Dragging offenders into court
Government admits it can’t ensure they will attend for sentencing
A day or so after becoming home secretary last week, James Cleverly published a criminal justice bill of nearly 80 clauses and more than 150 pages. He’ll have to explain its provisions to parliament early next week, on 28 November.
Cleverly will be familiar with some of his proposals if he was keeping an eye on home news stories while serving as foreign secretary. But what’s in the bill is never quite the same as what has been briefed in advance. So I plan to analyse just a few of the bill’s more unexpected provisions in the coming days. All these pieces will be for readers who have taken out a paid subscription.
First, ordering defendants to attend court for sentence. I have frequently argued that dragging an offender screaming and shouting into the dock serves no purpose at all. Nor would there be any point in imposing an additional prison sentence on an offender like Lucy Letby, who received a whole life order.
What, though, is the government now proposing?
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