• Tom Hayes: The punishment should fit the crime. THIS ONE DOES NOT.

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    Joshua Rozenberg writing in the Guardian suggests that the 14 years handed down to Mr Hayes for Libor rate fixing is proportionate.

    Herewith: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/04/14-years-in-jail-for-libor-rigging-the-judge-makes-a-persuasive-case

    Well, Queen Henrietta Maria, relict of King Charles I may have argued the same about the hanging, drawing and quartering of her late husband’s killers.

    In both cases the British Gazette would strongly disagree.

    Mr Rozenberg gave a layer’s answer and indeed a lawyer of the time (1661) would have argued that hanging, drawing and quartering for the regicide was indeed proportionate.

    There is however a more fundamental principal that needs to be applied here. One that every parent who brings up a child must also apply. That the punishment must fit the crime/offence. This not only in severity but in form.

    To sentence such as Mr Hayes who committed a financial crime a financial penalty should be the starting point. For an offender who abuses and terrifies a vulnerable person when they are out an about and this causes that person to confine themselves to their home for most of the time, a custodial sentence should be the starting point. Why? Because the offender in this case is by his actions effectively sending his victim to prison. Natural justice demands that the offender is punished in a similar way to his victim.

    Where there is violence however the state should not sink to that level. The state should however recognise that such offenders pose a threat to the safety of law abiding citizens and confine them accordingly and proportionately.

    The judge in this case however mentioned the sentence was a deterrent. By that most commentators have assumed (in part correctly) that the deterrent was aimed at other traders. In part it was. The reral target however was the US justice system for a lenient sentence would have spurred them into demanding extradition of Britons to stand trial for crimes committed in Britain to stand trial in the US and spend the rest of their lives in a US prison.
    Of course, this is ENTIRELY due to the SUPINE attitude of British politicians insofar as the USA is concerned.
    Mr Hayes will (correctly) be feeling more sinned against that sinned as he gets used to his new austere surroundings. He should however count his blessings. Had he have been extradited to the USA, not only would his sentence have been at least double what he has received
    The conditions in US prisons are very harsh and very dangerous. Especially for someone with his vulnerabilities.
    Furthermore, there is a good chance that he will be quickly transferred to an open prison and also that he will be released after spending a quarter of his sentence (on an electronic tag).

    Mr Hayes however will have to face proceedings under POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act).

    The British Gazette suggests that Mrs Hayes should seek as good a financial deal as she can get for the inevitable film rights. Movie makers will not pay a criminal and furthermore it would be pointless for Mr Hayes to receive any money as the authorities would seize it. Mrs Hayes however is not party to any wrongdoing and has an absolute right receive a tidy sum.

    • The fact that many violent crimes receive a much less severe punishment speaks volumes for our values.

      I do believe ,however, that this crime deserves some prison sentence. I feel equally strongly that any senior people around him who may have been aware should be ruthlessly hunted down and dealt with.

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