Editorial comment: Child torture couple should serve full term
PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:34 24 May 2017
How can it be that a couple who tortured their child in the days before she died will be eligible for parole in five-and-a-half years?
Drug addicts Baker and Wiltshire escaped the murder charge and were convicted of the lesser charge of causing or allowing the death of their daughter Imani.
I don’t even have a problem with the jury finding the couple not guilty of murder as they probably could not conclude who was ultimately responsible.
But my main gripe - and I imagine I’m not the only one - rests with the length of time served before criminals face parole hearings.
Having graduated with a criminology degree, I understand the concept that prison should not, and cannot, simply be about punishment. Custodial sentences should have an overriding aim of rehabilitation and sentences should vary depending on the seriousness of specific cases.
However, I’ve never really grasped why sentences are not actual sentences served by a prisoner. In the face of it 11 years seems like a long term - although I would argue it should be longer - but this vile couple will be considered for parole after serving at least half their sentences. This decision will be made on many factors including whether they show remorse and conform to prison life. Alongside this you would expect them to undergo an element of rehabiliative measures to see if they can be released and no longer pose a danger.
If that decision rested with me I would make sure they served every single day of that 11 year term.
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