Friday, October 02, 2009


I see that David Cameron has given his new pals at The Sun a list of his Top Ten Pledges, one of which is to double magistrates' sentencing powers from six months imprisonment to twelve. That should please the MA, but it won't have much effect on crime, although it might take pressure off the Crown Courts, that are currently struggling with their workload in many places. A substantial proportion of the cases that JPs commit to the Crown Court end up being sentenced within the lower court's existing powers anyway.
A more urgent task, as I said the other day, is to sort out the tangle of sentencing, to stop misnaming sentences as 'life' when they are not, and to reform parole remission and early release so that a sentence means what the judge or magistrate says it does.

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