Those Who Continue to Pose a Danger Will Remain in Prison for the Rest of Their Lives; Justice System in Crisis Mirror Investigates

The Mirror (London, England), June 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

Those Who Continue to Pose a Danger Will Remain in Prison for the Rest of Their Lives; Justice System in Crisis Mirror Investigates


THE Mirror put the concerns about sentencing discrepancies and bail laws to Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern, who spoke to MARIE KIERANS.

CAN YOU BLAME THE IRISH PUBLIC FOR NOT HAVING CONFIDENCE IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?

MINISTER: I don't accept that the Irish public does not have confidence in the Gardai and the courts in dealing with criminals. Our criminal justice system matches or exceeds that found in other EU countries.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT NEW GUIDELINES SHOULD BE ISSUED TO PREVENT INCONSISTENCIES IN SENTENCING?

MINISTER: The courts are responsible for decisions on sentences and must look at the particular circumstances in each individual case.

Because of the separation of powers between the Government and judges - built into the Constitution - it is not open to me to issue guidelines.

We all want to see consistency in sentencing.

To deal with any inconsistencies we have enacted legislation to allow the DPP appeal against unduly lenient sentences. In addition I have legislation (Criminal Procedure Bill 2009) before the Dail to allow appeals in special cases against verdicts of not guilty.

HOW CAN THE PUBLIC HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM WHEN SUSPECTS CHARGED WITH VERY SERIOUS CRIMES ARE ALLOWED OUT ON BAIL TO COMMIT EVEN MORE SERIOUS CRIMES?

MINISTER: I have concerns about people who have committed serious crimes while on bail and I am preparing new legislation to consolidate the bail laws. We amended the Constitution in 1996 to restrict certain accused people getting access to bail.

However, there are limits to what Ministers can do as, at the end of the day, the courts decide who is released on bail and who is remanded in custody pending trial.

Not everyone gets bail - there are nearly 700 people in custody today awaiting trial or sentencing.

AdVIC IS CALLING FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF MURDER BY DEGREE, DO YOU SUPPORT THIS?

MINISTER: I have not come to a final decision on the matter. I would have reservations about moving away from the existing system where every person convicted of murder automatically receives a life sentence.

THE GROUP ALSO WANTS MANDATORY LIFE SENTENCE WITH A MINIMUM OF 25 YEARS IN CASES OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER. ARE YOU IN FAVOUR OF THIS?

MINISTER: There is already a mandatory life sentence for murder. A person who is sentenced to life remains subject to that sentence for the rest of his life.

Those who continue to pose a danger will remain in prison for the rest of their lives.

GARDAI fuelling members It would now be unusual for even the least serious case of murder to get any form of temporary release before they have served in excess of 15 years in custody and they will be its recalled immediately to prison at any sign of trouble. added: on On 31 December 2009, there were 266 persons in custody serving life sentences.

The average time spent in custody by persons convicted of murder is now in excess of 17 years.

This compares with an average of just over 7.5 years for releases dating from 1975 to 1984, just under 12 years for the period dating from 1985 to 1994 and just under 14 years for the period dating from 1995 to 2004. As is clear from these figures life sentence prisoners are serving longer terms in custody.

WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE FACT THAT A NUMBER OF CRIMINALS WHO KILLED AND WERE RELEASED EARLY WENT ON TO KILL AGAIN?

SHOULD WE NOT BE FOLLOWING OTHER JURISDICTIONS WHEREBY JUDGES ARE ALLOWED TO GIVE A RECOMMENDED SENTENCE. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Those Who Continue to Pose a Danger Will Remain in Prison for the Rest of Their Lives; Justice System in Crisis Mirror Investigates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.