This is of course pure politics, simply playing to the base, as Boris demands the end of early release for prisoners after serving half their sentence:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Prisoners will no longer be automatically released early under plans to be set out by Boris Johnson this week, The Telegraph can disclose. The Prime Minister will pledge to end the automatic release of serious criminals who are currently freed after serving half of their sentence. He will press for a tougher stance on sentencing at a roundtable meeting in No 10 on Monday with police chiefs, prosecutors, former judges, courts administrators and prison bosses. [/perfectpullquote]
There’s nothing to this other than pleasing the sort of people who might vote for Boris.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, that’s rather the point of a democracy. The peeps elect people who do the things the peeps want done. And of course this works the other way around too. For, why did it become commonplace for people to be released halfway through a sentence?
Because those who vote the other way want very much shorter sentences for criminal acts. But those they voted for were not entirely stupid and knew that sentencing someone to piffle for raping and robbing a little old lady would lose them more votes than it would gain. Therefore sentencing was left untouched but the system of half-time release instituted. Thus sentences remained for the law and order crowd, time served declined.
There is indeed a useful debate to be had about what should be the punishment for a specific crime, the ()’s for crime in general. And let’s have that debate by all means. But let’s not the resort to subterfuge, eh? Whatever it is righteous the judge hands down is righteous that is served. Punishment should be what it says on the tin, whatever that actual punishment is.