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Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:25 pm
by the beast
Am i alone in being completely bewildered as to why yet again civil prosecutors have charged violent, mindless murderers with ''Manslaughter'' charges as opposed to MURDER because they are afraid of loopholes in the law which can be manipulated by the defence lawyers of these animals.

Be safe.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:06 pm
by Crusty Old Mike
Me, too.

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:26 am
by Sue
Unfortunately, unless the murderous brutes say 'I'm guilty please lie for me' , said defence lawyers are duty bound to exploit these loopholes to the fullest.

So the loopholes should be removed really. The government does pretty well at removing loopholes in tax law. Maybe it should concentrate on more important areas.

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:28 pm
by thebigcheese

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:13 am
by Sue
Interesting assertion. Would you care to back it up with a more constructive arguement than using big letters?

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:05 pm
by Sue
Thought not :roll:

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:20 pm
by Magic_Man
For starters mr. 'beast', murder cases are dealt with by the criminal courts and not the civil courts.

There are only three ways murder can be reduced to manslaughter. The first is if the requisite mens rea (mental intent) or actus reus (evidence that the act has taken place) are missing. Clearly a lack of actus reus is rare, but there are quite often cases where the mens rea is not present e.g. a battered wife killing her husband acting in self-defence.

The second is if the person committing the murder was mentally incapacitated (not including being intoxicated) at the time of the act. So a person who has an epileptic fit and kills somebody during the fit cannot be convicted of murder.

The third is the most contentious, these are cases where people's acts are reduced to manslaughter from murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Such people are those with mental problems. Many serial killers (such as the Yorkshire Ripper) try and argue this to avoid going to mainstream prison and instead get put in a high-security mental institute such as Broadmoor.

The first two exemptions are all reasonable in my opinion and there is a great onus on proving such scenarios. The third is more contentious, but even if somebody is convicted of manslaughter in such cases, they don't receive a shorter sentence- they just get incarcerated in a more friendly environment. It's important to note that you can't just plea insanity, it has to be backed up by medical evidence.

So to suggest that people are being given lesser sentences, or that they are having their convictions reduced to manslaughter on a whim, is wide of the mark.

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:45 am
by Bobby
Well magic man, I read recently that a man stabbed his wife about 30 times and killed her because she told him she was going to leave him for another. He pleaded "diminished responsibiliy" despite having a good proffessional job, and got 18 months. Justice?

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:27 am
by Sue
Miscarriages of justice do happen, but having a good professional job does not preclude mental illness.

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:10 pm
by Magic_Man
18 months for taking somebody's life? I'd like to see a source to back up that story.

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:06 pm
by Bobby
It was in the Daily Telegraph fairl recently, a week ago on Saturday I think it was

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
by Sue
You mean the former solicitor who had to give up work due to back pain? He actually got 5 years but will serve 18 months due to spending a year on remand.
Aparently he doesn't remember doing it and his sister described him as 'catatonic' when he rang her straight afterwards. It wasn't pre-meditated as they kept a knife in the bedroom due to being burgled previously. It sounds like diminished responsibility was a fair defence.

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:14 pm
by Bobby
Thats probably the case I was referring to Sue, I hadnt taken into account the time spent on remand,it still doesnt seem right to me though.

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:15 pm
by Magic_Man
He was scizophrenic, and couldn't remember doing it. Is he as culpable as those with a pre-meditated intent to kill? I beg to differ.

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:29 am
by Bobby
So how many times are you allowed to kill someone and not remember it before you get locked up enough to protect the innocent?

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:01 am
by Magic_Man
He had a medical condition, which can be controlled, and he didn't intentionally set out to kill. A person who flies off the handle every Friday night at the pub and doesn't care whether the person they beat gets killed is a different kettle of fish.

Although I agree that the sentence is suprisingly short considering a life was taken, I don't agree that shorter sentences are being dished out on a whim to murderers.