Posted: 2/27/2001 8:46:22 AM EDT
FYI : http://www.nandotimes.com/noframes/story/0,2107,500457782-500696269-503762583-0,00.html
British lawmakers debate anti-crime measures OR "What, the gun ban hasn't worked?"
British lawmakers debate anti-crime measures
By ROBERT BARR, Associated Press
LONDON (February 26, 2001 10:41 p.m. EST http://www.nandotimes.com) - More juries may be told about criminal defendants'
previous convictions, the government said Monday, announcing a batch of ideas that would aim to combat crime.
Home Secretary Jack Straw also promised more money for prosecutors and suggested that private security guards could
be used to help on police patrols.
Opposition politicians accused the government of trying to cover up its failure to halt a rise in violent crime, a police
organization attacked the plan to use private security guards and a civil liberties group condemned the idea of telling
juries about previous convictions.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is expected to call a national election within weeks, dramatized the government's crime
policies earlier Monday by becoming the first serving prime minister to visit a prison.
Blair visited a dyslexia center at Pentonville prison in London to underline his contention that rehabilitation programs are a
key to cutting crime.
"The truth is you need both the toughness and the rehabilitation," Blair said on a radio phone-in program.
Straw told the House of Commons he wanted to stop repeat offenses by introducing rigorous supervision of those
released after short sentences. Sixty percent of those jailed for less than a year commit new offenses within two years, the
Home Office says.
Conservative lawmaker Ann Widdecombe retorted that under Blair "police numbers have been slashed by more than
2,500, violent crime is rising, more than 30,000 criminals have been let out of jail early, and many of your flagship policies
have been abject failures."
Blair's Labor Party campaigned hard on the rising crime rate during its winning 1997 campaign, pledging to be "tough on
crime, and tough on the causes of crime."
British juries already hear about previous convictions in some circumstances, and widening the exceptions was being
considered, the Home Office said.
"It is a serious erosion of a key principle of the criminal justice system," said Roger Bingham, spokesman for the civil
liberties group, Liberty.
"People in criminal trials should be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the facts of that case. It is about proving that
they did it this time, not about assumptions based on something they might have done previously."
Police groups were no happier about the idea of expanding the use of private security guards.
"If the government is going to invest money then why doesn't it invest money in fully trained, omnicompetent police
officers?" said David French of the Police Federation.
Gee, I wonder why.
Let's just destroy people Rights instead.
Never Again, Never Forget
Seek the Truth
Liberate Your Mind
I read in one of the gun rags that a man who defended his house with an illegal firearm spent a longer time behind bars than the two punk kids who tried to rob him.
He was an old gentleman approxiamtely my father's age. Shot two intruders is his home with a shot gun. I heard he recieved the equivilent of a life sentence. If the british had any balls they'd start rioting in the streets. George Orwell warned 'em. Wonder what the hell happened. If I were a "subject" I'd either be in prision, in the ground, or on the lam. Absolutely disgusting.
Unfortunantely, Tony Martin shot one 16yr. old in the back from less than 25ft. Hence the murder part of the equation.
On the other hand, the dead youth was probably in a hurry to leave after he saw Mr. Martin had a shotgun.
Really...I hadn't heard that version at all. Do you have any reliable links?
Most of these are news reports, I can't find an autopsy, police or court report if that's what you're looking for, sorry.
Here's a forum pro-tony, scroll down to the thread about "Just a comment", and you'll see that no one is denying he was shot in the back...
Some news stories mentioning it....
These are kind of sad.....