Thursday, 10 January 2008

Now there's a thought!

I've just been reading the local paper, seated by the pool with a drink, here in Coff's Harbour in NSW. One news item struck a chord with me, and I thought I'd share it with you.
The Attorney General is asking the powers that be to look at the common practice of "double dipping". This is where an accused pleads not guilty, maintains this plea up to a late stage whilst his lawyer negotiates with the prosecution for a lesser charge to be substituted (In our terms, a S39 instead of a S47, for instance).
Once the lesser charge is offered in court, accused duly pleads guilty "at the earliest opportunity", and gets his full guilty plea discount on the lesser charge.
It is being suggested that the reduction in charge should suffice, no further reduction in sentence being offered.
Put that way, it makes very good sense to me. Perhaps our own SGC could consider this argument for the UK.