My Anthem

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TWO court cases-- sentencing sends wrong messages!

First, a local one; next a foreign wan, and Desi feels BOTH SENTENCES HANDED DOWN ARE ATROCIOUS, and do not reflect the severity of cimes committed. The culprits got away LIGHT! Well, one is in Bolehland, famed for inequalities of judgment, and the other in a Western country way too extremme in democrazies and human rights. OIF you beg to differ, you can get the Here out of Hell! -- Knotty Desi knot used to others deferring to him, so DON'T nod thy BUMmer head!:)

From the Star Online:~~

No coercion or violence used


KUALA LUMPUR: Former national youth squad bowler Noor Afizal Azizan (pic) would not have gotten off with a five-year good behaviour bond for having sex with a minor if he had been older or had used coercion or violence.

In a 14-page written judgment released yesterday, Court of Appeal president Justice Raus Sharif said Noor Afizal 19 at the time of the offence and now 21 had not “tricked the girl into submitting to him”.

Sitting with him were Justices K.N. Segara and Azhar Ma'ah.

Justice Raus said Noor Afizal had cooperated with the police, shown remorse and issued a guarantee that he would not repeat the offence.

If such had not been the case, “we would not have any hesitation, as we have done in many other cases of similar nature, to impose a lengthy custodial sentence.”

There was public uproar on Aug 8 when the court allowed Noor Afizal's appeal against a High Court decision to sentence him to five years' jail for statutory rape of the 13-year-old girl.

In his oral decision, Justice Raus said he agreed with Noor Afizal's counsel that public interest would not be served if he received a jail sentence when he had “a bright future”.

On July 5 last year, the Malacca Sessions Court bound Noor Afizal over for RM25,000 to be of good behaviour for five years after he pleaded guilty to committing the offence at King's Hotel in Malacca a year earlier.

The public prosecutor succeeded in his appeal to the High Court.

Yesterday, Justice Raus said that sentencing in such cases should be based on the facts of each case and that it was neither feasible nor desirable to try to lay down any fixed sentence.

He said the observations of the court should not be “misconstrued as intending to have blanket application” on other young offenders similarly charged.

He noted that Noor Afizal “was not very much older” than the girl, who was 13 years and four months old when they checked into the hotel and had consensual sex.

He said the girl had not complained and the incident only came to light on July 19 when her father read an entry in her diary indicating that she had had sex with Noor Afizal.

Justice Raus said the bowler, who is supporting his family and had achieved many successes in sport, surrendered when he was told that the father had lodged a police report.

He said the Sessions Court had correctly invoked Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which deals with first offenders and had been guided by legal precedents on sentencing young offenders.

Justice Raus said the court had also considered public interest, that the sex was consensual, the appellant's guilty plea and remorse and that it was a registrable offence.

He said it was a misconception that Section 294 exonerated the offender.

He added that convictions under the section would be part of the offenders' criminal record for the rest of their lives.

Justice Raus said the bond gave Noor Afizal a chance to “turn over a new leaf” as he would be arrested for rape if he broke the conditions.

“If the suspended prison sentence has the effect of rehabilitating him, then public interest has indeed been served and best served,” he said.



Norway Mass Killer Gets the Maximum: 21 Years

OSLO — Convicted of killing 77 people in a horrific bombing and shooting attack in July last year, the Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik was sentenced on Friday to 21 years in prison — fewer than four months per victim — ending a case that thoroughly tested this gentle country’s collective commitment to values like tolerance, nonviolence and merciful justice.

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Anders Behring Breivik was taken to Ila Prison, outside Oslo, on Friday after his sentencing.

Mr. Breivik, lawyers say, will live in a prison outside Oslo in a three-cell suite of rooms equipped with exercise equipment, a television and a laptop, albeit one without Internet access. If he is not considered a threat after serving his sentence, the maximum available under Norwegian law, he will be eligible for release in 2033, at the age of 53.

However, his demeanor, testimony and declaration that he would have liked to kill more people helped convince the judges that, however lenient the sentence seems, Mr. Breivik is unlikely ever to be released from prison. He could be kept there indefinitely by judges adding a succession of five-year extensions to his sentence.

The relative leniency of the sentence imposed on Mr. Breivik, the worst criminal modern Scandinavia has known, is no anomaly. Rather, it is consistent with Norway’s general approach to criminal justice. Like the rest of Europe — and in contrast with much of the United States, whose criminal justice system is considered by many Europeans to be cruelly punitive — Norway no longer has the death penalty and considers prison more a means for rehabilitation than retribution.

Even some parents who lost children in the attack appeared to be satisfied with the verdict, seeing it as fair punishment that would allow the country, perhaps, to move past its trauma.

“Now we won’t hear about him for quite a while; now we can have peace and quiet,” Per Balch Soerensen, whose daughter was among the dead, told TV2, according to The Associated Press. He felt no personal rancor toward Mr. Breivik, he was quoted as saying.

“He doesn’t mean anything to me,” Mr. Soerensen said. “He is just air.”

Even more than a year later, the events of that day are still almost impossible to fathom, so brutally, methodically and callously was the attack carried out. After setting off a series of bombs in downtown Oslo that killed eight people, Mr. Breivik made his way to tiny Utoya Island, where, dressed as a police officer and toting a virtual arsenal of weapons, he calmly and systematically hunted down and shot dead 69 others, most of them young people attending a summer camp run by the Labor Party. Hundreds were wounded.

Norway’s soft-touch approach, which defers to the rights of the accused and the rights of victims as much as it gives weight to the arguments of prosecutors, informed every aspect of Mr. Breivik’s trial. As the accused, he was given ample time to speak of his rambling, anti-Muslim, anti-multicultural political views, which included a rant about the “deconstruction” of Norway at the hands of “cultural Marxists.”

He interrupted witnesses freely, smiled when the verdict was announced and entered court on Friday making a fascist salute, his right fist clenched.

“The thoughts of murder were evidently stimulating for the defendant,” Judge Arne Lyng said, reading from the 90-page judgment. “This was clear when he talked about decapitating ex-Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.” It is hard to imagine, the judgment continues, “that such a term-limited sentence is sufficient to protect this country from this man.”

As the court listened to the killer, so it listened to his victims, who were treated in the proceedings with care, even tenderness. The court heard 77 autopsy reports, listened to short biographies describing the lives of each of the dead and allowed the survivors to describe in great detail what happened and how it has affected them since.

“At first I was shot in the arms and I thought, ‘O.K., I can survive this; it’s O.K. if you’re shot in the arms,’ ” Ina Rangones Libak, 22, said in May in testimony that had spectators laughing and crying by turns, according to news accounts at the time. “Then I was shot in the jaw. I thought, ‘O.K., this is a lot more serious.’ Then I was shot in the chest and I thought, ‘O.K., this is going to kill me.’ ”

But as she lay there, she heard a friend say, “We can’t leave Ina here,” and she was then cradled by a group who hid together even as Mr. Breivik shot others nearby, taking off their clothes to use as tourniquets. In the end, Ms. Libak told the court, “We are stronger than ever.”

The sense that Mr. Breivik’s hateful beliefs should not be allowed to fill Norway with hate, too, was part of the country’s response to the attacks from the beginning. In April, tens of thousands of people around the country gathered for a mass singalong of “Children of the Rainbow,” a song Mr. Breivik denounced in court as Marxist propaganda, to show that he had not shattered their commitment to tolerance and inclusiveness.

Mr. Breivik’s guilt was never at issue in the 10-week trial, which ended in June; the question was whether he was sane, as he claimed, or insane, as the prosecutors argued. On Friday, a five-panel judge ruled him sane and gave him what he had sought: incarceration in a regular prison, not a mental hospital.

Many said they did not mind that Mr. Breivik prevailed in his argument, since the court’s declaration that he was not insane forced him to be accountable for what he had done.

“I am relieved to see this verdict,” said Tore Sinding Beddekal, who survived the shootings on Utoya by hiding in a storeroom. “The temptation for people to fob him off as a madman has gone. It would have been difficult to unite the concept of insanity with the level of detail in his planning.”

Unni Espeland Marcussen, whose 16-year-old daughter, Andrine, was killed by Mr. Breivik, said: “I will never get my daughter Andrine back, but I also think that the man who murdered her has to take responsibility, and that’s good.”

Bjorn Magnus Ihler, who survived the Utoya shootings, said that Norway’s treatment of Mr. Breivik was a sign of a fundamentally civilized nation.

“If he is deemed not to be dangerous any more after 21 years, then he should be released,” Mr. Ihler said. “That’s how it should work. That’s staying true to our principles, and the best evidence that he hasn’t changed our society.”

Mark Lewis
reported from Oslo, and Sarah Lyall from London. Alan Cowell contributed reporting from Paris.

Desi just did the Cut&Pastry, without any remuneration OK! ~~ YL

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