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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
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Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail.
    #2444976 - 03/17/04 11:08 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I want to fucking scream. I think David Blunkett wants to beat Ashcroft for the coveted title of 'Most Evil Fucking Being On The Planet'. The man needs to be forcibly removed from office, I can't see any sane justification for this.

Quote:


We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That?ll be ?80,000 please
Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims ?food and lodgings?
By Neil Mackay, Home Affairs Editor

WHAT do you give someone who?s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn?t commit?

An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you?re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty?s Pleasure in British prisons.

On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than ?3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn?t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.

Blunkett?s fight has been described as ?outrageous?, ?morally repugnant? and the ?sickest of sick jokes?, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it?s a completely ?reasonable course of action? as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren?t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ?Saved Living Expenses?.

Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six. He spent 16 years behind bars for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA. Hill now lives on a farm with his wife and children near Beith in Scotland. He has been charged ?50,000 for living expenses by the Home Office.

It wasn?t until two years ago that Hill was finally awarded ?960,000 in compensation. However, during the years since his release, while waiting for the pay-out, the government had given him advances of around ?300,000. When his compensation came through, the ?300,000 was taken back along with interest on the interim payments charged at 23% ? that cost him a further ?70,000.

?The whole system is absurd,? Hill said. ?I?m so angry about what has happened to me. I try and tell people about being charged for bed and board in jail and they can?t believe it.

?When I left prison I was given no training for freedom ? no counselling or psychological preparation. Yet the guilty get that when they are released. To charge me for the food I ate and the cell I slept in is almost as big an injustice as fitting me up in the first place.

?While I was in prison, my family lost their home, yet they get no compensation. But the state wants its money back. It?s like being kicked in the head when someone has beat you already.

?I have to put up with this, yet there has not been one police officer convicted of fitting people up. The Home Office had no shortage of money to keep me in jail or to run a charade of a trial.

?But they had enough money to frame me. Nevertheless, when it comes to paying out compensation for ruining my life they happily rip me to shreds.?

Hill is not leading the legal action against the government ? instead he has handed the baton to another high-profile victim of miscarriage of justice: Mike O?Brien.

O?Brien spent 10 years in jail wrongly convicted of killing a Cardiff newsagent. His baby daughter died while he was in prison and he was charged ?37,500 by the Home Office for his time behind bars.

Hill said he cannot lead the legal fight as the Birmingham Six have fought every legal action together, but now three of them are over 70 and Hill believes it is too much to ask them to join him in taking on the government yet again.

He said he was also worried about the compensation payments for the other members of the Birmingham Six being affected if they joined him in court against the government.

?The establishment hate me and people like me as we proved them wrong,? he said. ?They either want to ignore us or hurt us.?

O?Brien took the Home Office to court last March and won, but Blunkett appealed the decision. On Tuesday, the rights and wrongs of the government policy will be decided at the Royal Courts.

O?Brien said: ?Morally, the position of the government is just outrageous. It shows total contempt for the victims of miscarriages of justice. It makes me livid.

?I really believe if we win the appeal this week, the government is evil enough to take me to the House of Lords. They are trying to break us. I really think this is personal as far as the government is concerned.

?A government really can?t get much worse than this. But I am confident that we will win as the law and morality are on our side.?

Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four who was wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged ?60,000 for the 17 years he spent in jail. He said: ?If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill.?

John McManus, of the Scottish Miscarriage of Justice Organisation, said: ?This is reprehensible. How can we call ourselves a democratic, civilised society when our government is acting like this?

?The government seems intent on punishing innocent people. The state wants to be paid for making a mistake. It?s hard to believe someone actually thought this policy up. If you tell a child about this they will think it insane.

?Only a sick mind could have invented this policy, yet the government is fighting to retain the right to act like this. It is cruelty with intent. They seem to want to punish people for having the audacity to be innocent.?

The SNP?s shadow justice minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: ?This is outrageous. It is another assault by Blunkett on the rule of law and on civil liberties. These people didn?t chose to go to prison. They were wrongly convicted, and to charge them for it beggars belief.?

The Home Office said an ?independent assessor appointed by the Home Secretary takes into acccount the range of costs the prisoner might have incurred had they not been imprisoned?. The spokes man said the assessor was ?right? to do this, adding: ?Morally, this is reasonable and appropriate.?
?I was a hostage, now they are billing me?
ROBERT Brown was just a 19-year-old from Glasgow when he was jailed for life for murdering a woman called Annie Walsh in Manchester in 1977. He served 25 years before he was finally freed in 2002, when the courts ruled him innocent of the crime.

He is now facing a bill of around ?80,000 for the living expenses he cost the state. For Brown, it is the final straw. An interim payment he was given pending his full compensation offer is exhausted; his mother recently died; his relationship with his girlfriend has fallen apart and he is facing eviction from his home following a mix-up over benefits.

?I feel like ending my life,? he says. ?I?ve tried to maintain my dignity, but the state has treated me with nothing but contempt ? now they are asking me for money for my bed and board in jail.

?I never contemplated suicide once while I was in prison, but it?s different on the outside. I have received no counselling or support. Society is treating me like something you?d wipe off the bottom of your shoes, but I?m an innocent man and a victim of a terrible injustice.

?It?s horrific. I?ve been out of jail for 14 months and in that time the state has put me through a war of attrition that it never needed to conduct. I feel my life is disintegrating around me.

?Making me pay for my bed and board is abhorrent. I was arrested, fitted up and held hostage for 25 years and now they are going to charge me for being kept as their prisoner against my will.

?Can you think of a more disgusting way to abuse someone? I really feel that my heart is truly and finally broken.?




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The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: Edame]
    #2444996 - 03/17/04 11:11 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Goddamn! I didn't realize Britain had their own version of Ashcroft. That fucking blows!


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: Edame]
    #2445022 - 03/17/04 11:15 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I've been following the insane ramblings of politicians closely for three decades now, and in that time I've seen some pretty ludicrous proposals.

But I have to admit this one pretty much tops the list.

pinky


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: Edame]
    #2445160 - 03/17/04 11:37 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

the gall.


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: Edame]
    #2445206 - 03/17/04 11:45 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Oh my god, that has got to be the most insane thing I have ever heard in my entire life.


People who spend time in jail for offenses they were not guilty of should be compensated at least $50,000 per year spent incarcerated.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: Edame]
    #2446093 - 03/18/04 05:13 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Astonishing.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlinesmuddlepuddle
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2446400 - 03/18/04 09:43 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

hmmmm... not as crazy as u might think

1st of all i dont know much more about this story than is written here, but from what i gather the home office doesnt just mail a bill with a demand 4 the money. its effect is to to deduct the expenses of accommodation from the compensation claim of a wrongfully imprisoned citizen.

my view of compensation claims in general is very low but the crux of the issue seems to be what rights a claimant has in demanding money from another party. high profile cases often centre around the price of 'emotional' damage or other similar concepts and while i cant be bothered to give my arguments for why this seems stupid i dont think this is an important factor in this particular case.

a more common (and better grounds imo) factor for compensation claims is the easily valued costs incurred by a claimant such as medical bills and loss of earnings. for example if, after reading this, you somehow manage too punch me in the face you may hurt my emotions but you also have some direct involvement in the subsequent medical bills (if i didnt live in a country with a national health service) and the earnings i am unable receive because i am too physically hurt to turn up to work.

if you are found guilty in a court of law it is not a far stretch to then make you responsible for my medical costs and loss of earnings which i can value directly as i know the cost of the medical bill and the exact amount i would have earned had i been able to work for the x amount of days i was off sick.

getting back to the case in hand a wrongfully imprisoned person, when filing for compensation, may take into account the loss of earnings they would have received had they been working for the ten years they were in jail. but it doesnt really end there as although the government/judiciary may have caused them to directly loose money it also has a part in directly saving them money too. this is because the claimant would have to have paid for accommodation and food anyway and whether they liked it or not they have still been saved an expense. there is no actual reason why costs incurred are any more important than savings made when claiming compensation

overall it it is impossible for these necessary expenses to outweigh ones possible earnings (think about it!) but for a claim for compensation to be just (as previously described) it rightfully needs to be taken into account

nb: the best attacks against my argument seem to be either attacking the very notion of money as compensatory (ie if u punch me i have the right to punch you back and not bill you for it) or introduce the concept of choice into compensation (havent spent much time thinking about it but by paying for housing outside of prison i have exercised a choice to do so that in some way validates it and that forced accommodation in prison does not - this would also provide an answer as to why some people think actual criminals should pay for prison accom because by committing the crime they have in effect chosen to be incarcerated)

anyhow, for the last point to work someone would have to explain the connection between choice and costs incurred to me...


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Invisibleshroomerylurker
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. *DELETED* [Re: smuddlepuddle]
    #2447003 - 03/18/04 02:05 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Post deleted by shroomerylurker


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Offlinesmuddlepuddle
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: shroomerylurker]
    #2447302 - 03/18/04 03:28 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

in which case this is a simple misunderstanding between us
i assumed they get seperate compensation for their life/mental anguish

assigning random costs then:

my view: $2,000,000 for life/mental anguish
-$ 100,000 for rent + food

your view seems to be they should just get $1.9m all together coz u say they already paid for their stay with their life/mental anguish so as the stay is worth 100k for instance u deduct that from their compensation beforehand

either way u and me both get the same result, all im saying is their free accomodation and food should be taken into account and u havent denied that in your post


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: smuddlepuddle]
    #2450738 - 03/19/04 08:17 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Come back to me when you have been wrongfully locked up for 20 years and then asked to pay the bill.

Its a fucking outrage. If there is any sense whatsoever in this arguement then surely every prisoner in the prison system would have to pay for board and lodgings?


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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Invisibleshroomerylurker
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. *DELETED* [Re: smuddlepuddle]
    #2450749 - 03/19/04 08:33 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Post deleted by shroomerylurker


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Offlinesmuddlepuddle
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: shroomerylurker]
    #2450947 - 03/19/04 10:06 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

glad to see you raise the issue of choice in deciding compensation but i think it needs more clarification. i dont like to put words in others mouths but from what i understand your saying the wrongfully imprisoned didnt choose to stay in jail/eat jail food so they are not as liable as the government, which did choose to take x amount off their lives and cause them mental anguish.

i suppose i will attack the argument indirectly by saying the government didnt really cause/choose to imprison them as much as the jury did. the government prosecutes and when the jury finds a defendant guilty the law states minimum sentences, where does the notion of government choice fit in there? as i said earlier i think you need explain to me the relationship between choice and cost a bit more or else 12 jurors stand to loose a lot when making their guilty decisions in the future

with regards to saving money from football matches/television etc i think there is a degree of cancellation. while imprisoned i may save money by being prevented to spend it on things i would normally do, such as watching football matches, i am also prevented from the enjoyment i would have received had i been at the games. the government could send me a bill for all the money they saved me but i would just send a bill back for all the missed enjoyment they caused me and the 2 would cancel each other out

(as a final point i would just to say despite how it may seem i dont really hold these views that strongly it just seems like an interesting subject to play devil's advocate on and if i was wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years then yes, my views may change)


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Invisibleshroomerylurker
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. *DELETED* [Re: smuddlepuddle]
    #2457701 - 03/21/04 05:34 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Post deleted by shroomerylurker


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Offlinesmuddlepuddle
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Re: Blunkett wants to charge innocent people for time in jail. [Re: shroomerylurker]
    #2458030 - 03/21/04 07:49 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

go on, enlighten me...
whats a troll?

(and whats wrong with my argument for that matter?)


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