Tuesday, August 04, 2009


What would you assume on reading the following headline?
Just $10 for a life
You'd think the story that followed is about someone being killed for or over $10, right? You couldn't be more "wrong", as barrister Jeremy Sear -- applying his finely tuned lawyer's brain-- explains:
That makes it sound like the punishment for this manslaughter was a $10 fine (the $10 was the amount the defendant offered his 15 year old mate to chase the victim), whereas the actual punishment was a two year Community Based Order with the maximum 500 hours of community work. (You can read the judgment to hear the Judge’s reasoning.)
All of that from a five-word headline that says nothing about fines or manslaughter.

The Herald Sun has now changed the headline so there can no doubt what the story's about:
Thug walks free after callous bet led to student's death
In any event, Jeremy opposes the incarceration of youthful offenders who are merely misguided and will likely be turned into "hardened criminals" by a stint in prison. Yep, prison turns good people into bad.

Update: Jeremy, true to form, refuses to admit he reads too much into the five-word headline.

Update II: Pure Poison reader WillB points out the obvious:
“Just $10 for a life” is an appropriate header for an article that describes how a bet for $10 cost a man his life.
Lawyer Jeremy denies the obvious:
OH come on. You know as well as I do that that is not the most obvious way of that headline being read, particularly if someone just glances at it.
Error admission isn't in Jeremy's repertoire.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A repeat of Jeremy's PRC/ROC fiasco.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who on earth would assume that the headline referred to a $10 fine for taking a life? Who has even heard of such a thing? Is there a $10 fine in Victoria for ANYTHING?

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question who'd hire him as a lawyer?

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Lattecat said...

He completely negates his point by taking this approach. There is a valid point to be made in relation to media reporting of sentences. I think, personally, that most forms of media get the decision right. I also don't agree with him that non-prison sentences are particularly onerous. However, there is scope for acccurate raising these issues. By twisting a perfectly valid headline, he completely negates his point, however.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sear has the intellectual depth of a puddle.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He makes up for it with his good looks, though.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Mica said...

I couldn't be stuffed reading that blather. What is it with Jeremy insisting on jackhammering out 10,000 frickin words every bloody post at Pee-Pee? And this time just to say "bad headline"?? Fark.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Iain Hall said...

Jeremy is a naive young chap who does not know much at all, like most latte sippers he is all too keen to drive a snazzy new Prius rather than hop into a home made sports car like the one I have built in my house (which I own outright) on the Glass House Mountain. If only Jeremy knew the true feeling of a gearstick you have made yourself.

4:20 PM  

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