Over the past year or so it has been hard to miss on Rio-act the very cynical view that a collection of contributors on here seem to have with regard to the ACT criminal justice system.
I only caved and felt the need to write in about it because I am shocked that there are still so many who take the media seriously. Jesus I would bet some have even made financial decisions based on the shite they dish up.
It seems though there are some out there who actually believe that not only are the ACT courts somehow failing to operate as they should. But yet even more astoundingly, there is a fanciful idea that they are controlled by judicially corrupt officials who are being accused of being apparently ‘soft on crime’. This has also been followed with a theory that any ex defense lawyer who becomes admitted to the bar naturally would have to favor the defense. This alone just highlights how much or little is known about how our system even works. And I hasten to add, it doesn’t work at all if both sides aren’t represented equally.
It seems there is a good number of people on here with this view and even some who appear to be working in law enforcement, though by nature they aren’t typically fans of the system. And understandably so. Courts can be very confronting and frustrating places.
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Made me think a bit about my views on it. I even thought maybe I don’t get it. Am I out touch with the real world? Entirely possible and for most other areas concerned, yes. I am out of touch with the real world that is why I have no influence or agency and don’t get laid nearly as often as I would like. Is it really a travesty in the halls of the criminal courts of Canberra? Really? Maybe, if you read the Canberra times or any other court reporter’s genius insights, you could be forgiven for thinking the justice system is nonsensical and killers are let off all the time and sent home with gift vouchers to Coles Myer. There in lies the real problem. People are not getting the accurate information that they deserve and have a right to. Mind you it is combined with a willingness to make assumptions and jump to conclusions using only the information they have received via mass media. I can certainly understand that this might pose the question of where does one go when you need the facts? The courts would be a good place to start.
I think it can be dangerous when plying people with information to do with serious crimes, as it perpetuates a needless anxiety within the community. So I went looking for something that might be of a resource to the hang them high mob of the Riotact. It just so happens that the Australian Institute of Criminology website has everything you could ever want on the matter. Mostly it is all there in black and white about the public’s perception on crime. But I hit the jack pot as there has just recently been a study completed on judges accuracy in sentencing. Wouldn’t you know it : “Study of jurors shows judges get it right on criminal sentencing”
I highly recommend reading it. Fascinating.
FROM THE AIC website.
“The public’s perceptions of crime and of criminal justice can have an important influence on policy decisions relating to operational activity in front line law enforcement and in judicial sentencing. However, there can be and indeed often is, a discrepancy between the public’s perception of the likelihood of crime victimization and the actual risk of victimization. This discrepancy is apparent in the public’s concern regarding a perceived increase in crime amidst declining crime rates”
The public lacks knowledge of sentencing practice and
those most dissatisfied with the criminal justice system are those whose perceptions are
particularly inaccurate. Improving access to information about sentencing and the principals would advance the overall understanding of criminal justice and maybe even curb that needless fear of crime.
Regurgitating media stories is not a substitute for the facts of a case. In fact it is possible that you have been fed a pile of rubbish just to see if you would swallow it.
Our role as members of the community with a conscience on criminal justice is to to think critically and independently, to be reasonable.