Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cons want to get rid of 2 for 1 sentencing

What a great idea! Let's get rid of the judges' authority to include two-for-one sentencing where the good for nothin' low-lifes get out an extra day early for every day they spend in pre-trial custody. (Insert sarcasm smilie here).

Great! The Conservative government wants to stop judges giving 2 for 1 credit for pre-trial custody. However, what the public may not realize is that those same judges have the discretionary power to impose an overall sentence that includes a minimum or maximum amount of jail time. For example, a judge may sentence someone to five years in jail with 2 for 1 credit for pre-trial custody. If the convicted person had one year of pre-trial custody, there will be three years left. If one includes parole after 2/3 of the sentence, that person will be on the street in 3 1/3 years. Including the 2 for 1 pre-trial credit, that person could be out in 1 1/3 years after sentencing. That person may serve a total of 2 2/3 years in locked custody.

If the Conservatives succeed in getting rid of 2 for 1 pre-trial custody, then judges may give credit through the back door. For example, instead of a judge giving a five-year sentence, he or she may impose of three and a half year sentence. A convicted person will have served one year of pre-trial custody. That person will be eligible for full parole after serving 2 1/3 years. With one year already served in pre-trial custody, that person will be on parole in 1 1/3 years after sentencing.

To compensate for the loss of 2 for 1 pre-trial custody credits, the judges could impose shorter sentences. The results will be the same amount of time served by those convicted and sentenced to jail.


Anonymous said...

I agree that in the absence of a minimum sentence for a specific offence, judges will simply adjust the sentence,and rightly so in my opinion. There is also no doubt in my mind that this elimination of 2 for 1 credit is cheap, meaningless, politics, intended to fool the unwashed masses into believing that their government is taking action to repair a justice system criminally and habitually under funded.

Anonymous said...

As much as I agree that Judges will just impose shorter sentences now that the Conservatives have eliminated the 2 for 1 credit, but atleast the Public will see the sentencing for what it is, sentencing is now dones PROPERLY. The 2-1 Credit System was very deceitful, because like you said, a Judge may impose a sentence that seems significant but when 2 for 1 credit is given, it is actually far more lenient. Thats why the new legislation that will end the 2 for 1 Credit is called the "Truth in Sentencing Act". Now the Public can see the Truth is Sentencing and how will Judges face the public if they do try to compensate by imposing shorter sentences (adjusting sentences)?

Sentencing needs to be truthful and meaningful.