(Not) The Stanford Prison Experiment

There have been two very high profile cases recently where damage to a glittering sporting career and risk of terrible consequences to mental health have been suggested as something worth considering when sentencing.

Forget martyrs / remember victims

The idea that having to go to prison to serve time for a crime you have been found guilty by a jury is detrimental to the life of the person being sentenced should even be considered as a valid reason for not giving the full sentence allowable by law is offensive to the victims and families affected by those crimes.

Prison being an unpleasant experience and it having an impact on your future is kind of the point. That’s why it’s a sanction and deterrent.  This is fancy way of saying “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”.

This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be rehabilitation but delivering sanctimonious seminars absolving yourself of responsibility and shifting blame or conducting teary TV interviews does not count as rehabilitation.

Amongst all this handwringing and phony contrition there is no remorse for the victim or the impact on their lives and those left behind. The only concern is about the perpetrator’s future.

It’s notable that these high profile cases involve sportsmen. It seems absurd that potential damage to a sporting career is even entertained as a mitigating factor for sentencing.

In no other field would you even think that this would be justifiable.

“I accept that my client may have been found guilty of murder but I ask you to consider he is really, really good at maths”.

There’s an old Monty Python sketch where the gag is the judge in a multiple murder trial asks the defendent if he has anything to say before judgment.

Yes, Sir. I’m very sorry.

The joke is that after issuing a flowery apology promising that he won’t brutally mass murder again and thanking all the police for their time and remarking on what a splendid job they all did the bashful judge issues a sentence of six months (“but suspended!”) as the courtroom sings for he’s a jolly good fellow.

This is meant to be a comedy sketch not a training video.

The scary thing is that you can take that sketch swap out the word murder for sexual assault and you pretty much have what happened now.

If you watch or read the transcript of the sketch you’ll notice something else in common with the real world example. None of these flowery words are directed at the victims or their families.

That’s not funny.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. randommusings29 says:

    I agree. The sketch is funny because it’s not supposed to happen in real life. When it does, then it makes you see it’s not really funny at all. #effitfriday
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read that different areas of London courts get different types of lengths of sentence with the same offense. It is all grey when it comes to the law and subjective X #effitfriday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I’ve heard that’s been a problem with the magistrates court and some real horror stories about the burden of proof going out the window.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t trust the professionals because I have had past trouble with ‘ professionals’ who make claims based on memory from two years and go. Low abd behold they have some how lost the paperwork, does make you wonder! X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. very well said. The whole situation is absolutely disgusting. #effit

    Liked by 1 person

  4. themotherhub says:

    Horrifying that the judge in the Brock turner case said that . Oscar pistoriius recently said Reeva wouldn’t want him to waste his life ! Delusion and arrogance of the highest degree . It’s all so unjust . #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so true! I was watching the BBC drama series on OJ Simpson a few months ago and its just shocking how particulary in American – facts and evidence cannot be outweighed by charisma and prejudice. Great post #stayclassymama

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am still horrified by this case and the details that keep coming through. It’s the other ripples that worry me, the backing that the family are trying to drum up with the well it’s Americas loss they won’t get to watch Brock come home with medals. I think it’s only right he lost that right when he assaulted a girl. It is seriously deranged. And while, yes, there are two sides to every story, the problem with one of you being unconscious means that your side is blacked out. I think I’ve gone off on a tangent…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      It’s fact she learned of her assault via newspaper. Her statement was devastating and utterly ignored on favour of some questionable testimony and an offensive plea from the defendant’s father.

      Like

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