Sure, and isn’t this a lovely little story. A judge has declined to jail a man convicted of Class A drugs possession on the grounds that he shouldn’t be punished more than Michael Gove was for the same offence.
All of which is really just an example of the increasing idiocy of our modern public life. We used to do one particular thing, which was select our judges from the brightest. We tried really rather hard not to allow stupid people to become barristers, then we only selected our judges from among the bright ones of those. Meaning that we ended up with people who could grasp what is wrong with this idea:
Cocaine-user spared jail after judge says he ‘should not suffer more than Michael Gove’
Come along now, it should be obvious what is wrong here. Even a modern judge should be able to get it:
A judge allowed a class A drug user to walk free from court after announcing he should “suffer no more for dabbling in cocaine” than Michael Gove. Judge Owen Davies QC said the convicted criminal should not be punished more severely than the Tory leadership contender, who has admitted taking the drug at parties twenty years ago. The defendant, who has not been named, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of class A possession, which carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years. But Judge Davies set him free with a conditional discharge, after suggesting: “He should suffer no more for dabbling in cocaine than should a former Lord Chancellor.”
Yes, obviously, it’s the right answer, drugs should be legal anyway, not something to punish. But still, wrong decision. And why? Because Michael Gove hasn’t been convicted, after a fair trial, in a court of law. Therefore of course he’s not been punished. And our mystery man here has been so convicted. Which is why it is acceptable to punish him, the different outcome is just fine.
And no, don’t go with what you’re thinking. It’s still just that the punishment be the same. Not the point at all. It’s the other way around. Only after the process leading to the conviction can there be any punishment at all. It’s entirely vital that we maintain this difference. For if we don’t soon enough someone will start arguing that we can and should punish without the process, merely upon allegation. Certain feminists already do so argue about rape for example….