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Frank Hovis

Amateurish Sentencing

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I'm not eactly raging about this but it looks nonsense to me.

Drink driver kills somebody in an accident; jailed for two years.

and:

disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended retest before driving again.

Right. So why disqualify them from driving for the same time as they are (meant) to be incarcerated?

Either do it for a longer time like three years or just scrap that bit of the sentencing as being redundant? In most areas of work there is what is known as a "sense test" where you've done everything and then you give it to somebody that's not involved to make sure it stacks up ok. Clearly no such thing as peer review for judges.

http://www.cornishman.co.uk/Fine-student-jailed-causing-death/story-21323794-detail/story.html

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I'm not eactly raging about this but it looks nonsense to me.

Drink driver kills somebody in an accident; jailed for two years.

and:

Right. So why disqualify them from driving for the same time as they are (meant) to be incarcerated?

Either do it for a longer time like three years or just scrap that bit of the sentencing as being redundant? In most areas of work there is what is known as a "sense test" where you've done everything and then you give it to somebody that's not involved to make sure it stacks up ok. Clearly no such thing as peer review for judges.

http://www.cornishman.co.uk/Fine-student-jailed-causing-death/story-21323794-detail/story.html

I think there is peer review for judges; it's just that one bunch of unrealistic , unworldly, old duffers reviews another bunch of the same. Result? Sentencing like the above.

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Sentencing guidelines: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/death_by_careless_driving_under_the_influence/

51 - 70 mg of alcohol/moderate quantity of drugs OR deliberate non-provision of specimen
  • Careless/ inconsiderate driving arising from momentary inattention with no aggravating factors
    Starting point:
    4 years custody
    Sentencing range: 3 - 7 years custody
  • Other cases of careless/ inconsiderate driving
    Starting point:
    5 years custody
    Sentencing range: 4 - 8 years custody
  • Careless/ inconsiderate driving falling not far short of dangerousness
    Starting point:
    6 years custody
    Sentencing range: 5 - 9 years custody

2 years looks very generous IMO, there might be some mitigating factors but at 66mg he was probably less than 1/2 a pint off going into the most serious category.

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I think there is peer review for judges; it's just that one bunch of unrealistic , unworldly, old duffers reviews another bunch of the same. Result? Sentencing like the above.

Over a good lunch presumably.

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Sentencing guidelines: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/death_by_careless_driving_under_the_influence/

51 - 70 mg of alcohol/moderate quantity of drugs OR deliberate non-provision of specimen
  • Careless/ inconsiderate driving arising from momentary inattention with no aggravating factors

    Starting point:

    4 years custody

    Sentencing range: 3 - 7 years custody

  • Other cases of careless/ inconsiderate driving

    Starting point:

    5 years custody

    Sentencing range: 4 - 8 years custody

  • Careless/ inconsiderate driving falling not far short of dangerousness

    Starting point:

    6 years custody

    Sentencing range: 5 - 9 years custody

2 years looks very generous IMO, there might be some mitigating factors but at 66mg he was probably less than 1/2 a pint off going into the most serious category.

It sounded a bit light but I've gone into the case at all. It was the entirely pointless bit of the sentence that caught my eye.

It was like saying: you're looked up for two years, and additionally you are expressly forbidding from bungee jumping for two years.

Edit: it reminds of the Sicilian Bandit joke if anybody knows that one. Big build up followed by a stern instruction not to do something of which the participant is entirely incapable of doing anyway.

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Do "death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit" and "disqualified for two years" get treated differently when handled in the future by the various bodies? So if he was jailed for two years, then applies for insurance x years later, there would be no record of a disqualification, unless it is done like this? I'm guessing and there may be other bodies who handle these two punishments separately or bodies who do not have access to criminal records but do have access to DVLA.

It may be more an administrative task than an actual punishment.

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Do "death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit" and "disqualified for two years" get treated differently when handled in the future by the various bodies? So if he was jailed for two years, then applies for insurance x years later, there would be no record of a disqualification, unless it is done like this? I'm guessing and there may be other bodies who handle these two punishments separately or bodies who do not have access to criminal records but do have access to DVLA.

It may be more an administrative task than an actual punishment.

That sounds reasonable.

I forgive the gin-sozzled bench then.

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It may be more an administrative task than an actual punishment.

Remember that a 2 year sentence is going to mean ITRO 12 months actual jail time so it does actually stop him driving for another 12 months.

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Serving sentences concurrently has always bothered me. I can see the administrative reason given above makes sense but what about serving two prison sentences at the same time?

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Serving sentences concurrently has always bothered me. I can see the administrative reason given above makes sense but what about serving two prison sentences at the same time?

The only faint glimmer of justification that I can see is that they would need to be released early from two sentences rather than one so the shorter (or shortest if more than two) concurrent sentence is effectively a minimum term.

I admit that this is speculation.

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Why don't they just ban these people from driving forever? He's killed someone and he was way over the limit, so how about he's never allowed behind the wheel of a car again?

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Why don't they just ban these people from driving forever? He's killed someone and he was way over the limit, so how about he's never allowed behind the wheel of a car again?

And public execution for parking offences; that would keep the city streets clear for traffic.

I would say for the same reason that you don't give people life terms for manslaughter. There was no intention to kill anyone; it was an accident.

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1. Legalize drink driving

2. Introduce death penalty for drivers who kill by mounting the kerb or running lights.

Sorted. No one would drive drunk or drive over 20mph anyway if they knew if they killed anyone their life would also go.

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And public execution for parking offences; that would keep the city streets clear for traffic.

I would say for the same reason that you don't give people life terms for manslaughter. There was no intention to kill anyone; it was an accident.

Not being allowed to drive a car is hardly on the same level as spending the rest of your life in prison.

I'm not sure that "accident" is exactly the right word either, since he was in a condition where the law quite specifically says you shouldn't be operating a car.

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Not being allowed to drive a car is hardly on the same level as spending the rest of your life in prison.

I'm not sure that "accident" is exactly the right word either, since he was in a condition where the law quite specifically says you shouldn't be operating a car.

I think accident is spot on. Many people drive over the limit, those that are caught get a ban. This guy got an additional punishment because whilst over the limit he had an accident. I am sure that the police would describe it as such.

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Not being allowed to drive a car is hardly on the same level as spending the rest of your life in prison.

I'm not sure that "accident" is exactly the right word either, since he was in a condition where the law quite specifically says you shouldn't be operating a car.

An accident is something that happens without intent. it doesn't mean the person who caused it wasn't acting irresponsibly. To be honest I'm rather uneasy with punishing people at all for accidents, no matter how serious, at least without good evidence to suggest that they were really acting grossly irresponsibly (instead of being horribly unlucky). Drink driving is grossly irresponsible and deserves some sort of punishment, but even then it doesn't strike me as being particularly just that the nature of that punishment can vary depending upon how lucky or not you were. Someone who gets in a car and drives off whilst out of their head and gets home safely isn't fundamentally better than someone who does the same but hits someone, they're just luckier.

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Do "death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit" and "disqualified for two years" get treated differently when handled in the future by the various bodies? So if he was jailed for two years, then applies for insurance x years later, there would be no record of a disqualification, unless it is done like this? I'm guessing and there may be other bodies who handle these two punishments separately or bodies who do not have access to criminal records but do have access to DVLA.

It may be more an administrative task than an actual punishment.

Does x=10?

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An accident is something that happens without intent. it doesn't mean the person who caused it wasn't acting irresponsibly. To be honest I'm rather uneasy with punishing people at all for accidents, no matter how serious, at least without good evidence to suggest that they were really acting grossly irresponsibly (instead of being horribly unlucky). Drink driving is grossly irresponsible and deserves some sort of punishment, but even then it doesn't strike me as being particularly just that the nature of that punishment can vary depending upon how lucky or not you were. Someone who gets in a car and drives off whilst out of their head and gets home safely isn't fundamentally better than someone who does the same but hits someone, they're just luckier.

That's why there's no such thing as an accident now. ' Road Traffic Accidents' became 'Road Traffic Incidents' many years ago. So now there's always someone to blame.

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An accident is something that happens without intent. it doesn't mean the person who caused it wasn't acting irresponsibly. To be honest I'm rather uneasy with punishing people at all for accidents, no matter how serious, at least without good evidence to suggest that they were really acting grossly irresponsibly (instead of being horribly unlucky). Drink driving is grossly irresponsible and deserves some sort of punishment, but even then it doesn't strike me as being particularly just that the nature of that punishment can vary depending upon how lucky or not you were. Someone who gets in a car and drives off whilst out of their head and gets home safely isn't fundamentally better than someone who does the same but hits someone, they're just luckier.

I suppose that's just the nature of these things. Diving while drunk seems to me rather like acting negligently while you're operating a dangerous piece of machinery. If someone's driving a truck along the road and their load falls off because they've failed to secure it properly then the legal repercussions will depend on the outcome. If it falls onto a car and kills a family of four then the driver (or whoever's job it is to make sure the load is safe) will be in more trouble than if it falls off on a deserted road and they manage to stop the traffic before anyone gets hurt. You might argue that they were just unlucky in the first case, but few people would argue that they shouldn't receive a harsher punishment.

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That's why there's no such thing as an accident now. ' Road Traffic Accidents' became 'Road Traffic Incidents' many years ago. So now there's always someone to blame.

Until you've worked out what happens you don't know if anything deliberate or not, although I can't believe that more than a tiny number of incidents are the result of deliberate action. There being someone to blame doesn't stop it from being an accident and trying to change the meaning of words like this is a rather unpleasant game.

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Until you've worked out what happens you don't know if anything deliberate or not, although I can't believe that more than a tiny number of incidents are the result of deliberate action. There being someone to blame doesn't stop it from being an accident and trying to change the meaning of words like this is a rather unpleasant game.

Just giving my point of view. The words were changed by "them". The Government? The emergency services? Grammar Nazi is on holiday.

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Just giving my point of view. The words were changed by "them". The Government? The emergency services? Grammar Nazi is on holiday.

I wasn't having a go at you for that, although looking back at my post it looks like I was so sorry for that.

Although strictly speaking the word "incident" is more accurate as I said I don't believe the non-accidental incidents are enough for "accident" to matter, and I feel refusing to use the word smacks of political speak (trying to twist its meaning to mean that no-one is to blame, as well as shying away from accepting that sometimes shit happens).

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I think anybody who wants to call this an "accident" needs to define what that word means. The word has more or less disappeared from today's health and safety investigations because it is loaded with subjective moral judgements and is not a useful factual descriptor. All incidents have causes, some of those causes are environmental, some are mechanical, some are human. It seems to me that the human was at least partly the cause of the accident: the human decided to drive a car after drinking a lot of alcohol.

If a certain model of mechanical device was known to cause harmful incidents it would be taken off the market. If a certain model of human does the same the same response seems logical i.e. a driving ban. A lifetime driving ban is not a death sentence.

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That's why there's no such thing as an accident now. ' Road Traffic Accidents' became 'Road Traffic Incidents' many years ago. So now there's always someone to blame.

The purpose of changing from "accident" to "incident" was not an attempt to say that every harmful event is caused by a human factor. It's kind of the opposite, trying to make investigation of the causes of harmful events descriptions of facts rather than moral judgements.

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