Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, July 29, 2004

They Have No Shame

First reported here back in March in Stick a Fork in England. They're Done, the British government has found that people erroneously convicted of crime tend to sue once they're released from incarceration, and they tend to win pretty fair settlements.  So in order to recover some of the swag, they've developed this really neat idea:  Charge for room and board!

That's right, since the plaintiff received a room and three squares a day, they can be backcharged for it!  Prison is just a big Motel 6 with room service!  

Mr. Free Market reports  the latest such incident in which two men have been billed 25% of the awards that they received for being wrongly convicted.  From the BBC:
Innocent men must pay prison bill
Two men wrongly jailed for murder for 18 years must pay for the money they saved in "board and lodgings" while in prison, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Cousins Michael and Vincent Hickey were convicted of murdering newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater in November 1979.

An independent assessor ruled their "loss of earnings" compensation should be cut by 25% to cover living expenses.

The High Court overturned the ruling - but the assessor appealed, arguing it had been "lawful and reasonable".

Lord Brennan QC, the Home Office-appointed assessor, had awarded Michael Hickey, 42, £990,000, ($1,800,000 US) and Vincent Hickey, 49, £506,220, ($921,000 US) subject to deductions for expenses which they would have incurred as free men.

But in April 2003, High Court judge Mr Justice Maurice Kay ruled the deductions were unlawful.
On Thursday, after Lord Brennan's successful appeal, the cousins' solicitor said they were "extremely disappointed" by the Appeal Court's "palpably unfair" decision, and were considering appealing to the House of Lords.

Stigmatised as child killers, they had been subjected to appalling treatment in prison, Susie Labinjoh, of Hodge Jones & Allen, added. Their food had regularly been adulterated with phlegm and glass.

They had been "outraged" by the deductions, Ms Labinjoh said.

"They could not comprehend how anyone aware of the circumstances of their imprisonment could suggest that they profited from it in any way.
Mr. Free Market - a resident of England comments:
The issue here is not if the men were ultimately cleared on a technicality or ‘miraculous new evidence that has just come to light’ – it is whether the State can illegally detain you & then charge you for the privilege of doing so. Gordon ‘tax & waste’ Brown must be rubbing his grubby mits with glee – a whole new revenue source for him to fritter away.

As for the Court of Appeal – have you all gone stark raving aardvark?? As you speak as outsiders, what do you think of the human race?? Or have too many years living in Judge’s Chambers & hitting the tax payer funded vintage port, finally done for you?? This is shear unmitigated madness ……… maybe next time these judicial numpties take a sunny stroll on insanity beach, maybe they should stop for a minute & dip a toe into the sea of reason.
Word of advice:  Don't hold your breath.

Another word:  Emigrate.  England is done.  Stick a fork in it.

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