Politicising Criminals to leverage in the Fascist State

icowden

Well-Known Member
So Baby P's mother is to be paroled.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61332465

Anyone find this disturbing from Dominic Raab?:-

Mr Raab, who had asked the Parole Board to reconsider its decision made in March, described the actions of Connelly, now aged 40, as "pure evil".
"The decision to release her demonstrates why the parole board needs a fundamental overhaul, including a ministerial check for the most serious offenders, so that it serves and protects the public," he said.

In other words, the Justice Secretary does not believe in Justice. He does not believe in the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary. He does not believe in the rules that his department has enacted nor does he respect the decision of the Parole Board. He thinks that Ministers should decide whether people who have done something nasty should be paroled. Next step, Ministers will be deciding who to lock up in the first place. How can someone qualify as a Lawyer and still be so clueless?


View: https://twitter.com/MaxJLHardy/status/1522215277479424001?s=20&t=3VXg8YBMTe5vyxxnuVomjA


and of course it is not just Raab trying to undermine the law.


View: https://twitter.com/TheLawSociety/status/1522179971615178753


Already Boris and his cronies have passed a bill to take charge of the Electoral Commission which effectively allows them to manipulate an election.
How much lower can this government stoop in it's effort to erode civil liberties?
 

Rusty Nails

Upright Member
These comments have come from Dominic Raab.

Nuff said.
 

Craig the cyclist

Well-Known Member
I seem to remember quite an outrage when the parole board made a decision to release Warboys, and the justice secretary then was put under pressure to intervene.

It certainly was not described then as 'politicising criminals'.

The parole board needs a serious overhaul, unless of course the OP thinks that this woman should be released?
 
OP
OP
icowden

icowden

Well-Known Member
I seem to remember quite an outrage when the parole board made a decision to release Warboys, and the justice secretary then was put under pressure to intervene.
The parole board needs a serious overhaul, unless of course the OP thinks that this woman should be released?
My position has not changed. The Parole board do not just "release" prisoners willy nilly. Her Parole has come up several times. She was paroled once and breached conditions, which returned her to prison. Her case has been reviewed and the Parole board again feel that it is time for her to continue her rehabilitation. The same is true for Warboys. If his case has been reviewed by the Parole board then he has reached a point where all the evidence is that he is safe to be out on license.

People tend to think that Parole is "getting out of Jail - they are free to do what they like". This is not the case. Prisoners are released on license and must comply with all of the conditions in that license.

Of course there is room for improvement, hence this:
https://justice.org.uk/landmark-report-on-parole-system/

Of course Raab has leapt into inaction and put in train none of the recommendations, just as he continues to blame Covid for the courts backlock in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

What's your position Craig? String 'em up?
 
I seem to remember quite an outrage when the parole board made a decision to release Warboys, and the justice secretary then was put under pressure to intervene.

It certainly was not described then as 'politicising criminals'.

The parole board needs a serious overhaul, unless of course the OP thinks that this woman should be released?

Warboys, or whatever he's called now, was an egregious one off. The decision was Judicially Reviewed and then reconsidered by the board. Warboys stayed in jail and charged with further offending.

'This woman' was sentenced in accordance with the law. She's been out once but was recalled for breaching conditions. It's perfectly proper that she applies for and, if she meets the very strict criteria, is granted parole.

If the decision is left to Ministers does anybody seriously then any high profile prisoner will be paroled?

There's a reason why the Home Secretary was removed form the sentencing process in Life Sentences.

It applies here as well.
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
I think we've always had this to some extent in the UK. Home Secretaries could commute the death sentence if they wished or (at one point) overrule courts to impose whole life tarrifs. I agree it is open to politicising but judges and parole boards don't always get it right either. In the case of both Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis there was strong public support for clemency but the Home Secretary declined to intervene and they were hanged.

I agree in this case however that it's politically motivated. She's now served 12 years (if my adding up is correct). You could argue that the initial sentence was unduly lenient, but 12 years in prison is not dissimilar to the actual time served by those in similar cases. It's simply trying make political capital out of a high profile, emotional case.

I would favour the government being able to intervene in sentencing and parole cases, but only in exceptional circumstances. I don't think this is one of them.

Really though, it relies on us electing governments who aren't full of knee jerk numpties.
 

Craig the cyclist

Well-Known Member
What's your position Craig? String 'em up?
What a stupid remark.

We either have to let the parole do its thing and no-one complains about any decisions, so no moaning about the Warboys case, or any future child killers/rapists etc (I imagine at some point Couzens will apply for parole, he is already among a group appealing their sentences this week) when the parole board say an eventual 'yes', we won't hear any moaning from anyone that the Sec of State should have done more will we?

Sadly, lots of these release decisions are 'political', but hey, we already have the Sec of State involved in release decisions and not the parole board for lots of sentenced prisoners, and it works fine every day, you just don't know about them. So no big hassle.
 

newfhouse

Jokes mostly pre-owned
What a stupid remark.

We either have to let the parole do its thing and no-one complains about any decisions, so no moaning about the Warboys case, or any future child killers/rapists etc (I imagine at some point Couzens will apply for parole, he is already among a group appealing their sentences this week) when the parole board say an eventual 'yes', we won't hear any moaning from anyone that the Sec of State should have done more will we?

Sadly, lots of these release decisions are 'political', but hey, we already have the Sec of State involved in release decisions and not the parole board for lots of sentenced prisoners, and it works fine every day, you just don't know about them. So no big hassle.

It’s possible to believe that the general process is right but that some individual decisions may be wrong. Is it reasonable to expect politicians to keep the machinery fit for purpose but not become involved in particular cases when it suits their own popularity ends?
 

Craig the cyclist

Well-Known Member
It’s possible to believe that the general process is right but that some individual decisions may be wrong. Is it reasonable to expect politicians to keep the machinery fit for purpose but not become involved in particular cases when it suits their own popularity ends?

But when there is an individual decision that is perverse the call goes out immediately that the Sec of State must intervene (Warboys, Venables et al). When they intervene contributors on cycling forums say that criminals are being politicised. If they don't intervene they are weak and don't care about public safety.
 
But when there is an individual decision that is perverse the call goes out immediately that the Sec of State must intervene (Warboys, Venables et al). When they intervene contributors on cycling forums say that criminals are being politicised. If they don't intervene they are weak and don't care about public safety.

Not sure I understand this.

It should be axiomatic that a body like the Parole Board is wholly independent of Ministers. If decisions are thought to be wrong them there is Judicial oversight as exercised in the case of Tracey Connolly.

As soon as politicians are involved they'll meddle and play to the populist media. That's exactly what Raab, who seems set to outshine Grayling and Truss in his unsuitability for what is one of the Great Offices of State, is doing.

Joshua Rozenberg, undoubted doyen of legal commentators has something to say:

https://rozenberg.substack.com/p/parole-who-should-decide?s=r

People will, from time to time, think the board has got it wrong. They may be from either end of the political spectrum. I don't think you can differentiate those mentioning Connolly from those focussed on Venables or Warboys.
 
OP
OP
icowden

icowden

Well-Known Member
But when there is an individual decision that is perverse the call goes out immediately that the Sec of State must intervene (Warboys, Venables et al). When they intervene contributors on cycling forums say that criminals are being politicised. If they don't intervene they are weak and don't care about public safety.

"when there is an individual decision that is perverse" - what exactly is perverse about ruling that a prisoner is eligible for release under license, if the Parole board has conducted a full review and is satisfied that the prisoner is eligible?

It's not about the "decision being perverse", it's about selling newspapers. "the call" that comes out is from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Sun who have an interest in generating a "public outcry" to sell newspapers. In Warboys case, the parole decision was based on what he had been sentenced for and whether he was safe for release.

The law bars the board from revealing full reasons for its decisions but Mr Hardwick gave fresh details of the processes that were followed in the Worboys case
A hearing was held last year by a three-person panel chaired by one of the board's most experienced women members.
The panel considered a dossier of 363 pages and heard evidence from psychologists and prison and probation staff responsible for Worboys.
In that instance, more evidence was found, the Parole decision was challenged in the high court and the Parole board were asked to reconsider their decision taking into account additional information that the Ministry of Justice had not supplied when the first parole decision was taken.
Gauke then threw Prof Hardwick under the bus, so that he didn't have to resign, because that's what Conservative MPs do.

There is a strong argument that more transparency is needed around Parole hearings, but if we are to have a justice system based around rehabilitation rather than just punishment, then people will be eligible for Parole, even if they have done nasty things.
 

Craig the cyclist

Well-Known Member
It's not about the "decision being perverse", it's about selling newspapers. "the call" that comes out is from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Sun who have an interest in generating a "public outcry" to sell newspapers.
I seem to remember that it wasn't those outlets calling loudest for the Warboys decision to be overturned.
In Warboys case, the parole decision was based on what he had been sentenced for and whether he was safe for release.
I think that all parole decisions are based on whether someone is safe for release aren't they :wacko:
 
Top Bottom