Monday 19 March 2018

Eamon Delaney: Punishment for serious crime needs to be reassessed

In a system so weighted in favour of offenders, proper penalisation must become a priority, writes Eamon Delaney

Sometimes it seems that we have two different debates going on about crime and prison culture. On the one hand, there are those of us who despair at the continuing leniency and inconsistency of criminal sentencing, so that a man fraudulently importing 'garlic' can get the same jail sentence and share the same prison with a prisoner who brutally maimed someone, or is guilty of rape or manslaughter.

Meanwhile, we have the ridiculousness of our bail laws, where people charged with criminal offences are out on bail committing further offences. And previous convictions seem to mean little.

A Dublin woman recently got six years for deliberately driving into a man and killing him because the man's child annoyed her. But she had a string of previous convictions, the so-called 'garlic man' had none.

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