Sunday, September 18, 2005
Twatwatch - 17 September 2005
Channel 7 News, Sunday, 6pm, 17 September 2005
Channel 7, in typical lowest common denominator style, runs a crime story as their 'breaking bulletin'. A prisoner is coming up for parole next week for his part in the brutal killing of an off duty policeman. The prisoner was done for manslaughter I think - as he did not inflict the final blow.
The Channel 7 'exclusive' was their talking to the cop's family - who were naturally distraught and had every right to be. And Channel 7 made sure to have some footage of the 'nieces and nephews that would never know their uncle' playing on some swings, and made sure to talk to the grieving and still angry parents. Again - their raw pain is perfectly understandable.
And the coda to the interview?
'What would you say to the judges for that sentence?' asks the reporter, voice rich with understanding concern. Naturally the mother claimed that unless the lawyers and the judges had lost a child they would never know their pain and if they did would have given the prisoner in question a longer sentence.
If you want to know who drives the law and order debate of harsher sentences for all crime, lock em up and throw away the key, and stripping away protections for prisoners and their ability to receive remedial education, training, and their rehabilitation then look no further. It is commercial media outlets like these f_ckheads in Channel 7 news.
How dare they prey on the pain and anguish of a grieving family? And solely as a f_cking ratings exercise. They know full well that the best people to judge what a criminal should get, based on the crime to which they have been convicted of, is a f_cking judge. It is just so easy to have the 'concerned pain of the family' noddy from a f_cking reporter that lasts five seconds than it is to give a comprehensive analysis of a judge's sentencing of a criminal. And all the many factors they have to consider when applying a sentence.
Why do you think the gang rapists got their sentences reduced this week? Because the sentencing was made in a culture of public hysteria that stripped away rights of prisoners. Those guys are scum, and I hope they get worked over for what they did. But you give a gang rapist a life sentence and enforce it by law, then what happens to the victim? They get killed cause its logical to assume that dead girls tell no tales and if they are going to get done for a life sentence from gang rape, they'll just off her afterwards to make the trail harder.
The law and order in this debate has gotten so overboard and so laden down with emotive media crap like what Channel 7 just did that people caught in the system are the worse for it. Want to know why criminals commit crime when they leave jail? Because money goes into keeping them in jail longer taking away from programs to redeem them. Then they leave with no life skills, no training, and no incentive to behave otherwise.
You bet the crims involved in the cases are the worst order of scum. But highlighting these cases for public outrage hampers the ability of judges to act impartially and to serve society with the best possible sentencing outcome. It's nothing but Judge bashing plain and simple.
On my way home one night I was listening to Radio National. Young men who had killed another young man in an unpleasant act of out of control bullying had gotten five to seven years in jail. The public were outraged and the radio shock jocks went into over time. James O'Loughlin was a voice of reason.
'Listen,' he said. 'It's understandable how if you hear a ten second snapshot of a case you too can be outraged by a sentencing decision. But do yourself a favour. The judgements go up on a website. Google for the court in question, the state in question. Read the judgement - which sums up what evidence was presented and why guilt or not guilt was proven. And the hows and whys of why that sentence was imposed. Then make your judgement call.'
I did, I read it, I understood why those guys got the sentence they did. So do yourself a favour and do the same. Research the reasons why and open your eyes. And don't fall victim for faux outrage of manicured media, with their smart blazers and concerned eyes as they emit pathetic snap assessments of a complex legal matter in under ten seconds.
This is some stupid bimbette outside a law court, nodding solemnly about the pain and anger of a grieving family and making insipid comments about the ability of learned judges to determine an appropriate sentence, Channel 7 news.