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  1. #31
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    I didnt refer to any mitigating circumstances??! I just said that most people passing judgement on the case, amd sentence, including myself, dont know most of the facts.

    I dont know anything about the case, but im sure the judge has his reasons fornthe sentence. If there are grounds to appeal, then hopefully the crown appeals, but it should be done on legal grounds, not because thousands of people saw something on Facebook.
    Trying to look at this objectively, I do wonder if the apparently lenient sentence has encouraged the defence to appeal. Perhaps they sense that the judge had some doubt when it came to sentencing, and are trying to exploit that.


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  3. #32
    Coaching Staff Future17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Trying to look at this objectively, I do wonder if the apparently lenient sentence has encouraged the defence to appeal. Perhaps they sense that the judge had some doubt when it came to sentencing, and are trying to exploit that.
    Application for leave is, broadly speaking, a guaranteed payday for solicitors...albeit a lot less than it used to be.

    I wouldn't read too much into the decision to apply.

  4. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    Fair enough. But a jury, and a judge and fhe procurator fiscal all seem to think one thing, and you, some random punter on an internet message board who may/may not have any expertise in fhe criminal justice system, legal process or any ofnthe facts of the case, thinks another.
    I don't really wish to debate this extremely sensitive matter for the family concerned for too much longer and I've made it clear I think four years for ending a person's life albeit not a murder charge is not long enough. However, I do think your comments regarding some random punter on an internet message board is a crass comment as what does that make you if not another as you call me some random punter on an internet message board? Why should anyone take any notice of what you say according to your thinking? In any case Juries and Procurator Fiscals would not have been involved in the sentencing aspect and sometimes judges get it wrong or are members of the public not allowed to form their own opinions according to you who appears to blindly accept whatever the authorities say or do as always being right.

  5. #34
    @hibs.net private member silverhibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr White View Post
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    He's presumably in Polmont too which is possibly safer for him than an adult jail.
    Polmont is a YOI so that's where he would go for his age, adult prison at 21.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgnsh70 View Post
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    I don't really wish to debate this extremely sensitive matter for the family concerned for too much longer and I've made it clear I think four years for ending a person's life albeit not a murder charge is not long enough. However, I do think your comments regarding some random punter on an internet message board is a crass comment as what does that make you if not another as you call me some random punter on an internet message board? Why should anyone take any notice of what you say according to your thinking? In any case Juries and Procurator Fiscals would not have been involved in the sentencing aspect and sometimes judges get it wrong or are members of the public not allowed to form their own opinions according to you who appears to blindly accept whatever the authorities say or do as always being right.
    I wasnt having a go at you per se, i consider myself a random punter on the internet too. I was more using it to illustrate that our opinions are based on littls but emotion and an ignorant view of the facts, law and legal process. Thats why i put more stock in a legal process than i do 100,000 'signatures' on a petition.

    Apologies mate if you were offended, that wasnt my intention. And i agree, that its probably best to leave it there.

  7. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    I wasnt having a go at you per se, i consider myself a random punter on the internet too. I was more using it to illustrate that our opinions are based on littls but emotion and an ignorant view of the facts, law and legal process. Thats why i put more stock in a legal process than i do 100,000 'signatures' on a petition.

    Apologies mate if you were offended, that wasnt my intention. And i agree, that its probably best to leave it there.
    Fair enough mate. Nice one.

  8. #37
    I only want to say the Scottish Cup is in the bag... Sir David Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverhibee View Post
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    Polmont is a YOI so that's where he would go for his age, adult prison at 21.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr White View Post
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    He's presumably in Polmont too which is possibly safer for him than an adult jail.
    Yeah he is in Polmont - just down the road from me.
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  9. #38
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Trying to look at this objectively, I do wonder if the apparently lenient sentence has encouraged the defence to appeal. Perhaps they sense that the judge had some doubt when it came to sentencing, and are trying to exploit that.
    Sorry but this makes zero sense as a theory. Conviction and sentencing are two essentially separate matters. You don’t get a longer sentence if the Judge thinks you’re 100% guilty as opposed to 90%. If you’re guilty, you’re guilty and you’re sentenced according to sentencing guidelines, relevant case law, and judicial discretion based on all of the facts.

  10. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    Sorry but this makes zero sense as a theory. Conviction and sentencing are two essentially separate matters. You don’t get a longer sentence if the Judge thinks you’re 100% guilty as opposed to 90%. If you’re guilty, you’re guilty and you’re sentenced according to sentencing guidelines, relevant case law, and judicial discretion based on all of the facts.
    I'm sure I read that the guidelines for crimes of this nature is 4 - 6 yrs. If that's correct then the judge has been very lenient. One thing is certain, due to the public response, I would be astonished if the defence were able to reduce the sentence. I also think that their appeal is a reaction to the public response for a longer sentence in the hope that the sentence remains the same, if you get my meaning.

  11. #40
    Coaching Staff Future17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big L View Post
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    I'm sure I read that the guidelines for crimes of this nature is 4 - 6 yrs. If that's correct then the judge has been very lenient. One thing is certain, due to the public response, I would be astonished if the defence were able to reduce the sentence. I also think that their appeal is a reaction to the public response for a longer sentence in the hope that the sentence remains the same, if you get my meaning.
    From what I've heard, the appeal is against the conviction, not the sentence.

  12. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Future17 View Post
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    From what I've heard, the appeal is against the conviction, not the sentence.
    My mistake, I tHought they were trying to reduce the sentence.

  13. #42
    I only want to say the Scottish Cup is in the bag... Sir David Gray's Avatar
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    Shaun Woodburn's mother has just posted on Facebook that they've lost their case to lodge an appeal against the sentence and the four years imprisonment will stand.

    Absolute disgrace.
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  14. #43
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir David Gray View Post
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    Shaun Woodburn's mother has just posted on Facebook that they've lost their case to lodge an appeal against the sentence and the four years imprisonment will stand.

    Absolute disgrace.
    I don't think there was a 'case' to lodge an appeal. The Crown Office will have explained to them that such an appeal is unlikely to succeed, presumably because the sentencing decision is not 'wrong' in law as such - i.e. the guidelines have been appropriately followed etc. Judges have to have a certain level of discretion. People bellowing "it's too lenient!!!" is not enough of an argument in a court of law.

  15. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    I don't think there was a 'case' to lodge an appeal. The Crown Office will have explained to them that such an appeal is unlikely to succeed, presumably because the sentencing decision is not 'wrong' in law as such - i.e. the guidelines have been appropriately followed etc. Judges have to have a certain level of discretion. People bellowing "it's too lenient!!!" is not enough of an argument in a court of law.
    Then perhaps it's the "guidelines" or the "law" that is wrong.

  16. #45
    @hibs.net private member calumhibee1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlatefordHibby View Post
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    Then perhaps it's the "guidelines" or the "law" that is wrong.
    I certainly don’t disagree with this, however a judge can’t be the one to just decide that the guidelines are wrong and then disregard them. The sentence should have been harsher, no doubt about it, but going by the guidelines I just don’t think there was actually any scope for it.

  17. #46
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlatefordHibby View Post
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    Then perhaps it's the "guidelines" or the "law" that is wrong.
    That’s certainly one way of looking at it and a more realistic view than just saying the Judge is wrong and needs to change the sentence.

    I see this link confirms the Crown can only appeal a sentence if it is viewed as “unduly lenient”. Of course many are saying that this one is, however I imagine the “unduly” means it is a very high bar to get to, and as noted at the link below, such appeals are rare as a result. It can’t really be any other way as I imagine that the vast majority of victims families would view sentences as lenient and we’d have appeals going in every time if it was easy to do.

    http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2004/12/20339/47562#13

  18. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    That’s certainly one way of looking at it and a more realistic view than just saying the Judge is wrong and needs to change the sentence.

    I see this link confirms the Crown can only appeal a sentence if it is viewed as “unduly lenient”. Of course many are saying that this one is, however I imagine the “unduly” means it is a very high bar to get to, and as noted at the link below, such appeals are rare as a result. It can’t really be any other way as I imagine that the vast majority of victims families would view sentences as lenient and we’d have appeals going in every time if it was easy to do.

    http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2004/12/20339/47562#13

    Thats the nub - there is no sentence that will adeqautely compensate the families of victims of such crimes.

    Thr justice system is imperfect, but not as imperfect as trial by social media would be.
    Last edited by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy; 06-12-2017 at 07:25 AM.

  19. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir David Gray View Post
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    Shaun Woodburn's mother has just posted on Facebook that they've lost their case to lodge an appeal against the sentence and the four years imprisonment will stand.

    Absolute disgrace.
    I couldn't care less what some folk say regarding 'trial by social media'.

    Totally agree with you, its an absolute disgrace.

  20. #49
    @hibs.net private member cabbageandribs1875's Avatar
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    wow, what a lesson this young thug has learned eh, take someones life and the punishment is basically a 2 year stint behind bars, no doubt the piece of utter s**t will have his name appear in the papers again in a couple of years time

  21. #50
    @hibs.net private member silverhibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbageandribs1875 View Post
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    wow, what a lesson this young thug has learned eh, take someones life and the punishment is basically a 2 year stint behind bars, no doubt the piece of utter s**t will have his name appear in the papers again in a couple of years time
    Could be sooner if he was to win his appeal.

  22. #51
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    If it was reviewed and he got 6 years, would anyone be happy with that?

  23. #52
    Scottish Cup Victory - Witness 2016 Scouse Hibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    If it was reviewed and he got 6 years, would anyone be happy with that?
    Happier than they were.
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  24. #53
    I only want to say the Scottish Cup is in the bag... Sir David Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    If it was reviewed and he got 6 years, would anyone be happy with that?
    I think happy would be pushing it but certainly more satisfied than a 4 year sentence.

    In my mind something like this should carry a sentence of between 8-10 years imprisonment.

    Sentencing guidelines or whatever it is really needs to be looked at if it's deemed appropriate for someone to be handed a 4 year prison sentence for attacking someone in an unprovoked attack and then kicking them in the head whilst they are on the ground and they're unconscious.

    There's something seriously wrong with a system that allows such a sentence to be handed down.
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  25. #54
    @hibs.net private member silverhibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    If it was reviewed and he got 6 years, would anyone be happy with that?
    I actually thought he would get 5 years and 2 years for the other assaults, the prosecution should never have run it the way they did, one long charge of assaults, it meant the judge sentenced the lad to 4 years for all assaults instead of sentencing him on each charge.

  26. #55
    @hibs.net private member silverhibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir David Gray View Post
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    I think happy would be pushing it but certainly more satisfied than a 4 year sentence.

    In my mind something like this should carry a sentence of between 8-10 years imprisonment.

    Sentencing guidelines or whatever it is really needs to be looked at if it's deemed appropriate for someone to be handed a 4 year prison sentence for attacking someone in an unprovoked attack and then kicking them in the head whilst they are on the ground and they're unconscious.

    There's something seriously wrong with a system that allows such a sentence to be handed down.
    The lad was never found guilty of kicking SW in the head, the cause of death was a punch that knocked him out resulting in him smashing his head of the pavement which was deemed the cause of death.

  27. #56
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverhibee View Post
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    I actually thought he would get 5 years and 2 years for the other assaults, the prosecution should never have run it the way they did, one long charge of assaults, it meant the judge sentenced the lad to 4 years for all assaults instead of sentencing him on each charge.
    Isn't it the case that he was sentenced on each charge, but the sentences run concurrently? This is very common - i.e. you are serving all sentences at the same time. That may not perhaps seem right, but that is the way most sentencing occurs worldwide. Off the top of my head it is generally only the Americans who go overboard on cumulative sentencing and they end up with sentences of 300 years etc!

    Given all of the assaults occurred in the course of one night, it was never likely to be cumulative in this case.

    Also, I haven't been able to find precise details of what happened in this case - did the deceased come out of the pub and fight with the perpetrator?

  28. #57
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir David Gray View Post
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    I think happy would be pushing it but certainly more satisfied than a 4 year sentence.

    In my mind something like this should carry a sentence of between 8-10 years imprisonment.

    Sentencing guidelines or whatever it is really needs to be looked at if it's deemed appropriate for someone to be handed a 4 year prison sentence for attacking someone in an unprovoked attack and then kicking them in the head whilst they are on the ground and they're unconscious.

    There's something seriously wrong with a system that allows such a sentence to be handed down.
    It is guidelines + case law (i.e. comparison with other similar cases) + Judge's discretion. The case law is important. If there are multiple other culpable homicide cases where it's one of these punch + head hits the ground resulting in death, and the sentences dished out are around that 4 year mark, then a Judge cannot hand out an 8 year sentence (for example) as that leaves the sentence wide open to appeal from the offender. All that his defence counsel would need to do is roll out a variety of prior cases where the sentence had been much lower for similar offending, and the appeal would likely win unless the Crown could prove some extraordinary circumstance why the sentence should be so much higher in this case. Unfortunately a petition does not constitute an argument for that to occur.

    The age of the offender I bet will have played a part too. As someone under 18, courts are reluctant to send these people to prison for long stretches, because there is still a chance for them to actually become a useful member of society. Apparently the brain is not fully developed until 25 years old. The longer you send a youth to prison for, the more likely they are to become a hardened criminal and go back to prison time and time again.

    I know that some people won't care about that, and of course the victim's family will not, but society in general should prefer a system where someone is actually rehabilitated (at least to an extent) and not costing the taxpayers thousands / millions of pounds by keeping them in prison constantly.

    In summary, it appears a light sentence in terms of the consequences of what happened, but I wonder how many people on here have punched someone (under any circumstances)? Imagine that person had, as a result, fallen backwards and hit their head and died? Clearly the intent was not to kill the person. Intent is an important thing in law and when intent cannot be proven (acting like a total fud and starting fights is not the same as intent to kill someone), as it couldn't in this case, then you can't just start dishing out life sentences or the like.

    Research also suggests that the deterrent effect of longer sentences is largely mythical too. Given that this guy wasn't out to kill anyone, does anyone believe that the prospect of an 8-10 year sentence for culpable homicide would've deterred him from doing what he actually did that night?

    Most actual murders are in the heat of the moment and the resultant sentence of life is clearly no deterrent. People talk about US sentencing being the way to go - even the death penalty doesn't act as a deterrent there. Certainly deters that person from murdering again, but does not deter others from doing exactly the same thing.

  29. #58
    Coaching Staff Future17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    In summary, it appears a light sentence in terms of the consequences of what happened, but I wonder how many people on here have punched someone (under any circumstances)? Imagine that person had, as a result, fallen backwards and hit their head and died? Clearly the intent was not to kill the person. Intent is an important thing in law and when intent cannot be proven (acting like a total fud and starting fights is not the same as intent to kill someone), as it couldn't in this case, then you can't just start dishing out life sentences or the like.
    I don't disagree with a lot of what you've said, but I think the section of your post I've quoted above would benefit from further discussion in the context of this case.

    From what I've read on here in posts where people have explained why the feel the sentence was unduly lenient, the actions of the killer in the hours preceding the fatal attack play a big part. I don't disagree that intent is important in law, but even to be convicted of murder, it does not have to be shown that you intended to kill.

    Part of me wonders, if the killer's representatives are successful in their appeal and a retrial is ordered, whether COPFS may decide to proceed with the retrial on a charge of murder. It's very unlikely for a variety of reasons, but I wouldn't entirely rule it out.

  30. #59
    I only want to say the Scottish Cup is in the bag... Sir David Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
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    It is guidelines + case law (i.e. comparison with other similar cases) + Judge's discretion. The case law is important. If there are multiple other culpable homicide cases where it's one of these punch + head hits the ground resulting in death, and the sentences dished out are around that 4 year mark, then a Judge cannot hand out an 8 year sentence (for example) as that leaves the sentence wide open to appeal from the offender. All that his defence counsel would need to do is roll out a variety of prior cases where the sentence had been much lower for similar offending, and the appeal would likely win unless the Crown could prove some extraordinary circumstance why the sentence should be so much higher in this case. Unfortunately a petition does not constitute an argument for that to occur.

    The age of the offender I bet will have played a part too. As someone under 18, courts are reluctant to send these people to prison for long stretches, because there is still a chance for them to actually become a useful member of society. Apparently the brain is not fully developed until 25 years old. The longer you send a youth to prison for, the more likely they are to become a hardened criminal and go back to prison time and time again.

    I know that some people won't care about that, and of course the victim's family will not, but society in general should prefer a system where someone is actually rehabilitated (at least to an extent) and not costing the taxpayers thousands / millions of pounds by keeping them in prison constantly.

    In summary, it appears a light sentence in terms of the consequences of what happened, but I wonder how many people on here have punched someone (under any circumstances)? Imagine that person had, as a result, fallen backwards and hit their head and died? Clearly the intent was not to kill the person. Intent is an important thing in law and when intent cannot be proven (acting like a total fud and starting fights is not the same as intent to kill someone), as it couldn't in this case, then you can't just start dishing out life sentences or the like.

    Research also suggests that the deterrent effect of longer sentences is largely mythical too. Given that this guy wasn't out to kill anyone, does anyone believe that the prospect of an 8-10 year sentence for culpable homicide would've deterred him from doing what he actually did that night?

    Most actual murders are in the heat of the moment and the resultant sentence of life is clearly no deterrent. People talk about US sentencing being the way to go - even the death penalty doesn't act as a deterrent there. Certainly deters that person from murdering again, but does not deter others from doing exactly the same thing.
    I understand the part about case law being important and that a defence lawyer would jump all over a hefty sentence being given to their client when similar cases have resulted in far lighter sentences however there should also be an opportunity for politicians and top legal experts to say that sentencing guidelines are getting tougher and that cases need to be dealt with more severely, despite what precedent may have been set with previous sentences.

    I think a 4 year prison sentence is far too lenient in cases like this where someone has lost their life, regardless of any previous cases or whether or not there was an intent to kill.

    The part about brains not being fully developed until 25, whilst it may be true, it is not something I buy into at all as being a reason to give him a shorter sentence. Someone at 17 years of age knows the possible consequences of punching someone in the head, another 8 years of cognitive development won't have helped him to become a responsible human being.

    My main concern is protecting innocent people from dangerous people like this and the only way that can be guaranteed is by having them locked up for a longer period of time.
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  31. #60
    @hibs.net private member Steve-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir David Gray View Post
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    I understand the part about case law being important and that a defence lawyer would jump all over a hefty sentence being given to their client when similar cases have resulted in far lighter sentences however there should also be an opportunity for politicians and top legal experts to say that sentencing guidelines are getting tougher and that cases need to be dealt with more severely, despite what precedent may have been set with previous sentences.

    I think a 4 year prison sentence is far too lenient in cases like this where someone has lost their life, regardless of any previous cases or whether or not there was an intent to kill.

    The part about brains not being fully developed until 25, whilst it may be true, it is not something I buy into at all as being a reason to give him a shorter sentence. Someone at 17 years of age knows the possible consequences of punching someone in the head, another 8 years of cognitive development won't have helped him to become a responsible human being.

    My main concern is protecting innocent people from dangerous people like this and the only way that can be guaranteed is by having them locked up for a longer period of time.
    There is actually quite a big difference between a 17 year old and a 25 year old. You can't definitively say someone can't change their ways during a relatively long period like that. I'm not saying the Judge took this into account, I just know there is a reluctance to send young people to prison for the first time because rather than "teaching them a lesson" it is probably more likely to actually send them the other way towards a life of crime...depending what they do there - I am sure some people do never go back.

    For sentences to go upwards, a change in the law would be required. So, if you want that, then you can vote for a party who vows to be "tough on crime" at the next election. However, what usually happens is one or two cases that are heavily publicised for one reason or another come up, and the public perception is still that we are "too soft" while having extremely limited knowledge of the system.

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