Archive | November, 2013

The Injustice System

12 Nov

“Vigilante justice” is rationalized by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either nonexistent or insufficient. Vigilantes typically see government as ineffective in enforcing the law; and such individuals often presume to justify their actions as fulfillment of the wishes of “the community”.

Thomas Kelly

Last week  Kieran Loveridge was given 4 years minimum sentence for the unprovoked murder of this 18 year old man, Thomas Kelly.

I re-read this sentence countless times.  Each time it seemed to have a more profound effect.  The senseless, defenseless taking of another life contrasted by the minuscule number of 4 years.

Does anything else need to be said?

I find it hard to start a new paragraph.

Unfortunately the legal system takes this case, dilutes it and breaks it apart into a convoluted mess, until the real effect is lost.  Downgrading the charges from murder to manslaughter and dissolving the individual’s responsibility, until we are left with 4 years.

Failure of the justice system is not a new issue. But of recent years it has reached disturbing levels and I fear that if given the opportunity people may seek to enact their own justice.   Why should we work in the confines of a legal system that doesn’t seem to respect or protect the innocent? I hate to think what I would do if it were my son who had been taken from me for a measly 4 years

Here is Jill Meagher’s killer,  Adrian Bayley’s criminal history.

bayleycourt169

  • When he was 19 he raped two teenagers and attempted to rape another.
  • He served time behind bars, but faked his way through a sex offender program to get early release.
  • In 2000 he raped five prostitutes over a six-month period.
  • He was jailed for a minimum of eight years over the attacks.
  • In 2012 while on parole, he assaulted a man in Geelong.
  • The ABC understands the attack did not raise alarm bells with the Parole Board, as it was not a sex crime.
  • Bayley was on parole when he raped and murdered Ms Meagher in 2012.

Do you think we are being appropriately served by the justice system?

Jill Meagher tried to call her husband in the early hours of the morning just prior to her being abducted,  but he was asleep and missed the call. He will live the rest of his life wondering what would have happened if he answered that call. This murder has had a significant affect on my view of society and increased my distrust in the legal system. At night I used to set my phone to silent, no more. I shouldn’t have to live in fear because of this monsters crime. But the sad fact is, I do. How many Adrian Bayley’s are the courts releasing on a daily basis?

On 26 September 2013, Brother Martin Harmata, 60 pleaded guilty to several crimes committed against boys in the 1980’s at  Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown.

r1133403_13986057

A keen outdoorsman, he befriended many families in the local area, convincing parents to let him take their sons away on school camps.  According to police documents at that time, the charges (as of November 2012) were for six offences relating to two boys who were aged 12 to 13 at the time. The charges included the indecent assault of a person under his authority and committing an indecent act towards a person under his authority. By early 2013, the detectives had gathered more information. At Harmata’s next court appearance in June 2013, the number of victims in the case had increased to three (and the number of incidents increased to eight).

He was jailed for three-and-a-half years for sexually abusing these children. He received a discount on his sentence for entering an early plea.

What the hell?

You get a discount for admitting you raped 3 children.  ‘Discount’.  The word itself almost trivializes the crime. Discounts are something you should only get at the supermarket. According to ‘the crimes sentencing procedure act’ you get a 25% discount on your sentence for an early plea. Why? For the pure reason that it saves the state money.

THREE AND HALF YEARS! These parents sent their innocent children to school only to be sexually assaulted by this perverted monster. This man psychologically destroyed these individuals for life. Not to mention the guilt the parents must live with on daily basis for putting their children into this monsters care. All he gets is 3 and half years. With time served he will be eligible for release in 2017. Is this the cost of living in the free world? The worst thing is they will relocate him to another city and  give him a pseudonym so he can enjoy a life without public ridicule. He will re-offend and then we will wonder how this could happen.

Brother Harmata withdrew from teaching in 2012 after one of his victims confronted him in the playground. How many children suffered in that 30 year period?

In a society we all abide by a social contract and operate within a legal structure. My understanding is that as soon as these rules are broken then we TRUST that the law will delegate the appropriate punishment. Let the punishment fit the crime.

I have lost faith in this system. The punishment very rarely fits the crime.

This distrust in the legal system leads to a distrust in our fellow man. Everyone is a potential pedophile, murderer or rapist. Parents, partners and families are justifiably paranoid because we are not being served by the very system designed to protect us. We withdraw from aspects of society because we no longer trust that the ‘bad guys’ are being prosecuted.

I tried to put myself in Thomas Kelly’s parent’s position as they heard the sentence passed down by the judge.

They would have dressed respectfully for court. They would have stood in respect as the judge entered. They would have sat in silence, in the same room as the monster who took their child and remained quiet as he stood for sentencing with every impulse for revenge being suppressed out of respect and faith in a system established to appropriately deal with these criminals.

To then to hear 4 years………………

All Thomas Kelly’s life is worth was 4 years.

The contempt shown by the court towards Thomas Kelly would have had any person seeking retribution.  I don’t know what stopped Mr and Mrs Kelly  jumping the dock  and enacting their own justice. Disbelief, numbness, paralysis from rage?  Maybe they are just better people than I.  But this sentencing and others like it set a dangerous precedent.

Do all the fathers and mothers out there feel safer after this sentence? What would make me feel safer is if these people were not able to re-offend.

Turn the other cheek! What a load of crap.

How about we deal with these criminals so no other people need to suffer. If my son, daughter, wife or any family member suffered a rape, murder or sexual assault  and their predator received a sentence of 3-4 years,  I would wait till they were released and deal with it myself. Then I would walk myself to gaol. The irony is I would get a 20 year sentence. But every day of that 20 years I would wake with a smile knowing that predator was no longer.

People will suggest that this is just rage and emotion talking. Of course it is.

People will suggest that vengeance doesn’t give you peace. Maybe it doesn’t.

But I can tell what it does do. It ensures that no family ever has to suffer or become a victim of this person, ever again.

These are strong words, words that no reporter or journalist are willing to print but they are words I have heard out of a number of people’s mouths over the past weeks. If the justice system doesn’t review their sentencing laws and  start to administer appropriate sentences for such heinous crimes then I fear that more people will grow disenchanted with the system and this could lead to vigilante behavior and street justice. This is a scary, dangerous and a morally devoid alternative but an understandable one

Most of you are parents, all of you have families. What would you do if your child was killed, raped or sexually assaulted and the offender walked 4 years later?

I am sick of the courts taking responsibility away from the criminal  by claiming  an impaired mental state, their abusive childhood, intoxication,  broken home syndrome, or other social problems to justify their behaviour. Whatever leads these people to commit these crimes is a sad indictment on society but in no way should that lessen the time they serve for the crime they have committed.  They can rehabilitate in gaol, they can receive an education in gaol, I don’t care what they do in gaol because as soon as they committed their crimes they broke the social contract and entered into one that involves a significant amount of time behind bars. They can work on being a better human in isolation where they will no longer be a danger to society. They can have their human rights it just won’t be as a free man.

If Adrian Bayley, Keiran Loveridge and Brother Martin Harmata were to appear in my court they would no longer be a concern to society.

Rant On