Category Archives: criminal justice system

A disgusting American ritual

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 07.58.21The French public, writes Dalrymple,

was rightly appalled

by the way in which the US criminal justice system treated Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The case against him was dropped, but not before he was made to undertake the perpetrator or ‘perp’ walk, which was

not only humiliating but prejudicial, for the very name of this disgusting but now commonplace ritual is contrary to the presumption of innocence.

The judge

presumed DSK’s guilt when she said that his rushed attempt to catch the flight, which he had long booked in advance, indicated a risk of absconding. Although to this day he has not been found guilty of any crime, his life has been, if not ruined exactly, at least profoundly affected by the way in which he was treated.

The moral grandeur of Western leaders

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 08.07.27The honour of being governed by the likes of these

Thank heaven, writes Dalrymple, for our enlightened Western leaders, with their

profound — and profoundly humane — views

on the matter of, for instance, criminal justice.

They see things all so clearly.

Finding himself in the West Country, Dalrymple picks up a local paper, the Western Daily Press, and lights on the following report:

A Chard [near Yeovil] teenager has been jailed for his part in what a judge called ‘an horrendous attack’ on a vulnerable and defenceless man with autism. Daniel Rodrigues, 18, of Beckington Crescent, and two co-defendants subjected their victim to a ‘brutal’ attack after a bout of heavy drinking. A police officer who attended the blood-spattered scene in a flat said it was ‘like something out of a horror movie’, Taunton Crown Court was told. All three attackers had blood on them and at one time they were all hitting their 20-year-old victim, Robert Macdonald, at the same time.

Macdonald was struck over the head a number of times with an iron bar and was taken to hospital with multiple cuts to his forehead, face and scalp, said Fiona Elder, prosecuting. Forensic scientists found he had been hit while already bleeding. He needed surgery with a general anaesthetic and a blood transfusion. In a victim impact statement, he said the vision in one eye was affected, he had scars to his face and head and had to move away from Taunton because he felt so scared.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 08.08.51Rodrigues, the paper reports,

was jailed for 15 months for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Dalrymple explains that in other words, Rodrigues will serve

at most 7½ months in prison (remission of 50% is an inalienable right) and quite possibly fewer, if he is granted early release.

Dalrymple asks:

If he gets 7½ months for a crime like his, which sentence must lesser criminals, such as mere burglars, get?

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 08.19.23Punishment, he says,

must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence; and surely anyone can see that to send a burglar to prison for (say) six weeks is utterly futile. It follows from this that to send Rodrigues to prison is itself totally pointless; Rodrigues ought to be released at once, to prevent the terrible absurdity, the mockery, of it all.

Primitive punishment impulse is overcome

Thank heaven, writes Dalrymple, that

we have a justice secretary who sees this all clearly. Really it is an honour for a population to be ruled by people of so deep an insight, so sincere a compassion and so uncompromising a realism. We may be proud of our state that it has at last overcome the primitive impulse to punish, incarcerate and incapacitate young men like Rodrigues, who so badly need help. Pity about Robert Macdonald, the victim of the attack, but the question we must surely all ask ourselves is, Did he have a triple lock on his front door? And if not, why not?


The function of the police is to express sympathy for the victims of crimes they aren’t going to solve

We're so sorry about what happened. It was senseless. How could it have gone so tragically wrong? This is what happens when souls are in the wrong place at the wrong time. We pray for you

We wish to voice our sympathy and show a bit of tenderness at this difficult time for you. We are full of pity and understanding for you and your family. The whole thing was, after all, senseless. How could it have gone so tragically wrong? This is what happens when members of the public find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, in this case your own home. We pray for you. Hope all this makes you feel better

Our thoughts today are with…

British police spokesmen, writes Dalrymple,

sound like Church of England clergymen without the upper-middle-class diction.

They are particularly moved by

  • senseless murder (sensible murder moving them to much less compassion)
  • robberies or burglaries that go tragically wrong
  • crimes that end in the deaths of persons who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dalrymple’s advice to readers: always be in the right place at the right time

We're so sorry about what happened.

A good boy really

Essentially a decent young person

Essentially a decent young person

What Dalrymple heard one mother say to describe her 16-year-old son, just convicted for his 250th burglary.

Grievous discrimination in our courts

They have formed a cabal to keep the unintelligent in their place, deny them their rights, and discriminate against them

They have formed a cabal to keep the unintelligent in their place, deny them their rights, and discriminate against them

Despite all that has been achieved since the 1960s by wise and enlightened progressives to create the happy and just society that we inhabit today, large inequalities persist.

Instance No. 46: the legal profession

There is a deep problem with our barristers and judges. Dalrymple points out that the following groups are scandalously under-represented on the bench:

  • the innumerate
  • the subnormal
  • infants
  • members of the housebreaking community
  • the only averagely intelligent
  • the semi-literate
  • the schizophrenic
  • members of the drug-dealing community
  • the illiterate
  • the deaf
  • the unintelligent
  • members of the dangerous-driving community
  • the demented

The principal cause of crime in England is the criminal justice system

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 03.31.33Dalrymple points out that what he calls the brutal leniency shown to murderers and other violent criminals

  • fails to protect or deter the public
  • undermines confidence in the criminal justice system
  • undermines the legitimacy of the government, ‘whose primary and inescapable purpose is to protect the peace’
  • encourages criminal violence, police over-reaction and vigilantism

Nice to the nasty and nasty to the nice

The emasculated British police

England, writes Dalrymple, has rapidly descended

from being one of the best ordered societies in the western world to being among the worst.

He notes that in A Brief History of Crime, Peter Hitchens places the blame

firmly where it belongs, on a supine and pusillanimous political establishment that, for four decades at least, has constantly retreated before the verbal onslaught of liberal intellectuals whose weapons have been mockery allied to sentimental guilt about their prosperous and comfortable lives, and whose aim has been to liberate themselves from personally irksome moral constraints, without regard to the consequences for those less favourably placed in society than themselves.

It was, Dalrymple points out, the intellectual élite which demanded

that the law’s teeth be drawn, that perpetrators be treated as the victims of their own behaviour.

Why, he asks, has the British political establishment proved so craven over the years? It has, he suggests, something to do

with the loss of empire and world power — what the Chinese call the loss of the Mandate of Heaven.

The sentimentally therapeutic view of prison

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 09.05.59Dalrymple discusses the British intelligentsia’s

long-held wish that the punishment imposed by the criminal justice system be therapeutic rather than merely protective and deterrent.

Criminals, he points out,

know very well the effectiveness of punishment, which is why they mete it out to each other with the utmost celerity if one of their number breaks their code.

The sentimentalists encourage

the bad faith of so many criminals, who know they have society on the run.