The law and magnets

Not too soon, Juries will now learn of the accused’s past in trials. When you read about a case in progress, it can often be read that the accused had lead a crime-free life up until that point. The defence will make a point of saying that, it may even be emphasised, but it’s omission may not be noticed – is that not just as important ? If the defence can use such a point, isn’t it fair that the prosecution can also point the finger and say that they have not lead a blameless life ?
I have said this before, but past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. If you went out last Friday/Saturday night and got drunk, chances are you will do so again. If you have hit someone in an argument, you will do again. If you have committed a speeding offence but got away with it, you will speed again. It’s the same for all offences, and for the sake of everyone it can only be a good thing that juries are given the full information with which to make their decision. We would trust them if the Death Penalty were re-introduced wouldn’t we ? And it’s not like there isn’t a (much overused) appeals system already in place. If nothing else, if this information disclosure will increase the number of people pleading guilty, and so spare the victims the ordeal of having to give evidence and so re-live their horror, it is a damn good thing.

Anyway ….. my right lobe has blowout. Bugger. It’s perfectly fine at 16mm, but last night I put some 20mm tunnels in and I’ve got the ‘double lobe’ effect. Now I’m not hugely bothered, but P. reckons it looks a bit skanky, so I ought to do something about it. My septum is hopefully going to 7mm later and while I do that, I can play with my new toy ! I love magnets, and these construction set things are superb :)

4 thoughts on “The law and magnets

  1. Not disagreeing with you as such but imagine the situation where you’ve done something *really* stupid in the past, you are wrangled into a new situation by the police using lots of circumstantial evidence because they want a conviction and you’re an easy target. Couldn’t your previous history negatively affect the judgement of the jury. Its a very funny one this and like everything else open to abuse.

  2. I realise there are holes, but then we mustn’t forget that in each and every case, not only do the defence and prosecution have to do their job and do it well, there are also 12 jury members that need to think and consider the evidence.

    Do we not already use this type of justice anyway ?
    If a boy throws a stone at your window once, you may accept it was an error. If he repeats that behaviour, would you not ask his parents to in some way puniish him ? And if he did that again and again, would you not insist that whatever punsihment he had suffered before was obviously not enough and that it should be increased or otherwise changed in some way.

    As for the police, framing people has and will always happen, and the disclosure of previous information should maybe have something like a time limit on it, but in the end, we have to remember that this is just one rule added to the already existing establishment rules regarding justice.

    I don’t see it as altering the balance of justice in any other way than bringing it more into line with how we act and conduct ourselves in our daily lives.

    It shouldn’t make the job of the defence any harder than the job of the prosecution already was should it ?

  3. Its a contentious one this topic. Part of me thinks its a great idea when it comes to repeat offenders and the like (especially sex offenders as IMO its mainly aimed at) but at the same time I can see how it could be abused by the prosecution in borderline cases. Then again I suppose if there wasn’t some truth behind the allegations then the accussed wouldn’t be standing in court at all (well 99% of the time anyway!). Not that it makes much difference what we think as we won’t be making the ultimate decision anyway :wink:

  4. I think it’s aimed squarely at all cases, but picking on these two areas ensures almost zero public backlash, then, when we are accustomed to it it will spread.
    From what I’ve read though, judges still have some discretion, so again there are safeguards.

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