Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Problem of Bail

Following the sentencing of Daryn Maxwell and Barry Smith, the two responsible for the murder of Reammon Gormley, I am concerned with the fact that both of these habitual criminals were granted bail.

First of all, read the sentencing report, linked here:

Sentencing Report

I am not going to question the reasons for bail previously being granted. That is strictly for the courts to decide. What I am going to question is why the law allows bail for habitual criminals to be granted, especially those with a disposition to violence.

Kenny MacAskil has offered to meet with the Gormley family, if reports in the media are correct. But we should not be in this situation.

Maxwell and Smith  - in the words of the Gormley family - have contributed nothing to society except violence. It is unlikely they will change. Maxwell of course may never be released, but Smith will have the luxury of a future after prison. Perhaps he will change his ways and get married, something his victim has been denied.

The law is there to protect society. It is also there to protect the innocent, and that includes those who have been charged but yet to face trial. They too are presumed innocent. But when you have habitual criminals charged with a most serious offence, and one which is of similar nature to their previous convictions - in this case violence - then I cannot see how their release on bail could be justified.

Read the sentencing report again, with particular attention to paragraph two of the statement.

As I previously stated, I am not going to question the legal decision to release these two criminals on bail. But there surely must be some commonsense applied with such cases.

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