Law Attracting Inequality?

I’ll start out with a simple question, based on a situation where the outcome would depend solely on justice, law and order and to an extent, morality. So, here it goes.

“If someone has £2,000,000 to spend on a lawyer to defend themselves in a case where they have been accused of murder and pleaded not guilty, and another person has to rely on public funds, would the outcome be different?”

I think your first reaction would be to sum up the evidence. That is somewhat distorted from reality, the reality is the £2,000,000 would in fact buy most people a good shot at freedom. Why? I have no answer to this, but case after case of wealthy individuals evading prison whom conveniently have stacks of cash is not a knew thing.

One such case of a murder trial in the last century was the trial of O.J Simpson, which has become infamous. He evaded prison, and thousands were happy. But it wasn’t necessarily down to money. As you are aware the racial tensions were high and judges may have seen it too risky to prosecute for fear of mass social disorganization and riots.

Eventually, O.J Simpson was found guilty in 2008 in a Nevada robbery and kidnapping case and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. Not so many people will be aware of this. But he is due to be released only 9 years into his sentence, and once released will enjoy the fruits of a million dollar NFL pension. Hardly justice? has his money and fame got something to do with this? Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts, I certainly like to entertain such ideas!

Let’s fast forward, a recent and most shocking murder of the girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, in 2013, Valentines day. Reeva Steenkamp, was cowering in her bathroom as the athlete put on his prosthetic legs and shot her through the door. He was a well known Olympic and Paralympic athlete, slapped with a measly 6 year sentence. The news kept throwing statements around and Pistorius even managed to have a period in his home while under house arrest. Is that something most lower class people have the luxury of? No!

These are 2 very interesting cases, because I can find hundreds of similar situations where people convicted of murder or any other hideous crime, will spend a lot more time in a cell than those with millions. Is this inequality? I was under the impression the law applied to everyone in the same way, and that no one, even government, is above it. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 should have seen Oscar Pistorius imprisoned for life.

Please leave any thoughts on the inequality within the legal system.

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Where Does The UK Stand With Brexit?

The results of the EU referendum were pretty clear cut, over 50% of the UK voted to leave, equating to 51.9% of the total cast votes. (That is a whopping 17,410,742 people!) The vote had an impressive 72.2% turnout, even more than the original vote to remain part of the European common market.

The UK has been a part of that common market since 1973. So it’s been a long journey of campaigning for some groups, and a turnaround in the way of thinking about membership by others. So then, what is the vote going to do to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? The truth is that no one knows, but just because the UK is independent once again, it does not mean it will crash and burn. It will reinvigorate the very principles of the UK democracy, allowing the real decisions that affect the country, to be made in the country. Up to now, Brussels has been heading such discussions, for which they do not have any real standing. But because the UK is an EU member, it must do as it is told otherwise, it gets caned.

The pros and cons are clear and anyone can weigh them up without feeling like a moron:

  • Improved financial situation – The UK currently ‘pays’ a membership fee to be a member of the European union. A neat sum of £13 billion is standard, each year. This money could be better spent on the NHS, for which cuts are abundant, or defense. Is the free trade worth that?
  • Immigration – The one point that people tended to focus on. As the UK has membership with the EU, it allows anyone in member states to settle in Britain, and vice versa. However, with the UK leaving, it would mean Westminster parliament have the power to change laws and reduce immigration, saving the homes and jobs for the British people.
  • Regain fishing rights – Leaving the EU means the UK will also leave the common fisheries policy, which allows EU fleets access to all EU waters. An independent UK could develop a fisheries regime that is tailored to the UK and the UK waters.
  • Security – By having an open and unchecked border, the UK is susceptible to the influx of criminals and terrorists, because people coming in cannot be checked and controlled sufficiently.

Cons:

  • Increased price of imports and exports – The EU gives a 50% discount to its members to trade, without membership, the price inadvertently goes up.
  • Restricted travel – UK citizens are free to travel to any country in the EU, and vice versa. However, by leaving there will most likely be the introduction of the need for visas and other restrictions.
  • Decreased influence – The EU accounts for the second highest GDP in the world. By leaving, the UK also leaves the ‘prestige’ of that strong relationship, and possibly loses out to deals with other nations.
  • Jobs – An estimation of around 3 million jobs is said to involve membership of the EU, and leaving could see them losing their jobs.

As you can see, the argument for both remain and leave is strong, however, the people have spoken and in a democratic country, the people make the decisions. By continuing to be in the EU, the UK subsequently gives up law making powers, which essentially defeats the purpose of having a democracy in the first place!

At least when the article 50 is triggered, the journey can officially begin. The government would have no doubt foreseen that there would be a surge of immigrants coming to the UK in the run up to this. But this then poses that black cloud over the head question, is the UK racist and discriminating by leaving the EU? That is for another time.

Please comment on why you personally voted in or out, and what persuaded you to do so.