Thursday, 6 July 2017

The justice system is failing the public they serve

Just this week, we have seen the irresponsible sentencing, or lack thereof, of two criminals, and cases in the past show us that the Justice System continues to make the same mistakes, mistakes proven to be fatal for the community.

When a man, the brother of a terrorist, threatens two people at a kid’s football match to kill them, or put holes in them and is then given bail although he is already on parole, we know something is wrong. When a teenager steals a car, kills a woman while in a police chase, driving at speeds of 212 k/h and then gets bail, you know there’s something wrong. When a man on the terrorism watchlist is put on bail for a case relating to murder, you know there’s trouble. So why are there so many cases with such terrible sentencing and who exactly creates these guidelines?

In 2007, A 24-year-old man broke into a house and raped a 4-year-old girl. He was given a 2 year suspended sentence, with bail, and was roaming the streets, all thanks to Judge Chris Geraghty because he was Aboriginal. So, a shocking crime is laid to rest because the judge stated that ‘the man was of Aboriginal origin’.

The Justice System is failing the public who they serve
Now retired, Justice John Gallop sentenced a man to one
day in prison due to his Aboriginal background.
And in 2002, a 50-year-old man who had previously bashed his wife to death raped a 15-year-old girl, his only defence being that in the Aboriginal tribal ceremony, it was promised to him. And the judge, Justice John Gallop only sentenced him to one day in prison. So, a man with previous murder history raped a girl and is in prison for one day. That’s it, in and out, and them left to roam the streets?

To add to this, a judge called Sarah Bradley sentenced four teenagers to nothing after sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. Nothing. This judge is allowed to remain in the system? Well, she must have been because she did the same thing months later when she recorded no conviction against six teenagers who had had sex with a ten-year-old girl, her defence being that the girl probably gave permission, even though she was only 10, and had been previously raped at the age of 7. No doubt the rapist was left to roam the streets after a judge like Ms Bradley ruled him innocent. And all of these people were Aboriginal. Now, I’m not saying that Aboriginal people are more likely to commit sexual crimes (although the statistics show they are) I’m just saying that because of race, or colour or background, a criminal can get away with raping a ten or eleven-year-old girl like they did nothing. 

Lets look at some other incidents. More recently, a 15-year-old boy stole a car, drove in a high-speed police chase at speeds up to 212k/h and hit a car, killing the mother of two inside. He is now serving his sentence of "three years, four months and one week- but with backdating, he will be free to seek release on parole in just 10 months." The Judge, Judge Tracey, probably not worth the title of "honour", was apparently restrained by the "Young Offenders Act, which prioritise care, guidance and correction of youths over punishment". In other words, the offender is more important than the punishment and the victim's family. Because we mustn't give criminals too harsh sentences, you know! In my book, if they dedserve the sentence, they should be given it. No judge should be restrained by guidelines that look like they were made for babies. And don't give me the "oh, but he's young" excuse. At the age of 15, one would hope that the cognitive capacity needed to know that stealing a car isn't a good idea.

So why are there guidelines that restrict judges from giving sentences that they deserve? The truth is, there is a belief in our justice system, meant to be serving justice out to those who deserve it, and giving some sort of compensation to the victim's families, that the criminal shouldn't be given too hard a sentence. That the rights (that a criminal shouldn't have) of a criminal need to be upheld. That, as Clementine Ford wrote on the ABC, "the court evidently cared more about how much justice might affect him [criminal] than it would her [victim]." 

This was in relation to a case where then 33-year-old Anthony Glass indecently assaulted a 17-year-old after luring her into his apartment. The aspiring teen was lured in when Glass claimed that he could make her a portfolio. After posing in lingerie, Glass asked her to remove her clothes, which she did. He then removed his clothes and sexually assaulted her, the court heard. Judge Peter Evans gave Glass a six-month suspended sentence and 2-year good behaviour bond, based on the fact that "Glass' assault on the girl had been generally 'gentle'". Glass' defence lawyer argued that a more sensible girl wouldn't have been lured into a stranger's apartment. Like this removes all responsibility from the man that actually lured her in in the first place. Like this changes the fact that Glass actually did anything, like luring a girl into your apartment automatically gives you the right to sexually assault her. The judge justified his sentence by deciding that the verdict, along with the criminal record that goes with it, would make it hard for Glass and his American wife and newborn baby to travel to the United States. The impact of the verdict was once again weighed more highly on the criminal compared to the victim. Once again, the needs of the criminal were put above the justice deserved to him.

What about a case by Magistrate Simon Garnett. Ricky Nixon was on the charges of assault after this report:
"Nixon was charged last July for an assault that saw him grab his former fiancee Tegan Gould on the neck, pull her hair, push her into a wall and strike her face." 
Image result for nsw justice department
The Justice Department is failing the public
whom it serves
After pleading guilty to the charge, Nixon's defence lawyer, Theo Alexander requested that Nixon received a fine and a record of criminal conviction. This desperate attempt was refused by the magistrate. At this point, you think that the Magistrate will deliver the deserved justice, but no, that would be too hard for Simon Garnett. Garnett claimed the offences were "too serious" and as such, sentenced Nixon to 200 hours of community service, all part of a 24-month rehabilitation program. Why couldn't the fine be kept, or the criminal record? Or is the magistrate just a total nutcase? Nixon's defence lawyer claimed that Nixon was going through a hard time due to his agent licence being revoked by the AFL. The fact that this was revoked due to a scandal whereupon Nixon was found with a 17-year-old in his apartment didn't come up. The defence lawyer painted Nixon as a victim of the AFL's brutality and appealed, referring to Nixon's supposedly good character. the obliviousness of the magistrate is obvious, an obvious show of the magistrate's inability to judge. Why is this the direction of the NSW Justice Department?

What about when Judge Joseph Moore totally dismissed the charge against Matthew Newton in 2010. But here's the joke, not only were the injuries that Newton gave to a girlfriend clear for the court to see, but Newton pleaded guilty to the charge. Yet, despite this declaration of guilt, Newton's charge was thrown out of court. Moore claimed that Newton was a "gentleman" who had the "utmost respect for women". Moore claimed that Newton would be unlikely to ever hit another woman, a statement that proved untrue. But hold up. Did Moore just concede that Newton did assault a woman? He claimed that he would be unlikely to ever hit another woman again. If again is in there, doesn't that mean he's done it? Doesn't that mean he is guilty? Doesn't that mean that really, the case shouldn't have been thrown out but continued? Was the judge going above his expectations and applying a sentence (or not) for the future instead of providing punishment for a crime already committed? Moore isn't dumb, he knew why he was throwing out the case. It was so Newton could still work in America, another showing of where a criminal has more importance than the victim, a clear showing where the court cares more about the criminal than the victim. Where is the compensation? There is none. And why are judges not held accountable for the corrupt decisions they make? We see judges and magistrates sentencing high up officials on corruption grounds when they're the corrupt ones.

What about when Man Monis was let out on bail on a murder charge? He went on, while on bail, to conduct the Lindt Cafe Seige, killing two innocent people. The irresponsible actions of judges is claiming lives. Still, the justice system doesn't change. Still, as the death toll mounts, the justice department sits there, oblivious to the fact their decisions are claiming lives.

It is time that the justice system was overhauled. The time has come for criminals to get what they deserved. Bail laws are being used too freely, sentences are too light and criminals are just becoming repeat offenders. Over 80% of all criminals in NSW’s prisons are repeat offenders, a figure that the Justice system should take note of. That figure will only grow as the inability of the justice system and judges take a toll on the innocent people they are meant to be serving. Guidelines are sometimes restricting judges from making necessary decisions. Take a look at the brother of a terrorist that got bail for a day. Luckily, the following day action could be taken to revoke this. Why are there such guidelines that the people we trust to sentence criminals can’t make the necessary decisions? And likewise, why are judges allowed to sentence dangerous criminals to such light penalties. This slap on the wrists has to come to an end before it gets more out of hand, but it won’t while leftist judges claiming to be progressive are in control of our justice system. The people aren’t on board with the justice system, and the justice system are meant to be servicing and protecting the people. What has happened to this necessary link that has distanced them so far? This is the most important question and one that must be answered before anything else. Where does the allegiances of all the judges and magistrates lie- with the criminals, with their rights and their protection, or the victims, the public and the innocent people they are killing?

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