Oscar Pistorius has had his conviction and 5 year prison sentence for culpable homicide overturned by the South African Court of Appeal. It has been replaced by a finding that he was guilty of murder. Instead of re-sentencing him itself, the Court of Appeal has sent the case back to the trial judge, Thokozile Masipa. Continue reading “A few thoughts on Oscar Pistorius”
Docks are nasty relics of eighteenth century injustice. It is time to dismantle them
We have abolished the gallows, the gibbets and the pillories that once adorned every rutted turnpike cross-road.
It’s now time to turn our attention to another eighteenth century legal relic. No, not the harmless wig, but the pernicious practice of forcing defendants to stand trial while caged inside the wooden and glass cages known as “docks.”
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, seems to think so too.
In a speech last week to Birkbeck College’s Institute for Criminal Policy Research Lord Thomas suggested that docks could be abolished:
“Do you really need the dock? Are they really necessary? I do think these sort of radical ideas need considering …. They are terribly expensive. Particularly in magistrates’ courts.” Continue reading “Docks are nasty relics of eighteenth century injustice. It is time to dismantle them”