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Wild Bill bangs law and order drum on murder

By johnboy 28 May 2006 20

Fresh from his appearance at the Civic Watch-house, Liberal Leader Bill Stefaniak is jumping straight onto his Laura Norder bandwagon. The ABC reports that Bill wants less downgrading of murder charges to lesser (but more easily proven) charges.

The reason?

Liberal Leader Bill Stefaniak says it is worrying there has not been a successful murder conviction in the ACT since 1988, despite four murders occurring last year.

Once again Bill’s concept of reasoning eludes me. Would he like more murders so the ACT can have a successful murder conviction? Is he suggesting that last years murders would not have occured if the ACT had seen a murder conviction more recently?

I can imagine that when taken by a murderous rage that statistic will pop into the head of the average citizen. Actually I can’t imagine that at all.

If Bill had pointed to an actual case where he thought a charge downgrading was inappropriate, I’d be a lot more interested in what he has to say.

What’s Your opinion?

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20 Responses to
Wild Bill bangs law and order drum on murder
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boomacat 12:39 am 30 May 06

Interesting how politicians whine on with their Laura Norder auction to draw the public away from the fact that they have nothing of substance to offer the community.

For an intelligent comment on this issue, see:

Binker 10:28 pm 29 May 06

1997: The AFP’s very own John T Conway (aka Killer Conway but known thus for his tendency to not exercise his discretion when issuing tickets) and Kathy McFee, well ok it was conspiracy-murder but he got a head sentence of 24 years and she got 18. The boys who did the job for them, Steer and Williams both with head sentences of 18 years they were convicted of murder, but they did plead guilty (and got a further discount for giving crown evidence), so if Steff actually means murder convictions contested at trial they don’t count.

ant 9:39 pm 29 May 06

No successful murder convictions since the 80s?! Rubbish! David Eastman springs to mind, and I’m sure there’s heaps of others.

simto 3:00 pm 29 May 06

No, we need a mental health system. Which we don’t have either.

Mr_Shab 2:48 pm 29 May 06

Wouldn’t suprise me.

Do we need the Keystone Kops to fight “crazy crime”?

Absent Diane 2:41 pm 29 May 06

isn’t some kind of crime down (money crime??) due to heroin use being down and another form of crime (crazy crime??) up because of meth usage being on the up…

Mr_Shab 2:34 pm 29 May 06

Oh – and another thing…what are these pesky statistics I keep hearing about violent crime in Aust being down 10% since 1990? But then, stats aren’t sexy. Breakdown-of-society-we’re-all-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket is, I guess.

Mr_Shab 2:32 pm 29 May 06

Ralph, if you were any more poorly informed, you’d implode into a singularity of ignorance.

First, crime rates are coming down in the US cause all of the potential crims have been locked up. They have 2.2 million people in prison. All crims seem to get a custodial sentance in parts of the US, no matter how trivial their offence. Their recidivism rates are incredibly high, as there is no money for rehabilitation in the system, so it just keeps churning people through itself. Whole generations in some areas are lost to the prison system.

This has huge reprocussions on the families of the people in prison. You sentance not just the criminal, but everyone connected to them to prision when you issue a custodial sentence.

Sometimes people make bad decisions. They commit crimes and they pay for them (sometimes not enough, especially in the ACT). Some people can be saved, some can’t; but why sentence everyone to life for a moment of stupidity?

Ralph – say you get a skinful and thump some bloke in a pub for being a prick. How’s 5 years for Assault and Battery for a rush of blood to the head sound?

As I’ve said repeatedly – sentancing needs to be reviewed (especially for violent crimes, IMHO), but mandatory sentencing is a mind-bendingly poor idea.

As for your comments on criminal genes being kept out of circulation…dear God! I thought you were just a bit ignorant, but you’ve revealed yourself as a knuckle-dragging moron. Eugenics has been pretty fundamentally debunked. No amount of removing “criminal genes” from the gene pool will stop crime. Try looking up “eugenics” on Wikipedia.

Ralph 1:51 pm 29 May 06

Well parts of the US that have taken a tough stance on crime are now actually seeing crime rates coming down. I say people respond to incentives. And when they see their ‘brothers’ getting put away for a long time they might well just think about it before they commit a crime.

Sorry, these parasites don’t need rehabilitation.
They need to be incarcerated for a long time. Frankly a cup of tea and a chat with 45 year old female counsellor is not going to cut it with these hoards of criminals.

I think if you took into account the costs of keeping these people in the community, usually re-offending, and on welfare it’d probably be more efficient to rather keep them locked up. Also throw in the cost of having criminals and psycopaths spreading their genes and sowing the seeds for the next generational of criminals. Best to stop them from breeding as well.

I say build our jail and make it a big one.

Mr_Shab 1:25 pm 29 May 06

Hey – You don’t need to convince me. I’ve got no problem banging up murderers. Or anyone who commits a violent crime for that matter. Like I said – sentences for these types of crime are inadequate.

I just think mandatory sentencing is a collossaly dim idea.

Plus, that kind of debate inevitably polarises into soft-lefty drivel vs hang-draw-and-quarter-the-little-bastards smackdown. I’d rather stay out of it, thanks.

vg 1:16 pm 29 May 06

My issue is arguments like this I guess

“But what is gained by coming down with the same ton of bricks on someone who will most likely not reoffend after they have served their punishment and an incorrigible serial offender?”

Can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

Mandatory sentencing doesnt fit all crimes I’ll vouch that, but someone who is convicted of murder should be serving a healthy stint. Excessive judicial scope (with a lot pf personal views thrown in there by the judiciary) sees manifestly unsatisfactory sentencing.

A small example. A few years ago it was decided that the amount of people who received special licences after drink driving convictions was way too much. The law was tightened and people had to display highly special circumstances to get special licence, simply saying you needed the car to get to work wasnt enough. It worked for about 2-3 months. Now seemingly everyone can display these special circumstances once again and we are back where we started i.e. no real deterrent to drink driving.

The ACT Courts are pathetically weak, excessively left leaning, and in no way a representative of the community they supposedly are there for.

Suffice to say some have personal issues that should get them off the bench straight away. Thankfully I dont have to go to Court so much anymore. Many times I had to bite my tongue from screaming. A doctor told a Court that, besides a gun shot would to the face, one of my victims had the worst broken jaw he’d ever seen. The clown that deliberately inflicted this was not even fined, and given a suspended sentence despite the fact that there was scope to sentence this person to at least some form a jail time, and up to at least a couple of years.

The guy never even saw the inside of a remand centre……pathetic

Mr_Shab 12:52 pm 29 May 06

VG – I’m aware that my law is pretty shaky – I’m a cook, ferchrissakes…

My illustration was more to do with my opposition to manadatory sentancing. I don’t think you can place an arbitrary penalty on every crime. I think judges need room to move when sentencing to take the circumstances of each case into account.

How the judges excercise said “room to move” is a matter for another debate. I agree that the ACT courts allow people to develop a diminished sense of personal responsibiliy and that the Singh and Collins sentences were manifestly inadequate – but that’s not what I’m arguing.

For the record, I think the balance between punishment and rehabilitation depends on the situation too. Yes, the law must punish. But what is gained by coming down with the same ton of bricks on someone who will most likely not reoffend after they have served their punishment and an incorrigible serial offender?

I’m sure we both agree that people can be rehabilitated. How often, and how sucessfully is where we differ, I take it. I don’t see the logic in applying the same ironclad rule to different circumstances.

vg 12:20 pm 29 May 06

Shab. Learn some law. ‘Battered wife syndrome’ is a defence to a charge of murder.

The first principle of justice within a court is punishment. This is long held and originated from the community or individuals need for revenge in ye olde days. Having said that, its still the #1 principle in the administration of justice for its (a) restorative and (b) deterent effects.

Rehabilitation is a long 2nd. All the Courts in the ACT do is abrogate personal responsibilty (i.e. its not my fault, the cat ate my homework) and look for excuses for blame rather than allowing someone to take personal responsibility. Look at the sentences that people like Singh and Collins got for killing someone when their paper thin defences were destroyed. About 3 years each maximum.

It is black and white when you know what you’re talking about. Spend a week in an ACT Court and see if your opinion is the same

Mr_Shab 10:43 am 29 May 06

Bravo Ralph. Very sensible. Why not kill ’em all, and let God sort ’em out.

Yeah – sentances are up in the US – and so is the incarceration rate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 1 in every 176 people in this country is prison. What a fabulous outcome that would be. Screw rehabilitation – just cram these nasty people in a cupboard so they won’t ugly up our city.

Yup – judges get it wrong. But arbitrarily banging someone up with no consideration for the background to their crime is a profoundly bad idea.

I’m sure everyone will start ranting about people getting reduced sentances for “having a bad upbringing” and telling me I’m a softhead (has anyone heard from Bonfire recently?)

I’m referring more to a situation where a battered wife snaps and kills her husband with a shotgun after said husband sexually abuses one of the kids vs Ivan Milat. Both are murder. Are they morally equivalent? Under mandatory sentancing they are.

Not quite so black and white now, eh.

Judges need room to move in sentancing. I think some of them are failing to live up to community expectations of punishment; but the community’s desire for blood doesn’t always weigh up with the reality of the situation.

Ralph 10:08 am 29 May 06

Two words to sort these bullshit courts in the ACT out: mandatory sentencing. From murder to shoplifting. Everything has a mandatory sentence.

Also consider making judges publicly accountable by having them elected. Works well in parts of the United States that have this. Sentences up, crime rates down. But given the number of left wing twits in this town I doubt this would make any difference to the current bench.

VYBerlinaV8 9:05 am 29 May 06

Woe betide any person who uses a mobile phone while murdering someone…

vg 11:50 pm 28 May 06

All the vision I saw was of him walking in and out of the City Station front office. Thats where any sort of fines get sorted

johnboy 6:53 pm 28 May 06

really? I thought he did a photo op nearby?

vg 6:52 pm 28 May 06

Excuse all the typos, very tired

vg 6:51 pm 28 May 06

I dare say what Bill is referring to is the alrming rate of charges that the Courts either prefer down to manslaughter, or the willingess of the DPP to plead a charge down because actually trying something is all too hard for them. case in point the young chap who killed his mum in Melba about 3 years or so ago…..he will be paroled very shortly. All his ‘defences’ were discredited in a Court but one of our ‘elearned’ judges decided that 3 1/2 was enough in the clink. Pathetically out of touch with not only the people they represent, but reality.

BTW, Bill would have gone nowhere near the Watch-House the other day

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