mrmo - Member
that senior lawyers think it is ok to run cyclists down.....
I'm not sure that is really what he was saying. As a lawyer he should be smart enough to have seen how what he said might be twisted, or represented - but the point he was making was that there are circumstances where people who would never expect to find themselves in court are suddenly in the dock and at risk of loosing their liberty. Those people deserve a fair trial, and legal aid is (was) part of that. Having legal representation doesn't mean you will 'get off'.
Manslaughter is a tricky one to demonstrate isn't it?
Dont you have to show that shomeone acted with the intention of doing serious harm, but not the intent to kill, that their actions caused death when they were 'Only' trying to injure.
no you (in this case) would just have had to show that their was gross negligence such that a serious accident was forseable.
Whilst the deaths were tragic (i) there is already the potential to bring manslaughter charges as an alternative - DbDD was only introduced because in some cases manslaughter was too hard to prove. (ii) it is very rare for the upper limit of the sentence to be reached - which makes it difficult to justify new laws.
The petition - like most e-petitions isn't very helpfully worded though:
"We call upon the government to review and change sentencing guidelines for dangerous driving so that drivers who have previous convictions for dangerous driving, including driving under the influence of drink and drugs, or have been disqualified from driving, and continue to commit dangerous driving offences, causing death or injury as a result, be given far longer and tougher sentences than currently exist."
(i) The government doesn't set sentencing guidelines. They are set independently.
(ii) Previous convictions are already taken into account, and as was the case here increase the likely sentence.
(iii)drink and drugs already increase the sentence.
(iv)driving whilst disqual already increases the sentence.
(v) the maximum sentence was imposed. The petition would need to be asking for a change to the legislation so the penalty was higher - not the guidance on how to apply the penalty, which seems to actually be working ok.