The Pickering Post
Friday, 16th November 2018

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THE CASE AGAINST MANDATORY SENTENCING

...a true story

Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.

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Benny was an orphan and was relentlessly abused at a Mittagong facility for boys. By the time he reached his teens he was going from gaol to gaol becoming feloniously smarter with each move.

Benny is now in hospital at the age of 60.

His good friend, Roger Rogerson, colourfully recalls Benny having wandered home late one night drunk to his Sydney hostel. He opened the door to his room to see a man with his pants down molesting a young boy. Benny was in the wrong room.

He eventually found his own room and searched under his bed for his double barrel sawn-off shotgun.

He unwrapped the oilcloth from around the gun as he strolled back to the other room. When he arrived he pushed the child aside and levelled the gun at the abuser. Without one second's hesitation he blew off half the man’s face.

The abuser was still alive as he slumped to the floor, face up. Benny proceeded to empty the other barrel into the other side of his face. Now he was properly dead.

Benny then calmly walked downstairs, placed his shotgun on the reception desk and asked the hostel owner to call the police.

It was after 18 months on remand that Benny stood before a judge for sentencing. Benny's counsel and his friends had begged him to claim self defence on behalf of the child.

There were a dozen mitigating factors that could have minimised Benny's sentence but he wanted none of it. He simply pled guilty as charged.

Everyone in the courtroom had agonised over what they would have done if they owned a shotgun and had they had been in Benny's shoes.

Even the judge had tried to cajole him into pleading something other than guilty to first degree murder.

"Your Honour, make no mistake, I believe I would do exactly the same thing again tomorrow and I need to believe I would”, said Benny.

With two spent shotgun cartridges Benny had cleansed all that had haunted him since he was a child and he wouldn’t allow that to be diminished.

In his mind he had also cleansed a thousand other children's hearts. On behalf of all the kids in his orphanage he stood tall and proud. To downplay the substance of what he had done was unthinkable.

The judge had no choice, he gave Benny a minimum of eight years. Unmoved, Benny walked toward the court officers. "Come back here", declared the judge. "I may have given you eight years but that is not what I intend you to serve."

Benny stood stoicly upright, his expression unchanged. "Allowing for the one year and six months you have been on remand, you will now serve six and a half years." Benny appeared unfazed as again he started to walk away.

"Come back here!", roared the judge.

Benny returned and again stood dispassionately before the judge.

"With good behaviour your sentence can be reduced by four years. I am also sending you to a prison farm where, if you work, there will be a further three days per month reduction in this sentence."

Benny still appeared unimpressed.

"And before you walk away again I want you to listen very carefully to me. When you apply for parole I rule that you must get in touch with my chambers so I can write you the best reference any man has ever been written. Good luck to you Sir."

Benny eventually served a little under two years for ‘murder one’ and there were many tearful people who had wished it was even less.

Sometimes there is goodness in the court system and its curators.

And sometimes judges hate mandatory sentencing for good reason... identical charges have different mitigating circumstances, they are never equal and they need the discretion of a good judge.

Benny will be out of hospital soon and hoping to down a few ales with his mate, Roger.



Comments

This thread's "Abuse". "Arguments" is room 12A down the hall . . . (silly twit!)

Diddums unpicked Miskas/Markthis spot, surreptitious overtures by the former PP Police, to plot and scheme. I think OH My and SG were one and the same. Perhaps they were Rea?

Have the PP police gone?

Have the PP police gone?

Diddums is correct and has my respect and support!

So, let me get this straight; Because Benny chose not to take the 'out' that was offered him - be that for reasons of conviction, mental trauma, stupidity, insanity, or whatever - then mandatory sentencing of vicious paedophile predators is a bad idea. Hmmm . . . need to think about that one.

Yayyyy! Let's all get Diddums!

First they came for Smartgirl, then they came for Oh Really, then they came for Diddums, and when they came for me, only Waldo was left . . . and he was out playing golf, and didn't give a toss.

Those were the days my friends, those were the days.

bit off track------with whats happening about the sth.aust.election,this sort of result,could only happen in sth.aust--we are a backward state.if labor do get the 2 independents,which is more than likely---will be 16 years under labor-----------------come on,are we this fucn stupid---id say we are.

the judge---seen a good honest man.,wish there was more of it.

A fair dinkum bloke and a straight judge both displaying fairness, honesty and integrity. Not often seen in this day and age. Had a bit of a tear in the eye at the end of reading this.

waldo, they were informative posters, but just couldn't help themselves. We have a lot of different people on this site, I suspect some are very lonely or isolated, to bully those who have had different life experiences is cruel and somewhat strange to me. To set out to taunt others for a nights sport is disturbing. Just my thoughts.

That has nothing to do with mandatory sentencing. If he wanted to plead otherwise he could have done. There is a plea called justifiable homicide. We will never see proper mandatory sentencing, but we should.

Written in 1726 By Jonathon Swift. Still Pertinent Today
I said, "there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving, by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves. For example, if my neighbour has a mind to my cow, he has a lawyer to prove that he ought to have my cow from me. I must then hire another to defend my right, it being against all rules of law that any man should be allowed to speak for himself. Now, in this case, I, who am the right owner, lie under two great disadvantages: first, my lawyer, being practised almost from his cradle in defending falsehood, is quite out of his element when he would be an advocate for justice, which is an unnatural office he always attempts with great awkwardness, if not with ill-will. The second disadvantage is, that my lawyer must proceed with great caution, or else he will be reprimanded by the judges, and abhorred by his brethren, as one that would lessen the practice of the law. And therefore I have but two methods to preserve my cow. The first is, to gain over my adversary's lawyer with a double fee, who will then betray his client by insinuating that he hath justice on his side. The second way is for my lawyer to make my cause appear as unjust as he can, by allowing the cow to belong to my adversary: and this, if it be skilfully done, will certainly bespeak the favour of the bench. Now your honour is to know, that these judges are persons appointed to decide all controversies of property, as well as for the trial of criminals, and picked out from the most dexterous lawyers, who are grown old or lazy; and having been biassed all their lives against truth and equity, lie under such a fatal necessity of favouring fraud, perjury, and oppression, that I have known some of them refuse a large bribe from the side where justice lay, rather than injure the faculty, by doing any thing unbecoming their nature or their office.
"It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever has been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice, and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of directing accordingly.
"In pleading, they studiously avoid entering into the merits of the cause; but are loud, violent, and tedious, in dwelling upon all circumstances which are not to the purpose. For instance, in the case already mentioned; they never desire to know what claim or title my adversary has to my cow; but whether the said cow were red or black; her horns long or short; whether the field I graze her in be round or square; whether she was milked at home or abroad; what diseases she is subject to, and the like; after which they consult precedents, adjourn the cause from time to time, and in ten, twenty, or thirty years, come to an issue.
"It is likewise to be observed, that this society has a peculiar cant and jargon of their own, that no other mortal can understand, and wherein all their laws are written, which they take special care to multiply; whereby they have wholly confounded the very essence of truth and falsehood, of right and wrong; so that it will take thirty years to decide, whether the field left me by my ancestors for six generations belongs to me, or to a stranger three hundred miles off.
"In the trial of persons accused for crimes against the state, the method is much more short and commendable: the judge first sends to sound the disposition of those in power, after which he can easily hang or save a criminal, strictly preserving all due forms of law."
Here my master interposing, said, "it was a pity, that creatures endowed with such prodigious abilities of mind, as these lawyers, by the description I gave of them, must certainly be, were not rather encouraged to be instructors of others in wisdom and knowledge." In answer to which I assured his honour, "that in all points out of their own trade, they were usually the most ignorant and stupid generation among us, the most despicable in common conversation, avowed enemies to all knowledge and learning, and equally disposed to pervert the general reason of mankind in every other subject of discourse as in that of their own profession."

Why don't they boycott Australia completely and bugger off?!

Sure is a lot of stuff to take in ct.

Yes Larry, that’s a good example of how the present system can work well. Unfortunately we’ve seen far too many occasions lately where thugs and scumbags have got off with light sentences. The problem with sentencing lies with our judges and magistrates who are not accountable for their bad decisions. We need a system where it is less difficult for a judge or magistrate to be removed from the bench, because if we’d had such a system, Pat O’Shane would have been sacked 20 years ago.

Ask Rudd and Gillard ?

Janama, Beautiful response. How did we ever deserve this scourge?

Waldo I loved that show, something unique about those two gals on that motorbike. I did worry about the suspension though !!!