Comments on the shelving of prison discount plans by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke

Comments on the Justice Secretary's back down on proposals to halve sentences if defendants plead guilty for use in articles and opinion pieces and news stories
June 8, 2011 - PRLog -- Oliver Gardner managing partner of specialist criminal and motoring law practice Howards Solicitors

“The Justice Secretary’s proposal was motivated by saving money.  One can understand the pressure his department is under in these times of austerity.  Yet, one has to ask if legal change and reform should essentially be driven by this factor.  It is just a recipe for undermining public confidence in the law.”  

“I think many politicians are oblivious of the reality of the situation.  Those accused of crimes that society views as particularly shameful and abhorrent, such as rape, rarely if ever admit guilt.  Moreover, generally prisoners only serve half their custodial sentences (across a range of offences), if they have behaved while inside.  So why would any defendant accept an offer to plead guilty?  It makes little sense.”

“Such proposals makes headlines, but in this case for all the wrong reasons.  It is an embarrassing climb down for the Justice Secretary, but it is better that he has dropped it and moves on.”

Further comment
Oliver Gardner is managing partner at specialist criminal and motoring legal practice Howards Solicitors.

Oliver’s criminal law work ranges from cases of assault to VHCC (very high cost cases), involving VAT fraud.  He also represents clients in motoring cases where convictions can lead to custodial cases.

Oliver is happy to give comment on criminal or motoring law, please use the contact details below:

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