This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Tagred

Quine

I disagree, the job of the jury is to decide guilt, and the level of guilt. Many sentences are statutory for certain crimes and i think that should be. A jury deciding on the level of guilt effectively is that check and balance.

In the uk there are already so many different levels of punishment for the same crime. The judge usually uses his guidelines and precedent to set the sentence. Sometimes that hinders as well as helps as there have been a few high profile cases for what are seemingly terrible crimes when the criminal received a lighter sentence than would have been thought and visa-versa.

I know i sound like im contradicting myself but i think there are enough checks and balances and the jury usually does a good job. Where things fall down however, is the convoluted way in which sentences are handed out. I guess its a moot point in the uk as we dont have the death sentence. What we do instead is ensure that the criminal has more human rights than the man on the street...(slightly exagerated political comment, i know)

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 19:58:00 UTC | #406515