Friday, September 29, 2006

No more trials?

Serious crimes such as assault and mugging will be punished by instant fines of up to £100 from as early as next year under proposals to keep offenders out of courts, it has been reported.

The plans, drawn up by the Home Office, propose an extension of fixed-penalty notices from early 2007, The Times reported.

The penalties would be handed out for offences including assault, threatening behaviour, theft up to the value of £100, obstructing or assaulting a police officer, possession of cannabis and drunkenness, the newspaper said.

Can anyone see the problems with this? I can see atleast two. See how many you can spot.

First of all we don’t even know these guys are guilty. They should face a trial with a jury of 12 like all criminals. Trials are… or should be a basic right in this country but Blair seems to enjoy taking our rights away. Trial by jury should never be discarded because it would be cheaper not to have them.

Why such a weak punishment? Serious crimes should be punished by jail time not by such a low fine. I thought Labour was going to be ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.’ They have shown yet again that they are weak on crime and tough on freedom. Maybe their slogan should be ‘tough on freedom, tough on the causes of freedom’. It would fit well with the Labour party.

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