don't plead guilty if you're not guilty?
One of the men sentenced to four years in jail for attempting to incite disorder on Facebook is to appeal against the decision. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, of Vale Road in Marston near Northwich, was thrown in the slammer, after appearing before a judge at Chester Crown Court yesterday. Chris Johnson, of Moss Haselhurst solicitors …
It's probably not too smart an idea, when looting is occurring in other parts of the country, to try and incite some in your own town (or anywhere else) and then claim after the fact that it was "only for a laugh". Myself I'm not quite sure what amusement comes if somebody does take you up on your offer.
Often dangerous driving is accidental or reckless. Posting on the Internet asking people to burn down buildings, smash up Police cars and throw things at the Police is quite a serious crime.
Police officers could have been killed. In the recent riots one was stabbed and now has lost his career as his confidence has been ruined.
Rebuilding and fitting a shop can cost quite a lot of money, £100,000 or so would be a rough guess.
These sentences are a great way of illustrating that while people have free speech they are ultimately responsible for what they say!
@Giles Jones, “These sentences are a great way of illustrating that while people have free speech they are ultimately responsible for what they say”
Talk about Cognitive Dissonance! … its both astounding and frightening you fail so totally to see the fundamental flaw in your logic. Ok lets take this step by step.
We all know trolls exist and we have all heard them say some deeply annoying and insulting and stupid and arrogant and etc.. things which we can all be very annoyed about. However the act of saying something is different from the act of doing something. They are two separate actions. Yet what we are seeing now is a way of punishing thoughts, not just actions. “Ah but these are terrible thoughts, right?”. True they are, but once you have a way of punishing thoughts, who's thoughts become the baseline upon which everyone else's thoughts get compared as right or wrong? “Ah but these are terrible thoughts and we will only punish the terrible thoughts right?” … Wrong. Exhibit A:
The above link is about police arresting a man for arranging a mass water pistol fight so people can have a laugh and meet up in the hot weather. Its purely for fun. Yet now, its an arrestable offense to arrange a gathering of people to play with water pistols! “Ah but we can argue thats just a few people taking the law way to far, right?” Wrong, because where one can take the law too far, others can as well. The law has to be right or wrong, we cannot have subjective laws and thought crime most definitely is subjective, because nothing has been done, only said.
Still not convinced? Ok here's Exhibit B, (and this is a big one shown throughout history) because whenever people have to protest against politicians, the one reoccurring constant is that the politicians are always in complete passive aggressive denial that they have ever done anything wrong. The reason that is important is because as far as the politician is concerned, its everyone arguing against them that is wrong. They hold the attitude of how dare people protest against me, and incite anger and hatred against me. That is how they think. That is how a passive aggressive thinks. The politician in their mind plays the passive aggressive victim (as all passive aggressive do). That kind of person would do all they could to punish anyone speaking out and arranging protests against them and we have all seen that repeated throughout history and around the word in the past year (people to this day are still dying because of it). Yet we have all in our fear of the rioters just handed the politician their biggest prize. Public consent for the punishment of thoughts. Have we as a society learned nothing from the old saying “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”
The evil bastards who were the rioters showed repeated strong warning signs of being very aggressive Narcissistic Personality Disordered people and that is at the very least, (due to their incredible lack of empathy for other people). I say at the very least, because some even demonstrated psychopathic levels of lacking any empathy what so ever for other people. They all have to be punished and stopped, but these people are not acting on the words that are told to them, by people online or off, (even if they try to use that as yet another lying excuse), because they are acting on their own desire to be evil to other people for their own gain as always with Narcissistic people.
The enemy in society is the actions of the Narcissistic people, not the words they say. What is missing about every political condemnation of what the Narcissistic say online is the fact that others online, (the vast majority of people in fact) will respond and speak out online against anything the trolling Narcissistic people say. Its actually good that the evil bastards are highlighting what bastards they are online because society can speak out against them and highlight them for what they are. Yet what we are now getting is simply prohibition of their words, that doesn't solve their hate filled attitudes. They are still filled with hatred at others, just as they are filled with hatred at the people who made them such Narcissistic self interested bastards in the first place (usually their parents who are just as much hate filled Narcissistic bastards). The point is they act on their own desires not on the word of others, so prohibition of words will not stop them. But prohibition of words will stop anyone who has to speak out against politicians, thereby destroying any feedback in society to stop politicians taking things to far (as they always do) because no one is then allowed to speak out against the state for fear of being punished for arranging protests against them.
Punishing thoughts as a society is horrifically dangerous. Also only a few months ago the UK was condemning Egypt for punishing what was said online, yet now we in our terror of the rioters are doing the exact same mistake!. WTF is wrong with some people that in their fear they give up all sense of freedom only to realize too late they have created another ultimately far bigger problem. How many times does this insanity have to be repeated throughout history before people finally learn!
... many politicians are narcissists. From the DSM-IV classification of mental disorders:
"[Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a] pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions);
(4) requires excessive admiration;
(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations;
(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends ;
(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others ;
(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her ;
(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes."
At the very least, I make that 1,3,5,6,7 and 9, and quite a few of them 2, 4 and 8. If you think that's a little unfair, try spending some time with a few of them.
"I'm the best man for the job of running the country" really should be a thought crime.
Think about some of the shit that DID happen in the riots. Including lives (and careers) lost.
Think about this, you could say that all he did was post a stupid message to FaceBook. The law (rightly IMHO) says that what he did was try and encourage people to repeat what happened last week.
Had people turned up, and a riot occurred, because he incited it he would be seen as responsible for what transpired. That's why the sentence, because his comments could demonstrably have led to a huge amount of damage, and even to death/loss of livelihood.
As others have said, death by dangerous driving is usually accidental. Given that a man died last week, posting a message encouraging people to riot again does seem to deserve a stronger sentence.
Whether he posted as a joke or not is irrelevant IMO, had people turned up and a new riot happened he'd be responsible for arranging it. Some people only need the tiniest prod to start acting up, so why the hell you'd try and get them all together (even in jest) is beyond me.
Not hugely different from Paul Chambers' Doncaster Airport Twitter bomb "joke", though in that instance it was clearly a misguided "joke", whereas this Facebook event could* have been interpreted as a serious invitation or appeal to riot.
I also can't stand the way all the stories say they got this sentence, despite "neither man's actions resulting in any rioting", as though this should make any difference as to whether it's wrong.
*I didn't see the actual page, so can't comment on whether it looked serious, or a joke.
A load of recent 'extreme' sentences are going to be knocked down in appeal, that way three 'angry mobs' are dealt with: the public, who want to see rioters & looters shot on sight / castrated / lose their benefits / thrown on the street / publicly flogged etc., the actual rioters / looters, who should eventually receive tough but fair sentences, and the press, who are the worst 'inciters' of all.
Rather expensive way to go about it though as the appeals process doubles the overall cost per case...
One could argue the convicted are going to appeal no matter what sentence is initially handed down, therefore a heavy initial sentence later halved on appeal might be about right.
I do think there is a lot of disparity between sentencing. People have received less for manslaughter and rape, which doesn't seem right (maybe they should have been higher).
He's still alive.
A Darwin nomination might have been forthcoming if;
Lots of thugs had turned up, and he turned around and said "fooled you, it was a joke, fuck off home" and they turned around and killed him.
But making a stupid decision isn't enough for a Darwin, you _have_ to die. Otherwise you've not actually removed yourself from the Gene Pool (does it count if you blow your bollocks off?)
to receive a Darwin Award. These awards are given for *removing yourself from the gene pool*, not necessarily killing yourself. So you can still receive one, for example, if you survive running around with a lit firework in your pocket and blowing your own balls off. As long as you are rendered incapable of reproducing by your stupidity (and haven't yet reproduced), you're eligible.
If I go to town and loot a shop as an adult I am 100% responsible for my actions and get the proper sentence (if caught). If someone incites me to go to town and loot a shop as an an adult I am 100% responsible for my actions and get the proper sentence AND the other guy is guilty for goading me into it and he/she gets a sentence. That makes more than 100% responsibility for the crime. If the act of incitement makes him partly to blame for what I did why doesn't my being incited take some of my guilt away?
If you and a friend decided to both hold guns to someone's head and pull the triggers at the same time, you'd both get a full sentence for murder, not half of one each.
In the example you give, two crimes would have been committed; rioting, and incitement to riot. Just because nobody turned up to the 'riot', except this idiot and the police, doesn't mean that he didn't commit the crime of incitement, just that nobody was quite stupid enough in this case to actually be incited to riot. He has been sentenced according to the severity of the crime he committed, not the severity (or absence) of crimes committed by others as a result.
If I shoot someone who is already dead I am not guilty of murder. You are dipping into Schroedinger territory there.
I am not talking about guilt I'm talking about responsibility. Either I bear all the responsibility for the crime or it is shared.
If I went out to buy a bottle of milk but somebody incited me to loot the shop then they must be partly responsible for my actions because without them it would not have happened. If they are partly responsible then I cannot be fully responsible. I can claim mitigation.
On the other hand if I am a competent (in the eyes of the law at least) adult and am 100% responsible for my actions then the inciter can have no responsibility for what I did, I made my own decision. I cannot have been incited and therefore incitement is not a crime.
Either you can say:
I can be induced to do something that I did not intend to do. Therefore what others say can change my actions. Therefore I am not in full control of my actions.
I am in full control of my actions. Therefore I cannot be induced to do something that I did not intend to do. Therefore what others say is of no consequence. Incitement means nothing.
you cannot say. I am in full control of my actions and so is he.
I incited you to go out and cause trouble (i.e. riot), without my 'arranging' it you might have stayed home watching TV.
You turn up to my 'riot' and then smash a few windows and nick a tv. I've not nicked that TV, so I'm not directly responsible for that, but I am responsible for you being there, which led to you nicking a tv.
No-one says that the inciter is in full control of the rioters actions, in fact that's kind of the point - it's impossible to be in control of the rioters actions. That's why you shouldn't incite riots.
There are areas that are considered so harmful (or potentially so) to society/human life that to incite them is considered a crime. Riots get out of control very quickly (were they ever under control?) and so it's considered dangerous to try and cause one.
To use a different 'crime', do you consider it wrong that people can be locked up for conspiracy to murder? After all, they didn't _actually_ kill the person in the end?
It doesn't work for everything though, although very few agree with theft, it would be overreaching to give a custodial for "conspiracy to steal" or "conspiracy to speed". The difference is in the potential for harm to be caused.
"I incited you to go out and cause trouble (i.e. riot), without my 'arranging' it you might have stayed home watching TV."
This is a very narrow use case. Inciting is not the same as publicising an event. I could just as easily been incited to turn up on my own and cause trouble.
"No-one says that the inciter is in full control of the rioters actions"
No but the law says the inciter has some control over my actions but it does not say I have less. I could not claim incitement as mitigation in sentencing. Under the law the total percentage of control over my actions is greater than 100%
"do you consider it wrong that people can be locked up for conspiracy to murder?"
Conspiracy involves some actual action on the part of the conspirator. An action that they are aware at the time will be part of the crime.
... that one of the posters was drunk, made the post went to sleep, woke up, realised what he had done, tried to delete the post, but was too late.
I don't know all the facts, but I would have thought that the failure to incite a riot would have attracted a lesser sentence, say community service?
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