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Should Ireland introduce whole life tariffs?

  • 02-10-2021 8:56am
    Registered Users Posts: 3,501 ✭✭✭ Hangdogroad

    I'm not of the flog em and hang em mentality but the case of Sarah Everards killer Wayne Couzens whole life tariff illustrates why a similar sentencing system needs to be introduced in Ireland. In the UK its reserved for certain categories of murderer. Sex killers, serial killers, multiple murderers, cases where someone has served a sentence for murder or rape only to kill again on release. In Ireland the average time spent in jail for someone convicted of murder is 17 years, its actually quite a lot compared to many other European countries. However there's no provision for back to back sentencing in cases of multiple victims, the case of Brian Hennessy who murdered a woman and her two young daughters in Kilkenny illustrates this. Hes basically serving a single life sentence. Also Mark Nash, John Ceary (convicted of four murders). Then there are sex killers like Graham Dwyer who simply should never be released again because they are a danger to the public and no amount of rehabilitation or therapy will change them.

    Post edited by Hangdogroad on



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭ Season 2



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Whole life tariff of banishment to uninhabited off shore Island. Only stipulation is a source of fresh water and enough supplies the scumbag to grow their own food

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ dudley72


  • Registered Users Posts: 41,455 ✭✭✭✭ SEPT 23 1989

    It costs millions to keep them in there for all their natural lives and to what end?

    bring back the gallows

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,566 ✭✭✭✭ Hello 2D Person Below

    We already have the means to keep someone imprisoned for the rest of their natural life.

    It is up to the Minister for Justice whether or not a person serving 'life' is released.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,814 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    I think it’s not very progressive to lock up for good without any rehabilitation and therapy work in place. A condition that stipulates whether or not someone is deemed fit to be released is needed of course. Not everyone who commits one terrible crime reoffends, as some are capable of change. It’s just the reoffending cases that we hear about, not the “converted ones”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    tough one, theres clearly something catastrophically failing within out judicial system, its failing nearly everyone, including criminals themselves. reoffences are extremely high, so clearly, theres little or no rehabilitation occurring within the system, something is seriously failing there, even though im aware, not all humans are rehabilitative

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭ maestroamado

    I had a conversation with a friend the other day about this my main comment was "i would remove the offending object" then throw him in jail...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,501 ✭✭✭ Hangdogroad

    I'm not saying everyone locked up are beyond rehabilitation. The point of the whole life tariff as they have in the UK is that its there for those relatively small number of convicted murderers who are beyond rehabilitation and whose release would be a danger to the public. And it is a fairly small percentage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    agreed, its truly only for a very small percentage of offenders, and thank god to, but our knowledge of such issues is always progressing, some of these offenders may eventually by rehabilitative by these advancements, in the future, we simply dont know

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,814 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Yes i get that and understand where you are coming from. I just wonder what happens if evidence emerges that changes the offenders condition (i.e. they undergo therapy and change) but were given a full life term. Knowing that there is no hope would stop everyone from even trying to cooperate?

    I also think that the ever increasing media coverage and social media witch-hunts are not helping with the expectations in the courts to hand out heavy sentences. But maybe I am just too cynical of humans who consider themselves good and just.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,823 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    You can ‘provide’ rehabilitation.. but if a criminal reoffends is that the fault of the ‘service provider’ ie. the state ? or the individual who one day makes a choice... the choice of... “ ok, you know what, I wanna and am going to commit x crime again “

    the state don’t forget pays for years of pre-habilitation... in school children and young adults are warned and educated ad naseum for years about and against drugs, crime, violence, hurting people, society, and themselves... and the can bring a horse to water but if it doesn’t want to drink...

    i woke up two hours ago and my natural disposition is that I’m not going to hurt a person or commit a crime... I don’t need to think about it...therefore I’ll enjoy my freedom and everything life has to offer, go see friends, I’m planning a holiday, starting thinking about for gifts, food, meetups etc. and watch sport on my nice big TV...I have a pretty nice life, enabled by more often then not, making good choices...

    as well as rehabilitation is the very fact you are incarcerated with a gang of strangers, in an uncomfortable cell, few amenities, visits, choices not a fûcking deterring aspect of your incarceration? As in ‘ fûck this for a game of dominos I’m not coming back here”....?

    If I rob a car tonight, get high, go on a spree joyriding it around, ram a squad car, terrorize people in general... I get sentenced to 3 years and x months suspended... that should be enough, being put in very basic conditions and deprivation of my liberty should be enough to not reoffend...

    if the above does not make you reevaluate yourself and your choices... and remember you have ‘lots’ of thinking can say... “ok, the state has failed me... OR...realize “ok, I’ve failed and AM failing myself.”

    people have free will and choices... you end up in the joy, you know or should know you’ve made the wrong ones, on release you can repeat those choices and further damage your life and wellbeing or you can help may take time and effort but almost every success story does...

    Whole life tariffs in certain situations should be handed down, murderers, rapists, child molesters etc... also if your reoffending is off the scale like 30 convictions in 10 years, just.. goodbye...stay in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    we continually go round and round in circles regarding these debates, there is now sufficient evidence to support whats actually going on regarding criminality and its root causes. we dont even truly provide citizens with the sufficient services that have similar issues to those in incarceration, how in the hell are we suppose to try rehabilitate those in incarceration, with even less resources?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,823 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    the root causes of crime begin when a person by choice chooses to commit one...

    everyone has choice...and education to influence to inform them what are good choices in life and bad ones... from very young.

    people have weekly generous cash supports, housing, health, travel etc... the state here does more then a lot of countries for its citizens... look a gift horse in the mouth, throw away opportunity, be guilty of damaging your own wellbeing by ignoring the education you’ve been provided with...fine... it’s on you though...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,475 ✭✭✭ Peintre Celebre

    Ah ya. Those poor prolific lifetime burglars with 120 convictions are poor souls who just needed a therapist and a few pills as a child.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    thats only a fraction of a fraction of fraction of their actual needs, again, by maintaining the status quo, you are the one ultimately picking up the bill, surely you re getting p1ssed off with this now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 468 ✭✭ Shao Kahn

    Most people who want to lock someone up for rest of their life, want to do so in order to make that person suffer as much as possible. Yet, many of these same people call the death penalty cruel and uncivilized?

    Kind of a huge contradiction going on there.

    If you go back not particularly far into history, locking someone up in a dungeon and throwing away the key was considered one of the best ways to psychologically torture someone. Giving them a quick death, was considered merciful rather than locking them up with no prospect of ever being released.

    As far as I'm concerned, if someone has committed a horrible crime and been convicted beyond reasonable doubt of that crime. I have no interest in making that person suffer for my own gratification. Because it really actually says something about you as a person - it suggests that you are not really as civilized as you think you are.

    If you can't ever rehabilitate or release them, as their crime is too horrendous, they're too dangerous to society or the public would never accept their presence in society. Then end their life by euthanasia. That is the civilized and mature decision.

    The only exception I would make to this, is if the individual agreed to take part in extensive psychological studies with the aim of better understanding the criminal mind and preventing / catching future killers etc. But this would need to be closely assessed by very experienced professionals as to whether the person was being forthright and honest in their involvement with such programs.

    Other than that, I really cannot think of a logical reason to keep someone locked up indefinitely in a prison cell just to make the so-called "civilized people" happy that they are getting their pound of flesh.

    Then, of course, there is the cost of locking someone up for their whole life - which is enormous. How can you seriously justify this for someone who you presumably consider to be useless human garbage anyway?

    To me, the death penalty is cleaner and more civilized - for certain horrible crimes. Whole life prison terms are massively inefficient and serve no real useful purpose - you're not living and you're not dying. So it's just basically no-man's land if you think about it - possibly for decades.

    When you consider how many billions of us there are on this planet, why should we as a society waste so much time, money, energy and resources on people we have pretty much universally given up on? People who are deemed so rotten to the core, that they will never be accepted in society again?

    Stop leaving people in limbo for decades. Move on and re-focus that energy and resources on all of the billions of good people in the world. (or even people who still have the potential to be good citizens)

    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself into our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,823 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    how many crimes committed in this state are because of psychological issues ? How many people use psychological issues as a defense ? And how many occasions are those defenses corroborated by a professional, a psychologist ?

    Costs the taxpayers a fortune, ok, building roads cost a fortune but we need roads just as we need to incarcerate dangerous as well as habitual criminals.. yes taxpayers money but not to do so serves only to enable taxpayers day to day lives to become more dangerous by having criminals roaming about with zero deterrent. No, keeping people safe from would be criminals is money well spent, an investment...

    Is our health services sufficient? In many cases and facets nope, but if the systems and people were freed up from dancing attendance on the likes of addicts...I sat in a&e for hours having been seriously assaulted watching junkie after junkie (criminals) skip the triage Q just because the staff wanted them in and gone... great.

    Debunking ? You haven’t in fact debunked anything, equal opportunity in educational and training ? How don’t we ? Nobody is banned from being educated. Opportunities are there, sometimes people need to enable opportunities then avail of them..

    Whole life tariffs are a good idea for certain crimes, certain criminals and repeat offenders.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    id argue, all crime is somewhat linked to psychological issues, but not entirely, other known causes are also linked to rising inequality issues, lack of social supports, failure at a systemic level in meeting citizen's needs, in particular their most critical needs, the most obvious being their accommodation/housing and health care needs etc. once again, you ll find most of these offenders psychological issues are undiagnosed, untreated and even unknown by the offenders themselves, there is actual research confirming this.

    the cost is ultimately lumped on you, the taxpayer, as continual failure to meet these folks needs, more than likely will lead to even more crime being committed by these folks, including from within incarceration.

    so what causes addiction?

    again, you truly should get off the internets and talk to people, may i suggest you talk to people that have engaged in crime, or their close loved ones, and while you re at it, have a chat to those that experience long term unemployment, as theres actual close similarities occurring there to. oh and ditch your prejudices while your at it, as that approach wont work in these situations. you should start spotting the commonalities fairly quickly, i.e. systemic failures in providing their critical needs, many from an early age, our educational and training systems are not equipped to deal with such issues, and in many cases exasperate them

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,823 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    “All crime is linked to psychological issues, but not entirely ” that’s a super contradiction, it is or it isn’t? ok..

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,587 ✭✭✭✭ Maryanne84

    Hanging is too good for him. I’d leave him handcuffed to a bench for the rest of his life and play the families victim impact statements on a loop, with an 8 hour break for sleep.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    theres literature out there to support this statement, it ll require you to find it, may i suggest google scholar, i dont have the time to search for you, apologies. oh yea, nice edit on my statement btw!

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,823 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    There is also literature out there saying the moon is made of cheese.

    dont want to engage ? Ok fine

    done a bit of googling, their are multiple psychological experts who debunk what you are saying. You are wrong,

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    thats interesting, sounds like a visit to the moon would be interesting.

    engaging here, tis all good, fire away

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,814 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Now aren’t you a delightful little sadist :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,878 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,807 ✭✭✭ ShatterAlan

    What exactly is failing?

    The crime rate has been dropping for decades. The only thing that is rising is people's fear. because they want someone else to keep them wrapped in cotton wool and safe and sound from some scrote in the street. Any excuse not to stand up for yourself. Get off the couch. Get into the park. Do some push ups. If some little bollocks on the Luas starts acting up...slap him in the mouth not once but twice...nah...3 times. Stop looking for an excuse that he might have a blade or that you might be sued for touching the poor mite. I've seen grown men turn away at the sight of an 8 stone scrote throwing his minor weight around and I've seen burly Polish lads with their square jaws and bomber jackets on the way to the factory punch the lights out of a little knacker for hassling everyone.