich rice, pasta and toilet paper come the Kung Flu apocalypse but what the FUCK are they going to do with a month's supply of eggs? You can't even freeze the bastards.”

We're told to “self-isolate” for a week, maybe two. Most people do their shopping once a week. I don't see the problem here. Get some powdered milk in case you can't go out for that (and don't have any way of, you know... ordering it from a supermarket, because it's not as if they deliver stuff), and maybe a few extra items just in case, but what's all the panic for?

I blame Resident Evil. I'm only half-joking. 28 Days Later, too. People think this is the apocalypse.

aelfheld
I kinda think sometimes that the stocks and public flogging should make a resurgence. And no, I can't even tell if I'm joking.

More & more I think punishment should be public.

Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.
Karl

I blame Resident Evil

I blame Twitter!
Isn't it ironic that in the information age people are more irrational and prone to hysteria than a medieval peasant.

WTP

I blame Resident Evil. I'm only half-joking. 28 Days Later, too. People think this is the apocalypse.

Or more recently, 2011's Contagion. Not that I saw it myself, someone sent me the link because I'm not panicking, as I've grown very, very tired of the End Of The World stories. So because the bastards in Hollywood got wind of the fact that I don't give a living F about their stupid, stupid End Of The World scenario films, they have to perpetuate it IRL.

But seriously, not joking at all, I really do think that those types of films and such are behind the degree of mass panic that we are seeing. If only someone had done a film about the cure being worse than the disease. But who would watch that, right?

Squires

None taken

Well I am offended. It wasn’t just your heathen island of kangaroo barbecuers and koala-fondlers that they shipped unwanted people off to. A certain husband-and-wife duo in my family were, for example, sent here to the blessed (now) United States over certain accusations of thieving a bird... or a rabbit? Some portable, edible animal or another. And just look at what that got us! Me!

But really, David’s people would be better served by repealing certain laws rather than strapping themselves to new ones.

Example:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-gun

Darleen

I'd forgotten Mr Stafford-Smith, a man with so much compassion for the criminal that he has nothing left in his heart for the victim.

"He who is merciful to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the merciful" the Midrash

Darleen

OT but heh.

Daniel Ream

Some time ago, I suggested, not entirely flippantly, that a “three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft” policy might be quite popular.

Now do Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

"The police and justice system are completely corrupt and feckless and we should give them the power to de facto execute criminals."

BrassG

"Isn't it ironic that in the information age people are more irrational and prone to hysteria than a medieval peasant."

Indeed. Misinformation and rumor have always traveled better than facts, and social media has only exacerbated the problem. It's made worse in the U.S. because the DemoPress is following Alinsky's edict that one should never let a potential crisis go to waste. They're fanning the flames in an attempt to create panic and crash the economy, because the only faint hope they have of beating Donald Trump in November is if we're nose-diving into a recession. I don't think it's going to work, but it's irritating as a hangnail to watch them doing it.

Darleen

the obvious flaw that you end up executing people for stealing a Mars bar.

Never happened. Even the much ballyhooed - OMG he was sentenced for life for stealing a slice of pizza - case wasn't actually that.

California passed 3-strikes in 1994 when crime was rampant and things like the Poly Klaas murderer was a life-long career criminal who kept being released. "Strikes" were never automatic. 1 - they had to be serious felonies (e.g. violent) and no charge was automatically a strike. DA may charge a strike, but it would be up to the judge to look at the facts and decide to add the strike.

So many people with 1 or 2 strikes didn't just have that on their rap sheets.

A third strike could be any felony conviction. Which changed in 2012 where the 3rd strike had to be a serious or violent felony.

BTW, prior convictions can/do increase penalities at sentencing. So when the usual handwringers cry about "disparate racist sentencing" when person A gets 30 days for doing X and person B gets 60 days for the same X charge, what is never asked "How many prior convictions do A and B each have"?

What has really caused a huge increase in crime in California in recent years is the effective decriminalization of property crime. We used to have a felony charge (PC666) "Petty theft with priors" that a person with 3 prior misdemeanor convictions for petty theft could be charged with a felony on the 4th conviction and sent to state prison. That's gone and the threshold for misdemeanor shoplifting went from $400 to $950. That $950 is for each instance and NOT cumulative. Take your boosterbags to the mall and you can steal several thousands of dollars of stuff for the day and never get more than a misdemeanor citation as long as you limit yourself to $949 per store.

Even if you're detained and arrested, you'll be cited out of county jail within 12 hours.

pst314

The last time that happened you ended up with Australia. No offense Australia.

There seems to be a certain amount of pride down under:
https://www.19crimes.com/en-us/the-19-crimes

Lancastrian Oik

"Isn't it ironic that in the information age people are more irrational and prone to hysteria than a medieval peasant."

Absolutely- one disturbing aspect of Britain's recent culture war over Brexit was the stance of many Remainers whereby they sought a re-run of the referendum on the basis that the majority of Leavers (frequently and disparagingly lampooned as "gammons") were elderly and would perforce be dead sooner rather than later and thus the votes of the over-55 and "unwoke" should be discounted. References to the likely upsurge in the number of deaths of this demographic in the forthcoming winter from 'flu etc. were fairly common.

Having lost the subsequent General Election, the emergence of corona virus and its potential consequences for the elderly has prompted a paroxysm of anti-Boris bellendery (to adopt our host's excellent term) in the form of a new Twitter-borne obsession: "#ToryGenocide".

That's right; those same old people whom they wanted out of the way not a few months ago are now their major concern, and it doesn't seem to have occurred to these morons that a "genocide" which wiped out one's own supporters would be a bit of an own goal....

Words can't express just how much I despise these malevolent wankers.

Karl

Never happened.

I didn't think it would be necessary to explain to someone on this blog the difference between a metaphorical and literal statement. To indulge you though - as far as I can tell, you are correct. No-one has actually been executed for stealing a Mars bar.

However, under three-strike rules they have been sentenced to 70-years and life imprisonment for stealing a sandwich and a pair of socks due to such oddities as California's felony petty theft laws.

Richard Cranium

I'll point out that the sandwich link refers to a Texas case where the individual appears to have pulled a knife as part of purloining the sandwich.

Darleen

To indulge you though

Unnecessary. I would point out, however, that metaphors usually contain some connection with reality. Maybe I've spent too much time over the years trying to counter the "life for stealing a slice of pizza!" myth I figure to just state out the door "Didn't happen".

AND I will repeat myself - those 3rd felony strikes didn't mean the perp had a rap sheet with only 2 convictions. And CA no longer has a felony petty theft law. It's as if you didn't actually read my whole reply? BTW I never saw PC666 for just one prior.

2014's Prop 47 got rid of PC666 in regards to prior misdemeanor petty theft convictions. Petty theft is now off the charts. Unexpectedly.

Karl

It's as if you didn't actually read my whole reply

No, I did. And I certainly agree with you about the absurdity of PC459.5 effectively de-criminalising shoplifting (of less than $1000) in California. But then California is pretty much the demonstration of what happens to an asylum when the inmates take over.

The problem I have with three-strike rules is not that I'm sympathetic towards murderers or terrorists, or even petty thieves come to that. Nor that I fear people being metaphorically hung for stealing pizzas. It's that they are too blunt an instrument for dealing with persistent repeat criminality and they inevitably become arbitrary and capriciously applied. To the advantage of no-one. A systematic, predictable increment in punishment levels is surely preferable. And not one largely at the discretion of judges.

Like my "progressive sentencing" suggestion?

Karl

Oops ;)

David

Duplicate deleted. :-)

Darleen

Like my "progressive sentencing" suggestion?

Sure, since it already happens. That's what using priors as enhancements does. Take DUI - 1st conviction carries no jail time (except time served for the arrest), about $2K in fines, 1st offender alcohol education, license restriction and 3 years probation. 2nd conviction, 45 days mandatory jail, higher fines, probation and loss of license for 6 mos. It goes up from there with your 4th DUI (with 3 prior DUI or wet reckless in a 10 year period) is a felony with mandatory state prison time.

A rap sheet is always submitted with the initial report from the agency so the reviewing deputy district attorney can review it for priors or other enhancements.

a different james

As I’ve said before, we’ve gone from the ideal of burly chaps who will apprehend lawbreakers as forcefully as necessary and send them on their way towards the nearest dungeon, to ladies in funny hats who will be terribly sensitive and empathise with our loss, while we get used to the idea that whatever wrong was done to us will most likely go unpunished.

The police is where it is most obvious but the rot is throughout the administrative organs of every country in the Anglosphere. They have overwhelmed the ability of politicians, if they were so inclined, to give direction and demand accountability.

They largely write and define what their organisations will do and expect Ministers and Government to approve it.

And, unfortunately, the politicians themselves are mirror images of these administrators- the days of politicians having had careers before entering politics are gone.

It is why I am willing to make excuses for Trump- because he sees this and is at least pushing back.

It is why I wish Don Cummings well, even though I suspect that he is an unpleasant headbanger.

Karl

Sure, since it already happens.

You don't agree that re-serving previous punishments across the board, for all types of crimes, would be better than these current arbitrary "enhancements" that apply only to a certain number of repeats of certain crimes? The beauty of the system I'm suggesting is that it's completely self-adjusting, responding to every conviction the criminal accrues. So, for example, being convicted of a DUI would result in repeating a (or part of a) previous sentence for theft also. More particularly, shaking off 25 repeated shoplifting offences would be considerably harder.

Is there no value to that, do you think?

Karl

hoorendous

I would congratulate you on the quality of your spam. If I had the faintest clue what you're on about.

David

Bewildering tirade deleted.

WTP

Bewildering tirade deleted.

I suggest putting the jar of pickled "eggs" underneath the bar. As I understand it, bath salts create a craving for them.

Darleen

Is there no value to that, do you think?

The issue with your suggestion deals with legality. Say, once I've served my sentence for DUI (that includes probation), I'm done. I cannot be brought back to court and be sentenced to repeat my sentence. If I violate my probation, I can be remanded to jail - but that jail time is already spelled out in my sentencing.

"X" sentence for a crime is determinate.

If I don't get a clue, my next sentence can be longer than what it would be for a 1st time offender, but I cannot be resentenced for something I already served time for. That's an element of double jeopardy (multiple punishments for the same offense). So while I may increase the sentenced on the immediate conviction based on the fact of a prior conviction, I cannot go back to that prior conviction and impose a new punishment.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Hi Karl,

Now that it’s warming up, they are buying lots of eggs to plant in hopes that at least some will sprout chickens. 🐓

Karl

That's an element of double jeopardy

Ah, good point. Dammit.

Lady C but don't the chickens come first?
🙂

pst314

but don't the chickens come first?

No. The trans chickens of color come first.

bgates

wet reckless

band name

Bewildering tirade

likewise

and from a few posts back

gritty fudge

it's practically an entire festival, if we were still permitted to have those.

Fred the Fourth

So...
The entire 6 county SF bay area is under shelter in place order starting midnight tonight.
All non essential businesses to close.
This morning I wrote a number on a piece of paper and sealed it in a dated envelope. My prediction for total US fatalities as of May 15.
Gonna be fun.
The SF city council and mayor press conference almost made my blood pressure spray out of my ears. One wanted after another thanking all the other bankers for their hard work. Gah.
I sure picked a bad time to stop boozing.

Fred the Fourth

Ack. Not "wanted". Wanker.

Fred the Fourth

Ack. Not "banker". Wanker!
Wanker, Wanker wanker!
(Why, yes. I'm always like this. Why do you ask?)

Craig Mc

Some time ago, I suggested, not entirely flippantly, that a “three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft” policy might be quite popular.

My policy, as it has been for years, is to gratefully accept the offender's volunteering for the nation's nascent space program. Budgets are tight, so strapping them to the side of a ex-Iraqi Scud is the best we can do I'm afraid. God speed you brave heroes!

lotocoti

The Penal Colony by Richard Herley was a pretty good tale of a British "Here's a tin of Spam, good luck." justice system.
The film, not so much. Although a mate did make a bundle doing standby props.

Bill de Haan

My Little Bobby sounds like the British equivalent of New York City's Guardian Angels, circa 1979.

The stories seem very familiar. Citizens fed up with crime turn to self-policing, out of disgust with the official police's inability (or unwillingness) to deal with the sheer amount of crime.

In both cases, lenient government policies led to increased amounts of crime, and a lack of interest in the damage done to the community. And in both cases, the community decided to bypass the government, and police itself, much to the disgust of the "real" police.

As a friend remarks, the police aren't actually there to protect the law-abiding from the guilty, but the guilty from the law-abiding. Because if (or when) the law-abiding feel that they are not protected, they take the law into their own hands, which usually results with a rather high death toll.

Governments ignore that fact at their peril.

Col. Milquetoast

“ police officers arrived on the crime scene, decided the case was a “civil” matter”

Is that an attempt at gaming the crime statistics — no arrest so no recorded crime = lower crime rate? Or is it something else?

BrassG

In the ridiculous scramble of corporate CYA responses to the coronavirus mass hysteria, I've received multiple emails from customers, clients, services, and my own company detailing the extreme measures they are taking to dodge frivolous lawsuits. The one that takes the cake, however, came from my subscription car wash service. At the end of the list showing off their compassion and legal agility was this gem:

"Lastly, out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily suspended our complimentary coffee and popcorn service in our lounges."

Well, that's solved then isn't it? Tea, anyone?

pst314

"Is that an attempt at gaming the crime statistics — no arrest so no recorded crime = lower crime rate? Or is it something else?"

I believe another factor is that the police are overworked: thanks to bureaucracy they must spend many hours filling out paperwork for every arrest--many more than used to be required. Thus, they are naturally reluctant to pursue less serious crimes. At least, that is what I read numerous times in the 1990's in blogs written by anonymous policemen like PC David Copperfield. As I understand it, the endlessly increasing paperwork requirements are due to the depredations of government bureaucrats and elected officials and to and predatory "civil rights" lawyers and activists.

Governor Squid

Bit of a vicious circle, innit? Police do poorly at their jobs; public loses respect for police; jurors find against the bumbling bobbies in their lawsuits; bureaucrats create more CYA paperwork to be done on every shift as a legal shield; police spend more time on CYA red tape bad-police insurance and less time on good policing; police do poorly at their jobs...

Can you imagine the city where the police chief defends his good cops and cuts loose the bad cops? Where the Mayor and Council insist that employees entrusted to detain and even kill their neighbors be held to the highest standard? Where the union head insists on no more than a perfunctory show of due process before letting his rotten brother get cut loose?

It's nothing more than a handful of leaders showing basic leadership and competence, and yet it sounds like some kind of fairy tale. And people wonder why I'm such a misanthrope all the time.

jones

"Three strikes"?

When I were a lad.....

Cloudbuster

I'm kind of fond of the "You try to steal my stuff and I'll put a bullet in your head" alternative.

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