Thursday, June 04, 2009

Equal Before the Law?

Maybe. It seems that sentences like this handed down in similar cases of battery all the time. Doesn't make it right. Backlash to lenient sentence in gay bashing case A brutal attack, from ambush, left 2 people with mild concussions. It could have been much worse, given the victims had been kicked repeatedly in the head.

So what kind of punishment is suitable for this type of crime?
Boston District Court Judge Thomas C. Horgan imposed a two-year suspended sentence and mandatory completion of an anger management program on [one of the thugs.]
That's right, for the crime of leaving 4 people lying bleeding in the street, he gets slapped firmly on the wrist and sent to his room to anger management class.

And people wonder why legislatures all across the country got fed up with judges and enacted minimum sentences for various crimes. This is at the very least, a miscarriage of justice.

And do you think no time served and a group encounter session is a reasonable punishment? I don't. (And neither do all the people preparing to protest.) But if, as Christina Miller, board member and former co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association says, and these are typical sentences everyone is being screwed over equally.
"It is always up to a court, given the variety of factors. I think if you did an analysis of [similar] cases that did not involve hate crimes the sentence would probably be lower," said Miller. The judge in this case, she said, considered a range of factors in deciding on a sentence, including the defendant’s lack of a prior criminal record, the severity of the assaults, and the anti-gay motive.
Equal before the law isn't supposed mean everyone gets screwed equally. (I have the feeling that those other cases might have something to do with domestic violence - there is no justice there either.) Do you still think there is Justice in the Criminal Justice System?

How exactly could you have a lesser sentence than no-time, and anger management? Skip the anger management?

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