Grey Thoughts
Law - Victorian Judges sense of morality
Tim Blair highlights double standards in the Victorian Legal system.

Case one
The offense: Man rams speed camera vehicle after being snapped speeding. The officer inside suffered knee injuries and had to have a shoulder reconstructed.

The penalty: "County Court Judge Irene Lawson sentenced Sean Thomas Coffey, 29, to a two-year, three-month jail term with a one year non-parole period."

The Judges comment: "Your offending behaviour in this case was outrageous. It involved you using the vehicle as a weapon for an unprovoked attack on an innocent victim who was performing his work duties."

Case Two
The Offense: Lauren Jayne Curnow, 18, pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide after punching her newborn son to death in the family's home in the Ballarat suburb of Wendouree on August 17 last year. She was 17 at the time."

The Penalty: Laura was sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond.

The Judges comment: "I am not going to send you to jail" and "Infanticide was a very serious offence "which strikes at the sanctity of human life, Society must protect those weakest of its members."

The age article continues
But Justice Bongiorno said - while some misguided people in the community might think Curnow had escaped punishment - he was satisfied both the community's and Curnow's interests were best served by a non-custodial sentence.

I Can't imagine why any 'misguided' people would think that a good behaviour bond for someone intentionally beating to death her newborn child would be escaping punishment. *roll*

It is rather odd, considering some of Justice Bongiorno's other decisions in murder trials. 7 years for hiring a hitman (No death happened). 3 years in a youth training center for a pre-meditated stabbing murder. 6 Years for two boys (15 and 16) murdering and sexually assaulting an old woman. 21 Years each for a Man and Woman (36 and 38 years old) who murdered the woman's husband.

Is justice Bongiorno soft on young women? I can't really discern much of a pattern otherwise. Maybe we just don't have enough information to completely understand the apparent differences in sentences.
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