With the closure of the case against the killer of Thomas Kelly a furore has erupted again regarding inadequate sentencing of offenders. Now there are numerous examples being resurrected and doing the rounds of the Net blogs and fora. A quick point form to spur some thought and discussion. So what will be the outcomes of this. 1) The judiciary (via proxies) defence lawyers and the DPP will all come out saying that the sentences were adequate and take into account individual circumstances and were made in a dispassionate and my favourite "disinterested" (Crowdery N. SMH 11/11/13) manner. 2) The government will react and legislation will be proposed and possible enacted in a knee jerk repsonse to calm the "tough on crime" voices and appease the victim's rights groups. So what will change? 1) Point 1 will result in no change to proceedure and no change at all in the actuality of sentencing. 2) Point 2 could result in yet another piece of legislation and another offence created for behaviours which are already adequately covered by existing legislation. This just further muddies the legal waters instead of simplifying the system so all know where they stand. The dangers:- 1) The judiciary need to understand that they are not servants of some artificial document call the law. They are servants of the law abiding citizenry. Without the consent of the citizenry the law fails, and that consent is only gained when a number of factors are met, such as respect for the law itself, its officers and the manner of its execution. The lack of adequate sentencing poses a real danger that the respect for the Officers of the law will be further eroded and the required faith in the execution of the law undermined. 2)Politicians need to wake up and cease this knee jerk turn to legislation to address systemic failures. A good example is the current bikie legislation in Qld, the new proposed "king Hit" legislation and after each public outcry there are more and more added to the books. We end up with a situation where days and weeks of argument results in whether a case should be heard under one law or another and the risk is increased that a prosecution will be brought under a section which is not quite correct and an offender dismissed simply on procedural technicality. The Law as it stands provides full recourse against an offender in a situation like that in the Kelly case. Further legislation does nothing to alleviate the primary concerns of those raising the objections in this and other cases. That of sentencing. The solutions:- 1) The Politicians solution - mandatory sentencing. There are a myriad of problems with this not least of which is it takes absolutely no account of the differences between offences of the same type and the overall circumstances, much like the stealing to feed the children opposed to theft through pure greed examples from the convict days. 2) Community sentencing - already in use in many areas of Australia this has had some very good success in terms of rehabilitation not only for the offenders, but more importantly from my POV for the victims. I would like to see an expansion of this option to include non-indigenous people. 3) Mandatory minimum sentences - very similar to the US systems in many states, characterised by the 15 to 20 type sentences seen on all the TV drama shows. Discussion..