The SST vision

The Herald profiles the Sensible Sentencing Trust and details their policy wishlist. Some good issues to debate.

no bail for anyone facing a violent offence

I think that is a step too far. I think bail is too easy to get, and far too many offences are done by people on bail. But if you are a first time offender, there is a presumption of innocence.

fewer chances to apply for bail having once been rejected

Not sure how many chances there are, but I agree they should be few.

appeals to carry a punitive cost if they fail, so offenders who appeal and lose go to jail for longer

I agree with the principle that there should be some incentive not to have appeals in cases where there is no chance of success – such as cases where they are caught red handed.

sentences for multiple crimes to be served end on end rather than together

I think cumulative sentences would be a step too far.

prior criminal convictions to be revealed as evidence in court and considered as adding weight to guilt

I don’t think they should be considered as adding weight but I think in the Internet age it will prove impossible to keep previous convictions hidden. I’d have them public, but Judges should warn to judge a case on the facts only.

performance reviews for judges and the ability to sack those who did not meet standards

I think collection of data on decisions of Judges is a good thing, but Judges should only be sacked for misconduct – not for making unpopular decisions.

simpler sentencing laws because the current laws have been developed to deliberately confuse the public.

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