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The nonsense of prison sentences

  • 01-07-2022 4:54am
    Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭

    Can anyone explain how concurrent prison sentences make sense?

    If someone is sentenced for more than one crime, let's say 1 year for one and 6 months for another, they very often just serve the 1 year. How does this make any sense?

    Imagine you applied the same logic to fines. €100 for one offence & €50 for another, but you'd only have to pay the €100.

    Always thought it was nonsense.

    Same for a "life" sentence. I always believed a courtroom to be a place where the accuracy of anything was paramount, including the use of words or language.

    But life never means life, just call it what it is, 15-20 years or whatever time a serious criminal will realistically serve.


  • Registered Users Posts: 922 ✭✭✭flanna01

    Basically, the prisons are full and over crowded.

    So, Johnny gets busted for a burglary in the city, found his prints all over the place, and a later raid on his home found numerous stolen property items... Clean cut case.

    Johnny's looking a year in Jail to soften his cough a little...

    But whilst the boys have him in custody, they ask Johnny does he have anymore misdemeanors that he wishes to unburden his conscious with?

    Typically, the carrot is this.... Tell us what else you've robbed Johnny, we'll throw it all in with this one, get it over with. Come out of Jail a free man, not be looking over your shoulder....

    Now, Johnny knows, he has several other jobs that he's tied to, and maybe further down the road, somebody will implicate him in one of them jobs.. He will always be liable to getting more time for them jobs further down the line..

    So Johnny, wipes the slate clean, confesses to a few more break ins here and there.

    Now the magic of this is.... Johnny is serving time anyway, why not add the other offences into the mix, and get it all over with.. Johnny knows he can't be done again for them jobs, as he has already been sentenced for them offences (serving the same time for numerous offences).

    The Guards are happy too.... Their crimes solved stats has just gone up a few notches, the victims of Johnny's antics are informed that he is now in prison for breaking into their properties... Its a win / win situation.

    On paper, justice has been served.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭SmithsFan

    I understand that. I work in the emergency services so ours is just another arm of public service that portrays functionality, when in reality a lot of it is wasteful.

    Still wouldn't mind a legal professionals take on this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,128 ✭✭✭Fattybojangles

    There is absolutely no guarantee of a release under a life sentence none whatsoever and even if you are released you are on a life licence and can be returned to prison for a very minor indiscretion.

    One thing I would like to see in this country like they have in the UK is a minimum tariff set that you must serve before you are considered for parole.

  • Administrators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,689 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭hullaballoo

    Once sentence is given by a judge, that's the end of the judiciary's involvement. Carrying out the sentence is a matter for the Government and judges can't interfere. The fact that a life sentence doesn't mean imprisonment for the rest of your life is nothing to do with the judges and all to do with the Government. As mentioned already, "early release" is more to do with logistics and managing overcrowding than anything else but again to be clear that is a political issue not a judicial one.

    Judges do have regard to the fact that prisons are always full and it's sometimes part of the reasoning when someone is said to "avoid" a prison sentence but it's obviously not determinative. Just that despite popular opinion, prison is seen very much as a last resort because of how detrimental it is to society. Send someone to prison for a crime and the only thing they learn from it is how not to get caught next time.

    Consecutive sentences are on the rise and being given in criminal cases regularly now whereas 10 years ago they were unheard of in this country. The majority would still be concurrent for the reasons explained above but you do see consecutive sentences in serious cases now.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Of course Johnny would never take the rap for something he hadn’t done. 😉

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