Justice system favours the culprit

I WAS delighted to read the article by Harry McGee reviewing the criminal law in relation to the age-old rights enjoyed by accused people on trial (Irish Examiner, October 21).

We all know only too well how our ‘justice system’ works in favour of the perpetrator and we should not be surprised that criminal behaviour in this country is at an all-time high.

Firstly, if the culprits are under 18 they cannot be named and shamed.

Then they say there is no place to put them. Did anyone ever think of a bootcamp run by the army.

It may be starker reality than jail where everything is laid on for them — in some cases, the conditions are even better than at home.

An army training lays a good foundation of respect for yourself and others — teaching skills and furthering education in a disciplined environment.

Our justice system has failed us miserably. Every week we read of thugs walking free from court on a technicality; these are known criminals whose past history is not questioned, nor is it allowed as evidence.

Victims have no rights at all, even though a victim impact statement is allowed now — but it is reviewed by the defence before it can be read out in court. Why should that be?

The statement should be free of any restrictions from prosecution or defence — otherwise the rights of the victim are impeded. I was horrified to read that a teenager walked free from a court in Donegal after doing speeds of 197kmh with four passengers on board.

The judge said it was simply a speed issue. This is off-the-wall justice, as some poor unfortunate could get done for being 2-3kmh over the limit with a fine of €80 and two points on his or her licence. I rest my case.

Breda Conway

Mountain View House


Co Waterford

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