Saturday, August 08, 2009


Pure Poison's resident legal expert Jeremy Sear:
You’re aware by now that I take particular issue with News Ltd’s relentlessly dishonest and misleading campaign on criminal sentencing, which it furthers by constantly exaggerating, underplaying and omitting crucial facts in the cases it covers - because the result of it is that its readers have demonstrably false beliefs on the subject, and consequently, insofar as certain easily swayed politicians and lawmakers are influenced by the imagined desires of the ignorant, and impose those on real people, actual injustice results.
In short, Jeremy thinks the courts are not soft on crime, with appropriate sentences awarded. Not everyone agrees:
A Long-serving solicitor from the Office of Public Prosecutions has condemned the widespread abuse of the plea bargaining system, warning that defendants accused of violent crimes are negotiating their way out of more serious charges without appropriate consultation with victims.

His claims are backed by the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, whose spokesman said: ''Concerns about communication between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and victims is an issue which has been raised with the Attorney-General on a number of occasions''.


Mr Hatzistergos is so concerned about the issue that in January last year he commissioned another review by the Sentencing Council. Its report is due this month.

''For the public and police to have confidence in the justice system it is important to see offenders being held accountable for their crimes and that any discounts have a legitimate public purpose'' he said.
Will Jeremy acknowledge these official doubts about sentencing? Not likely.


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