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Killer drivers to receive life sentences in law change Watch

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    I'll believe it when I see it. Nowadays you get 6 months + 2 week community service for murder. Britains judicial system is the worst in Europe, even worse than Russia
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Surely getting into a car whilst drunk and driving and then causing death is knowingly reckless? It may not be deliberate murder, but it's certainly an extreme act of manslaughter. Too many people on the roads think they can effectively get away with acts that may cause death and the law currently is on their side.
    The flaw in these proposals is precisely that they can only be justified if applied on the same grounds to all deaths caused by being knowingly reckless, by causing anguish to the victim's families, by wrecking lives. Those are the sole arguments being put to back up any change to current laws, are there any others? How dangerously wreckless was it to clad Grenfell Tower like that, is that life sentence material? With this, people who have a spliff by the weekend may go down by having a crash the following Friday and ifthey do... let's get real, it's 99.9% that it had nothing with their puffing. This is what we are talking about, that person facing a life sentence. Ofcourse we have to try and prevent people high on something getting at the wheel BUT there is more to be taken into consideration in all this. This is terribly muddled political, I have my opinions on where it comes from and the Tories are just incredible.

    So you can all have life sentences for people who 'wreck lives' under the influence of drugs only if you apply it to sober people too, unless being sober makes it more acceptable in any shape or form. Is a sober driver playing a game on his phone whilst at the wheel going to be exposed to a life sentence if he causes anguish to the family of a victim of his fatal crash? A woman doing her make-up, a bloke shaving, we know of many cases like that happening, will they be exposed to a life sentence too?
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    (Original post by calsmith12)
    I'll believe it when I see it. Nowadays you get 6 months + 2 week community service for murder. Britains judicial system is the worst in Europe, even worse than Russia
    The average time spent in prison by murderers before release is 17 years and that is longer than it has ever been.

    When capital punishment existed for all murders between 2/3 and 1/2 in any year were hanged. The rest served comparatively short sentences, A relative of mine was a prosecution witness in a case where a man murdered his wife. He pleaded not guilty, was convicted, was sentenced to hang, was reprieved and served just under 5 years. This was in the 1930s.
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    (Original post by zhog)
    The flaw in these proposals is precisely that they can only be justified if applied on the same grounds to all deaths caused by being knowingly reckless, by causing anguish to the victim's families, by wrecking lives. Those are the sole arguments being put to back up any change to current laws, are there any others?

    So you can all have life sentences for people who 'wreck lives' under the influence of drugs only if you apply it to sober people too, unless being sober makes it more acceptable in any shape or form. Is a sober driver playing a game on his phone whilst at the wheel going to be exposed to a life sentence if he causes anguish to the family of a victim of his fatal crash? A woman doing her make-up, a bloke shaving, we know of many cases like that happening, will they be exposed to a life sentence too?
    You are not right here.

    Parliament has decided that committing this crime under the influence of drink or drugs makes that a more serious crime in the same way that Parliament has decided that robbery is more serious than theft or that an assault with a racial motive is more serious than the same assault without a racial motive.

    In a democracy, it has to be right that Parliament decides what are the more serious and what are the less serious crimes.
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    (Original post by calsmith12)
    I'll believe it when I see it. Nowadays you get 6 months + 2 week community service for murder. Britains judicial system is the worst in Europe, even worse than Russia
    In Russia, the verdict is decided before they get you into court and the judges all work for the highest bidder, there's no appeal and frequently, no defence. So no, I don't think we're worse than Russia. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You are not right here.

    Parliament has decided that committing this crime under the influence of drink or drugs makes that a more serious crime in the same way that Parliament has decided that robbery is more serious than theft or that an assault with a racial motive is more serious than the same assault without a racial motive.

    In a democracy, it has to be right that Parliament decides what are the more serious and what are the less serious crimes.
    If I'm not right there, feel free to counter-argue. It is also a feature of democratic regimes that people are not forced into agreeing with every decison in Parliament, God knows how many you have sneered at. So... you're really wanting to disagree with me but not finding it easy.
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    (Original post by usualsuspects)
    I don't like it. Life sentences should be for people beyond rehabilitation or very serious cases (terrorist attack, serial killer). You shouldn't spend your life in jail because you killed a person while driving drunk. There is no intention or premeditation and the culprit was not reasoning and acting with complete consciousness.
    I don’t know why people view death differently just because they use a car instead of a weapon. If I stabbed someone in the leg whilst I was drunk and they died from blood loss, shouldnt I be convicted of manslaughter?
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    How about the soundness of scientific evidence for levels of impairment, we know you're well under tthe influence within a time range but if something like cannabis leaves traces for a few days and you're going to be exposed to a life sentence if unlucky enough to be involved in a fatal crash... we do need rock solid scientific evidence to prove beyond doubt it had anything to do with that spliff.

    That's another flaw, the very first court case is going to question just that. Eventually, the whole thing may be brought down as a consequence as it already did with previous roadside tests. Defence lawyers will put it through the mill and it's quite likely that a test case wiil end up seriously testing it. All this should be seriously thought though beforehand, the Tories are completely at sea. Never seen them in such a state.
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    (Original post by zhog)
    If I'm not right there, feel free to counter-argue. It is also a feature of democratic regimes that people are not forced into agreeing with every decison in Parliament, God knows how many you have sneered at. So... you're really wanting to disagree with me but not finding it easy.
    The fault in a crime and the seriousness of a crime are independent of one another,

    The wickedness involved in stealing a Mars Bar for financial gain is the same as killing someone for financial gain. That is essentially the point you are making and that is right. Someone who is reckless in taking alcohol has the same moral responsibility as someone who is reckless in some other way. That moral value to conduct is universal.

    However, the seriousness of a crime is a matter for positive law. Which is more serious, fly tipping 500 tonnes of rotting haddock or beating someone up behind a pub? It is impossible to make comparisons except on the basis of a political judgment. You can say that a grave injury is more serious than a trivial injury if the circumstances are identical but if the circumstances are not identical that doesn't take you any further.

    A man may punch another outside a club and it isn't regarded as particularly serious. If he did it to a baby, he would locked up for years. A woman who slaps another woman outside that club may be prosecuted for common assault. The woman who does the same to her 8 year naughty son, hasn't committed a crime at all.

    I am not saying Parliament always gets it right, but you cannot say that Parliament must treat two offences as being equivalent to one another because there is the same culpability.
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    (Original post by usualsuspects)
    I don't like it. Life sentences should be for people beyond rehabilitation or very serious cases (terrorist attack, serial killer). You shouldn't spend your life in jail because you killed a person while driving drunk. There is no intention or premeditation and the culprit was not reasoning and acting with complete consciousness.
    Life rarely means life. There are only some 30-40 people sentenced to life who will never be released.
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    (Original post by cherryred90s)
    I don’t know why people view death differently just because they use a car instead of a weapon. If I stabbed someone in the leg whilst I was drunk and they died from blood loss, shouldnt I be convicted of manslaughter?
    There is a practical problem that goes back to the dawn of motoring which is that juries will not convict drivers of manslaughter for driving badly no matter how bad the driving is, so Parliament has has to invent surrogates for manslaughter.

    We have recently seen the same with a cyclist without a front brake.There really isn't a gap between wanton and furious cycling of which he was convicted and manslaughter of which he was acquitted. The only rational bases for the jury's findings are (a) they were not satisfied the woman was dead; or (b) they were not satisfied that she died from being hit by the bike. In reality the jury returned inconsistent verdicts.
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Life rarely means life. There are only some 30-40 people sentenced to life who will never be released.
    Its around 70 now, many of whom didn't attract much press attention even when convicted.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)

    The wickedness involved in stealing a Mars Bar for financial gain is the same as killing someone for financial gain. That is essentially the point you are making and that is right. Someone who is reckless in taking alcohol has the same moral responsibility as someone who is reckless in some other way. That moral value to conduct is universal.
    That is absolutely not the point I'm making, do you really see petty thieving the same as murder? You're making all sorts of comparisons that I really don't follow, all there is to compare is in terms of outcomes, the result of fly-tipping or physical assault is not comparable at all indeed so.why mention it?

    Bloke leaves the pub under the influence, goes round the bend and kills family. Anguish, wrecked lives, criminally irresponsible behaviour. Life sentence.

    Bloke leaves the pub sober, goes round the bend speeding and kills family. It can be equally construed as criminally irresponsible behaviour, the outcome for the victims is exactly the same. So it must be the case that being sober confers you an advantage, it could be argued in court that being drunk actually diminishes your ability to judge. The sober bloke had it all, is he exposed to a life sentence?

    All I'm saying is that we have to consider all possibilities on these things if we are going to talk life, lumping them all into a simplistic bag as we seem to be doing is not a good thing.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    i wish they would beef up the punishment for uninsured drivers... about 10% of the people on our great roads are uninsured.
    i agree, the punishment is way too lenient.

    According to by driving theory test dvd, if you get caught driving without an insurance you could get:
    A fixed penatly fine of £100
    A court prosecution with a fine of up to £1000
    The vehicle could get clamped, seized or destroyed.
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    (Original post by zhog)

    Bloke leaves the pub under the influence, goes round the bend and kills family. Anguish, wrecked lives, criminally irresponsible behaviour. Life sentence.

    Bloke leaves the pub sober, goes round the bend speeding and kills family. It can be equally construed as criminally irresponsible behaviour, the outcome for the victims is exactly the same. So it must be the case that being sober confers you an advantage, it could be argued in court that being drunk actually diminishes your ability to judge. The sober bloke had it all, is he exposed to a life sentence?

    All I'm saying is that we have to consider all possibilities on these things if we are going to talk life, lumping them all into a simplistic bag as we seem to be doing is not a good thing.
    In the first example, obviously a life sentence. It is murder.

    In the same example, equally obviously murder, and a life sentence.

    Why? Because a policy decision has been made that self-induced intoxication does not reduce criminality.

    We don't have to consider all possibilities because a policy decision was made not to consider intoxication.
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    (Original post by stoyfan)
    i agree, the punishment is way too lenient.

    According to by driving theory test dvd, if you get caught driving without an insurance you could get:
    A fixed penatly fine of £100
    A court prosecution with a fine of up to £1000
    The vehicle could get clamped, seized or destroyed.
    I would draw a distinction between defective insurance cases (recently expired, not insured for that vehicle, unapproved modifications etc) and no insurance at all cases and have two separate offences.

    The penalties are relatively modest because of the number of technical offences committed.

    The sentences have increased

    https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-insurance...hout-insurance

    but the ability to impose non-monetary penalties would be welcome.
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    What is the current law? That they get charged with gross negligence manslaughter???
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    (Original post by cherryred90s)
    I don’t know why people view death differently just because they use a car instead of a weapon. If I stabbed someone in the leg whilst I was drunk and they died from blood loss, shouldnt I be convicted of manslaughter?
    Yes, with drunkness being an attenuating factor.

    The difference is that while driving you didn't make an active choice (even a choice dictated by drunkness) to kill the person: you were unable to avoid it, it was an accident. If you are drunk, decide to kill your girlfriend and run over her, then that is exactly identical to using a knife.
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    (Original post by ZainabHAHaque)
    What is the current law? That they get charged with gross negligence manslaughter???
    Manslaughter is virtually a no go area for driving offences because juries won't convict.

    There are four relevant offences:-

    Causing death by dangerous driving
    Cause death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
    Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving
    Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers
    .
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Life rarely means life. There are only some 30-40 people sentenced to life who will never be released.
    true
 
 
 
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