For the little stealing they lock you up and put you in Jail, but kill someone…. .
Today I read how an inveterate offender was sentenced to a total of six years jail. What heinous crime did he commit one wonders, oh he accessed other people’s money, including one of New Zealand’s top judges http://tinyurl.com/fraudstersentenced, I suspect he got a lighter sentence because the judiciary would not want to be seen to over punish this man. To be fair he also committed some other crimes, and had an extensive list of previous convictions. Clearly he is a real threat to society, we need to be protected from him for a very long time, lord only knows what might have happened if he had killed someone.
Oh what’s that you say he would have got less for manslaughter? You are joking, well actually unfortunately it is true in one of my previous posts I spoke of my disgust at the sentence for two men who set another one on fire with petrol http://tinyurl.com/Fiveyearsonly . It fits into the general pattern of judges seeming to be out of touch with ordinary offenders. There are many examples of this, Stephen Dudley is one of those who did not receive justice his story is here, well I should say that my response to his death is here.
Stephen’s story is surely much more than a few lines recorded in a blog from someone who did not ever meet him http://tinyurl.com/stevendudleycountingfornothing. It is not my intention to re-litigate these issues, my point of view is quite clear, these sentences are an insult not only to the families and friends of these victims but also to society as a whole. There is a growing cancer in our society that has metastasised and is taking over society at so many levels. I have worked with young people off and on for the last 30 years. At the heart of this problem is respect.
There is evidence of this in our daily papers but take a walk in our schools if you don’t believe it. When I worked as a social worker I expected some resistance possibly even violence, when you are dealing with such a high stakes thing such as taking children away from their parents it is to be expected that people don’t just sit there passive saying oh that is terrible whilst their children are taken away, what I don’t expect is to be assaulted, abused and sworn at for having the temerity to suggest that young people obey school rules and actually do some learning.
The latest incident where our young people are being given the message that poor (and in this case unlawful) behaviour at school or under the control of the schools is The St Bede’s debacle http://tinyurl.com/STBedesbadboys. This blatant in your face I have money incident where parents used their money to try and protect their offspring from their well-earned consequences for stupid behaviour. Young people are not held to account in any meaningful way for really poor behaviour, and we wonder why we have an epidemic of really extreme behaviour.
We have of course such poor behaviour (if not as extreme) being modeled from the very top of our society, our lawmakers, the politicians behave in an infantile manner in the highest court in our land, The rule seems to be simple just don’t get caught and if you get caught don’t let it become public. I do sense that there is a growing revulsion about the way we are treated as voters, if that is one of the lessons we have learnt from the weekend where the National Party received a stern message from the electorate about a number of things, but that is a matter that needs its own blog. The question is are there any answers? More on that another time.