From Alan Anderson.
Your Editorial (JEP, 29 December) comment, ‘The jail terms that they (the drug mules) receive are disproportionate when compared with those imposed on too many perpetrators of violent crime’ contains contorted logic.
The public would indeed like the sentence to fit the crime, not, however, by reducing drug-mule sentencing but by dealing much more harshly with violent offenders.
The Home Affairs Minister states that long sentences are no deterrent to couriers. So what? Sentencing should be concerned as much with retributive justice. The Bailiff and his deputy should resist political pressure from the minister who has no legal mandate to set sentencing tariffs.
How convenient that politicians draw on the UK when it suits them. UK sentences being less, Jersey is thus out of line. What the minister or your Editorial fails to disclose is that the UK government applied pressure to the judiciary to reduce sentencing across the board primarily to avoid the huge cost of building new prisons and the planning outcry from Nimbys.
Where, Sir, do you have evidence that ‘the penalties imposed here are unlikely to be the talk of the town in Liverpool or Amsterdam’? China has just executed a British drug courier. That is not only the talk of the town in Liverpool and Amsterdam but also of most of the British Isles.