There are topics, they say, that people should avoid talking about. Religion, politics and sex seem to be the 3 biggies. First off, I have no idea who they are. Secondly, even if I knew who they were, I probably wouldn’t listen to them and thirdly, well…there is no third as I over-exerted myself with thoughts 1 and 2 but if I had the energy to think up up a third it would be something like…No muthafucka tells me what to do!
Right, now that I have that out of the way allow me to give you my take on 2 news stories I just read on BBC News. The first concerns a 77 year old woman who was jailed for 14 years for smuggling cocaine in her specially adapted disablement vehicle. OK, first off I’m saying 14 years as the story, when published stated 13 and 14 years, I’m assuming that 14 years was the original sentence but UK law says that if you are held in custody, any time spent in jail is taken off your original sentence. They like to be fair in the UK. The second story refers to a footballer who killed two kids due to driving while over the alcohol limit.
OK, so there we have it, guy kills 2 kids and gets just under 7 1/2 years in jail, little old lady smuggles in 16Kg of cocaine and gets 14 years. Now, if you had looked at both stories as reported on the BBC website you might have noticed one thing on the initial report. The smuggler of 16Kg of cocaine was described as a, “77 year old grandmother” and the killer of 2 kids was described as, “a professional footballer”. What were your honest thoughts reading just those remarks?
Perhaps something along the lines of, “Oh My Goodness! A little old granny getting 14 years in jail just for smuggling in some drugs? The law is an ass!” or perhaps, “That low down dirty piece of over-paid scum, not even 8 years for killing 2 kids in the prime of their lives? Hanging is too good for him! The law is an ass!”
So, how much of an ass is the law? There’s no denying, the footballer who killed the 2 kids deserves his jail time. He drank, he got drunk, he got behind the wheel of a car and he drove, he crashed his car, he killed not 1 but 2 people. We can all agree, jail time is what’s coming to him, he took his chances, he gambled, he lost and is now paying a hefty price for it. Personally, I think the sentence is too little but UK law has this strange quirk whereby if you plead guilty you are automatically entitled to a reduced sentence.
This obviously means that when I go postal and kill every one of my colleagues at the next staff meeting I can rest easy knowing that when I get up before the judge I can claim aggrivated manslaughter on account of how they were boring me to death arguing over the fucking notice boards that have been waiting 2 years to be affixed to the wall. I did it guv, fair cop!
Now, what were your feelings when you read the story about the 77 year old drug smuggler? Were you swayed by how they described her as a grandmother? Perhaps the fact she was in a disability vehicle made you go “Awwww…”? When you thought about the 2 crimes who did you feel got off lightly? The little old grandmother who just smuggled some dope through customs or the professional footballer who killed 2 kids while drunk?
Should a professional footballer deserve more or less jail time than an amateur footballer? Likewise, should a 77 year old woman with no grandchildren deserve more or less jail time than one with grandchildren? Should physical disability play a factor in the judgement?
Personally. I’m inclined to think that both sentences were too lenient. The killer of 2 children deserves more than 7 years and 4 months in jail. Who cares whether he is a professional footballer or a dustman, he is someone who knowingly got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, crashed and killed not 1 but 2 human beings. FACT…by pleading guilty his sentence was reduced. That I think, is also a nonsense but as I have no say on the laws of the land I shall reserve my thoughts on that for another entry.
Likewise, the smuggler of 16Kg of cocaine also deserves more than 14 years in jail. Whether they are 77 or 27, the happy beneficiary of grandchildren or perhaps they are infertile and have no family whatsoever. 14 years is still low. Think about it… 16Kg of cocaine , as someone who has consumed more than their fair share of narcotics I can tell you that currently you can find 1 gram of cocaine for about £20… 16,000 grams? £320,000. My only annoyance is the little old granny only got £90,000 for her efforts. Her employer made a nice profit there for doing fuck all, she didn’t even give them up!
You could think about that as 16,000 different drug users, each doing whatever they need to find the £20 that will buy them their next fix. They might steal from friends or family, maybe just steal from you?, perhaps they’ll sell their body to the first willing buyer? That little old granny just ensured that potentially 16,000 drug users unleash their havoc and misery on their community. When you consider that that little old granny has also made 14 other drug smuggling trips in the space of 11 months you may agree with me that 14 years is nothing in comparison to the misery brought about by 240,000 potential drug users looking to each find £20 so they can get high. And what of those 240,000 drug users? How many of them might overdose and die and their deaths never get attributed to anyone? Perhaps the person who sold them the drugs will get caught and sentenced for it but who is more to blame…the person who sold it to them or the person who brought it into the country in order for it to be sold? Not an easy one to answer really, is it?
The law is, in my opinion, an ass… for many wide ranging and differing reasons. But the media are also equally assholes in the way they report the news. At 77 years of age you should know better than anyone the consequences of your actions, grandmother or not, disabled or not. Likewise driving a car while drunk is an incredibly stupid thing to do whether you are a professional football player or not.
The footballer will be eligible for parole in just over 3 years, the drug smuggling granny is eligible in 7. The havoc they have both wreaked on familes might only just be surfacing in those times, what they have done will have to stay with each individual for the rest of their lives, I have a feeling the child killer will have longer to suffer than co-cane granny, in fact he might end up her next customer given the state of the prisons today!