Interesting about Venables

Via, this.

The sentences will therefore be 2 years on count 3, 12 months on count 2 and 6 months on count 1, all concurrent, making 2 years in all. They run from today since you are not entitled to credit for the time spent in prison since your recall.

Normally, the time you spend on remand is knocked off your sentence….or taken into account as time served etc.

However, Venables wasn\’t actually on remand. He was only ever released from his life sentence on licence and was recalled to serve that sentence, not wait on remand to be tried.

Yes, I know, it\’s not the biggest of points but it is a small indication of the fact that a life sentence really does mean something more than the 8 years served on average (if I\’ve got that number correct).

To be accused, heck, even to be suspected, of something else means you can be hauled back in. In fact, I think I\’m correct in saying this, you can be hauled back in without even being suspected of an actual crime: hanging around with dodgy people can be enough, at least in theory.

6 thoughts on “Interesting about Venables”

  1. Am I being more thick than I normally am here, 2 years plus 1 year plus 6 months makes three and a half years in my old fashioned maths.

    Mummy x

    p.s At least I understand the point you are actually making, in that no time will be knocked of his sentence for time spent in custody as his freedom was granted on the grounds that if he breached his parole terms he would be returned to prison to complete the original sentence.

    Tim adds: Sentences can be passed down “concurrent” or “consecutive”. Consecutive means that you serve the two years then you serve the one year then the 6 months. Concurrent means you serve them all at the same time. Effectively, you only do the bird for the most serious crime you’ve been convicted of. I might be wrong about this last bit but I think that almost all English sentences are concurrent.

  2. Concurrent means you serve them all at the same time. Effectively, you only do the bird for the most serious crime you’ve been convicted of.

    Thus you completely escape punishment for the lesser crimes, while allowing the government to look tough on crime to a casual observer.

  3. “In fact, I think I’m correct in saying this, you can be hauled back in without even being suspected of an actual crime: hanging around with dodgy people can be enough, at least in theory.”

    The theory is the practise as Venebles wasn’t hauled back to prison for taking drugs or fighting with work colleagues.

    Venebles is a psychopath, he shouldn’t have been let out on license in the first place.

  4. Thus you completely escape punishment for the lesser crimes

    They are not necessarily more than one crime though. You commit one single act which is contrary to a number of different laws, of varying levels of seriousness. The prosecution charges you with a number of different offences, with various punishments. The jury (or judge) can then decide how seriously the criminal act is, by finding you guilty of one offence and all less serious offences, and not guilty of all more serious offences. The key issue is what is the most serious offence you have been found guilty of, and that is the one whose punishment you serve.

  5. Michael, that might be the theory of concurrent sentencing, but I don’t think under that formulation one could characterise someone who’s committed 14 burglaries of only having committed one, multi-stage burglary, The odds are the sentences will still be concurrent (if – big if – they even amount to incarceration.)

    The removal of concurrent sentencing (along with time off for good behaviour and automatic halving of the tariff) would be one of the first penal reforms I’d introduce. I’d still let judges have a good say in sentencing, but if he says, “you will serve a sentence of two years,” then by God the next time you walk the streets will be two years hence.

  6. SadButMadLad: right, because you know more about Venables’ mental state through reading a couple of tabloid headlines than the actual doctors who actually determined his mental state? Idiot.

    David: if you commit more than one domestic burglary, that *is* punished by incarceration – the sentencing rules (which must be followed or the Attorney General can appeal and will win on appeal) make that very clear.

    Also, do you seriously want to abolish all parole? I can understand being opposed to automatic halving of the tariff, but making a distinction between “people who appear to have been reformed by prison” and “people who’re clearly utter scunners but we have to let them out because their time’s up and we’re not Soviet Russia” seems like a good one (both morally and pragmatically).

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