Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Justice my bum!

WHEN I started this blog, I had intended to keep it lighthearted enough, with possibly a bit of news/current affairs thrown in just to make myself seem brainier than I actually am. However, I read an article in the newspaper yesterday that made my blood boil and I had to share it.

It concerned a court case where a guy who beat a tourist so badly that he's now in a permanent vegitative state, was sentenced to seven years in prison. Seven years. For beating a man into a coma. Not only that, but he was also involved in several other crimes so he got three years for this, two years for that and two years for the other...all adding up to seven years but to run concurrently so in actual fact he'll probably be out of prison in two to three years.

Is that what this country has come to? You can beat someone so severely that they become permanently physically and mentally disabled, unable to move, walk, speak or do anything for themselves and you get two years? If I were in charge (and hopefully one day I will be) crimes like this would be punished by 20 years hard labour, at the very least. The victim of this crime has been sentenced to probably more than 20 years of a nightmare so why not the same for the culprit? Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating going back to the bad old days where prisoners had no rights and were beaten and starved, etc. But I do firmly believe that crimes like this should be severely punished and that those involved should only get the very basic human rights of food, shelter and safety. Apart from that I'd have them working 12 hours a day building community centres. Or landscaping gardens for the elderly. Or a multitude of other hard physical work that might go some way towards repenting for their crimes.

And I'd keep them in prison for a long long time. In this particular case the culprit was only 19, so will probably be out of prison in time to celebrate his 21st birthday, very probably without having learnt any lesson at all.

In cases like this, people often blame the Judge for not passing a harsh enough sentence, but I believe a total overhaul of the justice system is required so that awful violent crime is dealt with severely. Perhaps the Judge in this case had no choice but to impose this sentence and if he had been harsher maybe there might have been an appeal and the criminal might have got off scot free, who knows? All I know is that many of our laws and prison sentences are antiquated and need to be changed and changed now.

I have to admit to being sickened by the crime itself as well. Where did all this violence come from? How could someone be filled with so much hate that they would beat someone into a coma? Is this what Ireland has come to? Maybe I'm wearing rose-tinted glasses but I always felt relatively safe here, thinking that violence on that scale was limited to places where law and order has broken down. But the scary thing is that incidents like this are not a rarity anymore in Ireland, which leads me to believe that not only has law and order broken down but that the moral fibre of Irish society has also been torn. People don't seem to bat an eyelid anymore when they hear of crimes like this as even murder has become a regular occurence here. I think we've become too desensitized to crime and very little shocks us anymore, which is wrong.

Ok, that's it, I'll get off my high horse now!


At 10:49 p.m., Anonymous Ivan said...

Hi Karen. Just read your posts and enjoyed reading them all (especially the Mammy Dunne and what you overheard at the Social Welfare Office are a laugh). Mammy Dunne sounds like my mother only a Jewish mother is worse (trust me). Anyway I have your site bookmarked and will check on it every so often. Thanks for steering me towards your blog. All the best.


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