From Rich List to legal aid

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From Michael de Petrovsky.

WE are informed that the recent trial of drug baron Curtis Warren and his colleagues in crime has raised costs of several millions of pounds and we, the taxpayers, are going to have to foot the bill.

Is this another case of political correctness, or the status of the law as an ass, gone mad? In the first place, one must ask why anyone who has featured on the Rich List is entitled to legal aid.

In view of the convictions, should not the law take the following steps?

• Identify the assets of the accused. The new transparency agreements should facilitate this process.

• Freeze all assets of the accused.

• Confiscate all assets acquired through illicit dealings.

• Repay all court costs out of confiscated assets.

• Imprison the convicted for such terms as to render them incapable of ever again presenting a threat to the public.

• Use all surplus assets to facilitate a drug rehabilitation program and assist those in dire need as a result of drug addiction.

Such a process would relieve the public of costs incurred by the trial; render the accused incapable of running a criminal empire from within jail; contain the convicted until a time they would no longer be a threat to the public; forewarn would-be drug dealers of the true cost of their actions; and reinvest the proceeds of drug dealing into drug rehabilitation programmes.

These people commit crimes which, in some societies other than ours, are judged to deserve a death penalty. This is, no doubt, because their filthy and pitiless trade causes untold misery, often death by overdose, polluted drugs or suicide, mental and family breakdown and an ongoing programme of criminal activity. They have no pity, remorse or social conscience.

Therefore, one might well ask why the law should show them any possible avenue by which they might, ever again, initiate a similar process of evil for the acquisition of personal gain.

The best punishment for such individuals would be to imprison them for a period compatible with the weight of their criminal activities and confiscate their assets to the level at which, on their release from custody, they would have to seek employment.

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