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Data-nicking UK car repairman jailed six months instead of copping a fine

Cynic_999 Silver badge

"... even if, as is routine these days, he will serve a maximum of half that time behind bars.

"

The word "routine" makes it appear to be something that is optional, and "these days" makes it sound as if it's a recent thing. Neither is true - sentences have comprised a certain proportion to be spent in prison and the rest out on licence for many decades (though the exact proportions have changed from time to time). The media always makes out that release from prison before the entire sentence is served is some sort of discretionary concession. It isn't, it follows mandatory rules of which the sentencing judge is well aware.

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