'Vengeful Victims Must Not Influence Justice'; Judges Denounce Kenneth Clarke's Plans to Give Those Hit by Crime a Stronger Voice in Sentencing

Daily Mail (London), April 7, 2011 | Go to article overview

'Vengeful Victims Must Not Influence Justice'; Judges Denounce Kenneth Clarke's Plans to Give Those Hit by Crime a Stronger Voice in Sentencing


Byline: Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent

VICTIMS of crime should have no say over what happens to criminals because some just want revenge, senior judges declared yesterday.

Two leading Appeal Court justices condemned plans to allow victims more say in court because many, they said, confuse justice with vengeance.

The feelings of victims have nothing to do with the public interest and they should be cut out of punishment decisions, said the judges.

The ringing rejection of victims' growing role in the justice system was delivered by Lord Justice Thomas, deputy head of criminal justice, and Lord Justice Goldring, the senior presiding judge in England and Wales.

It was a powerful rebuke to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, who plans to make statements by victims 'routine' in criminal trials and to tell judges to take them into consideration when setting the sentence.

The devastating criticisms of Mr Clarke's controversial scheme to reform sentencing laws were among a series delivered by the two appeal judges and by the Council of Circuit Judges, which represents 652 judges who deal with most serious crime.

Among other attacks on Mr Clarke's plans, the judges warned that cutting sentences by half for criminals who pleaded guilty could see rapists free and on the streets just weeks after being sentenced.

Mr Clarke's Green Paper on justice, published in December amid claims the Coalition had gone soft on crime, said victims' statements should be used so that a court could 'understand fully the harm an offender has caused'.

But in their response on behalf of the senior judiciary, the appeal judges said it 'overlooks the fundamental principle that every criminal offence engages the public interest, a concept which remains at the forefront of sentencing policy'.

they said: 'the sentencing decision cannot depend on the view taken by the victim about how it should be dealt with. some victims are inclined to be merciful, and others are concerned with what they regard as "justice", which may take the form of vengeance.' they added: 'the expectations of the victim must be managed. the court cannot increase a sentence because one victim reacts differently to another.' statements by victims were first allowed in courts a decade ago and were extended to murder cases in 2006. …

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

'Vengeful Victims Must Not Influence Justice'; Judges Denounce Kenneth Clarke's Plans to Give Those Hit by Crime a Stronger Voice in Sentencing
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.

    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.