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Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:33 pm
by shootist
3.14 wrote:You make it sound like a good idea for the poor.


From an economist's point of view it is. Not, of course, for those 'poor' who are desperately seeking to improve their lot, but for the percentage of those who are committed to living off welfare and petty crime, and they do exist in significant numbers, it's pretty good. The very first warrant I served for non payment of a fine was for not having a TV licence. All new and shiny I was embarking on an explanation of how the man could borrow some money form friends, instead of listening he said, in a friendly fashion, pausing to pick up his coat, "Phuq off, why do I want to do that? I'll go and spend a few weeks inside, my bird gets an increase in benefits and doesn't have to feed me, and that's that." The easiest warrant I ever served and an education in how some people live.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:50 pm
by Maz JP
shootist wrote:Part of the problem is that by contesting a charge you are acting like someone in a casino who increases the bet to try and win more. Even if you have a reasonably good defence it remains a lottery to some extent.

I wholly reject the basis of the comparison. Yes, the courts sadly make mistakes (not always because of their own 'failings'). And here I refer not only to the notable high-profile cases, but also to the several thousand successful appeals in the Crown Courts every year. But no, in context of the overall number of prosecutions launched every year (something like 2 million go through the magistrates' courts each year) the number of mistakes is not large.

The odds in a casino however are in favour, as I sadly know all too well, of the casino. These stacked odds simply cannot be sensibly compared with those of losing a case if you are innocent.

And if you think I am pompously taking your point too seriously, I apologise.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:06 pm
by shootist
On a roulette table the house take is 2.7%, Blackjack, if you know the game, the house edge goes down to as little as 0.5%. Take £100 to a roulette table and bet a pound at a time for 100 spins. You stand a good chance of waling out with ££97.30p Not that bad as odds go. I'd probably bet that of all the cases I have seen, the number of poor decisions either way would exceed that percentage.

However, the point I am making is that going to trial or appeal can present the risk of a more severe sentence if you lose. It's not about whether the court gets it right, but is the bet worth it.

An example.

If I was to bet you that I could toss a coin 10 times in a row and get ten heads in a row, you get a pound if I fail, I get a pound if I do it, I suspect you might take that bet. It's a good one from your perspective. Now, make that bet of yours for everything you own, your home, your car, every penny in the bank, against mine. The odds are exactly the same. Care to take it now?

I have known of a few people who have been convicted in magistrates, or in one case, the crown court, who I think had a damned good case for appeal. None of them did because in each case their conviction did relatively little damage to their lives, but it was made clear that there was a distinct possibility, a probability even, that if the appealed and lost they would get a prison sentence. As they were otherwise decent people, such a sentence would have ruined their whole lives. That opinion was from the barrister defending them in each case. Simply not worth the risk.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:56 am
by megaman
Maz JP wrote:
shootist wrote:Part of the problem is that by contesting a charge you are acting like someone in a casino who increases the bet to try and win more. Even if you have a reasonably good defence it remains a lottery to some extent.

I wholly reject the basis of the comparison. Yes, the courts sadly make mistakes (not always because of their own 'failings'). And here I refer not only to the notable high-profile cases, but also to the several thousand successful appeals in the Crown Courts every year. But no, in context of the overall number of prosecutions launched every year (something like 2 million go through the magistrates' courts each year) the number of mistakes is not large.

The odds in a casino however are in favour, as I sadly know all too well, of the casino. These stacked odds simply cannot be sensibly compared with those of losing a case if you are innocent.

And if you think I am pompously taking your point too seriously, I apologise.


But in a casino you choose how much you risk and when you risk it and on what game
in a criminal investigation/trial you dont get any of those choices.

A person who gets falsely accused of rape does not get to choose a lesser crime, or a different time, or a change of aledged circumstances.
and even if the only evidence is the victims word the defendant does not know if he is going to be unlucky enough to get a jury who are stupid enough to think that they can judge the accuracy of the claimants testimony by the claimants/defendants deminor. Or are believe the claim is true because it is repeated multiple times.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:25 pm
by megaman
Maz JP wrote:
shootist wrote:As an example there are many times when remorse is actually obvious from the evidence presented at trial. I recall, for instance, a case of a dangerous stabbing, where the defendant had actually held the victim in his arms, sobbing, whilst waiting for the ambulance. That's at the top end of the scale, but you take my point : genuine remorse can be actually evidenced by actions.


Even in a case like that i would not be certain that there is any remorese

The defendant could have been told to hold the victim in his arms and call and ambulance.
If this is the case then he is not doing it of his own accord and therefore it shows nothing about his state of mind.

You did not say that he called the ambulance and someone would have to witness it for you to be able to tell that story, both of these things implies that there were other people present.

As for the sobbing, that is unlikely to have been something someone else lead him to do since it cant be done intentionally. But on its own it proves nothing, there could be other reasons for it (the reaction he got from other people on the scene for example)

and this is before circumstances such as mental conditions come into play

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:30 pm
by Maz JP
You should maybe allow for the fact that I was compressing a long hearing into a single sentence, and so missed out many of the facts.

So, I thank you for your comments but none of them are applicable in this case. There was genuine and evidenced remorse.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:42 pm
by dls
Courts should never be certain of anything which is at issue. They are not asked to be certain when ascertaining guilt, and I am unclear that proof beyond reasonable doubt is requred when settling matters for sentencing purposes.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:00 pm
by Maz JP
Nowadays, the powers that be prefer us to say that "we are satisfied that we are sure" etc etc

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:53 pm
by megaman
Maz JP wrote:You should maybe allow for the fact that I was compressing a long hearing into a single sentence, and so missed out many of the facts.

So, I thank you for your comments but none of them are applicable in this case. There was genuine and evidenced remorse.


Well as long as the conclusion that there was remorse was based on more than just what you mentioned my point is moot.

Re: defendants remorse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:55 pm
by megaman
Maz JP wrote:Nowadays, the powers that be prefer us to say that "we are satisfied that we are sure" etc etc


There is much case law on this matter. A person doing a law degree with a crime module (and i believe that is a core module) would have a seminar on this point and it would be an option on at least one exac/assignment.
It seams to be that that is accepted as a safe comment for the judge to make on the matter