Thursday, 2 July 2009

Crime And Punishment V Compassion

I posted earlier in the year about Ronnie Biggs and stated then I believed he should be freed on humanitarian grounds. Of course rules being rules he had to serve a third of his sentence before being eligible for parole. I'm rather surprised that this has now been turned down as he does not show sufficient remorse for his crimes.

There are hundred's of prisoners released early each year who I see showing no remorse for their crimes. They are sorry, but only for getting caught in the first place. Their view of punishment is - You don't get punished for what you do but for getting caught doing it. They then return to a life of crime. We can all name individuals who we know get out on parole and go on Burglary sprees until recalled or captured.

I don't think Biggs falls into this category. I wonder if this decision was made before Biggs broke his hip in jail. From what I know this type of injury is very serious for a frail elderly person and it is something he is unlikely to recover from. If the government are worried about a media circus being played out then surely they could put parole conditions in place.

My view remains the same, each case on it's merits and my instinct is that he should be out to die with his family.


Dandelion said...

Well yes, but don't you find it disturbing that when a person receives a sentence according to proper procedure for the crime they have done, they're unlikely to actually serve it all? If someone gets, say, four years, and they don't have a successful appeal, they should serve four years, no? Otherwise it makes a mockery of the whole justice system.

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with my favourite blogger but the only reason ronnie Biggs returned to face the music was to get free Healthcare from the NHS. He never wanted to return to GB before when he was fit and well! He has never apologized about what happened to the Train driver who never recovered and died six months later. I'm afraid because of his attitude he like a small select band of people:- Kray Twins, Harry Roberts Ian Brady,MYRA HINELY deserve to die in custody.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Of course I agree if that was the system - it isn't, and persons get a chance to rehabilitate on parole.
Some make it - most do not


Very kind - but his attitude is the same as thousands of other criminals. He is NOT in the same bracket as the others mentioned. All of whom I agree should die in jail.

I like to think I'm a balanced guy liking fair treatment for all -and despite him being the ultimate piss taker - his "new" medical circumstances see him facing his maker soon, where he will have to reflect on his life.

By the rules Straw might be right -but it doesn't give me a good feeling ..

Sage said...

I'm with you on this one SOC, a little bit of compassion now would have been a good thing.. does it make us any better people to keep him locked up until he breathes his last, will it change anything.. probably not and that is why we should be the better person and permit him to die with his family around him.. like you say he still has to face the final judgement call..

Bertie Humbug's Ranto-O-Matic said...

Screw Biggs. He served just months of a very substantial sentence for a very nasty crime. The other criminals who get out early should remain in prison and so should he. He must reap what he sowed. Whats with this cult of not making people responsible for their actions ?

MarkUK said...

Whether criminals should do the whole term is a matter of debate. However, we are working with the system we have.

Biggs should be released. The sentences were Draconian; they stemmed more from political embarassment at having the Royal Mail hijacked than from the seriousness of the crimes, notwithstanding the injuries to the driver. They were well out of line with the current sentences for armed robbery at the time.

Biggs was not tried for murder, so let's not sentence him for that.

Bertie Humbug's Ranto-O-Matic said...


Biggs was handed a sentence by the court of the day. There is a process by which sentences can be contested.

However he chose to be a fugitive and as anonymous says he only came back to freeload off the NHS. He shouldnt have even been allowed back in the country in my view.

He has no right, legal or moral to any compassion.

Anonymous said...

SOC I agree that he is not in the same brackett as the others I mentioned but he is the ultimate piss taker. As he has shown scant regard for the laws of this land and prefered brazil why cant we send him back there as a comprimise HUMAN RIGHTS ACT BE DAMNED.

Inspector Leviathan Hobbes said...

What Bertie said.