Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tommy Robinson is right

Shall I begin with a disclaimer? No, sod that. Tommy Robinson should not have been jailed for breach of a contempt of court order because he shouldn't have been given a contempt of court order in the first place. Not unless these people were as well

Can one man, a partisan representative of a notoriously disrespected sect (the EDL) prejudice a jury against a defendant or group of defendants? And which way would the prejudice cut? 

As this post by the Secret Barrister rightly says 'The starting point of our criminal justice system is that justice must be seen to be done.' It seems to me that, given the limited coverage and presence that Tommy Robinson brought to the trials he covered, he was just trying to bring to light an unjustifiably hidden series of cases of abuse against minors. If all media coverage is suspended till the end of a series of trials, public outrage is largely stifled, and public outrage is one of the vital elements of a just society. 

Today Tommy Robinson is doing one of the early days in prison of his 13 month sentence. Many a criminal conviction has been treated much less harshly, and yet we are to accept the summary multiplied sentencing of an originally questionable suspended sentence? As for mitigation (which, given the summary nature of the judgement was difficult to summon), how about the fact that with his belief system Tommy Robinson in prison will be living in fear of those of 'other persuasions'. Quite the multiplier effect. Justice seen to be done? Not half.

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