London riots, Politics

Growing anger over political interference in sentencing of rioters #londonriots

There are growing calls for a rethink of the way in which people are sentenced for their participation in the recent London riots. In particular, the perceived politicisation of the judicial system is ringing alarm bells with those who believe that politicians should not interfere with the way that judges decide sentences.

Earlier this week, two men were sentenced to four years in jail each for posting comments on Facebook that encouraged the riots, even though the prosecution accepted that there was no evidence that the comments actually influenced anything. Last week, Ursula Nevin was jailed for accepting a pair of shorts that had been acquired during the riots.

The problem here is not only that these sentences seem extremely stiff given the nature of the crimes. It’s also that political interference in the judicial system can’t be tolerated. We have to have confidence that our system is fair. For David Cameron or any politician to seek to influence sentencing in this way is not only wrong, it’s dangerous and – I would argue – undemocratic.

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About Michael R. Gideon

Writer, teacher, dog walker, guitarist, husband, father, reader, journalist etc. I mainly write at 100gf | Politics and Computers, but occasionally at other sites such as TV Vomit and Indie Bookspot. My Google Plus profile.

Discussion

One thought on “Growing anger over political interference in sentencing of rioters #londonriots

  1. I agree completely, if politicians are allowed to meddle in the judicial system it’s very dangerous. Many looters have been punished far more harshly than if their crimes were committed at any other time, and people’s punishments shouldn’t be determined by the political context of their crime.

    Posted by mcneilio1 | August 18, 2011, 9:13 pm

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