Plans being examined by Dominic Raab could involve physically compelling convicted offenders to appear in court for sentence.
The Justice Secretary wants to impose harsher punishments on criminals who make victims’ trauma worse by failing to show up in court.
Yet, he has not ruled out the potential that jail and police personnel could need to use force to remove criminals from their cells to provide the appearance that justice was carried out.
The decision was made during a meeting between Mr. Raab, the deputy prime minister, and the family of Zara Aleena, a law graduate killed by Jordan McSweeney in a vicious late-night sexual assault.
When McSweeney refused to leave his cell during his sentencing to life in prison with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 38 years, the judge, Mrs. Justice Cheema-Grubb, branded him as “spineless” throughout his trial.
Making offenders present at sentencing hearings, according to Mr. Raab, is “the very least the victims deserve and…a basic element of British justice,” he told the BBC.
He claimed that authorities were considering how to make the change stick since “You may need to manhandle someone out of jail physically.”
“I wouldn’t rule that out, but fundamentally, if a perpetrator is not willing to come and face the judge… then I think we should be looking at increasing the sentence as an aggravating factor,” he added.
“Make sure courts have the power to compel someone who’s been convicted of a severe crime to come and face the punishment that they hand down,” he stated that was something he intended to do.
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What Happened During The Meeting?
The ideas were discussed with Ms. Aleena’s aunt, Farah Naz, during that meeting. After the meeting, Ms. Naz told the BBC that McSweeney’s right to skip the hearing had been “a slap in the face.”
“He needed to look at our faces and see how he hadn’t just killed Zara, he had killed a whole family,” she said.
Several vital cases involving convicted criminals also involved refusals to appear. It implies that they are not exposed to the victim-specific statements that are read aloud in court before punishment.
Sabina Nessa’s family could likewise not confront her killer because he skipped his sentencing in Kidbrooke, south-east London, in 2021. Sabina was slain in an arbitrary attack.
Jebina Islam, her sister, called it “outrageous” that her sister’s killer had the choice of whether or not to appear in court “refused to hear the impact on our family over the link.
She has advocated for forcing criminals to show up in court. She continued, “I, along with my family, will never understand why he killed my sister, and this will plague us for the rest of our lives.
“No one will understand the pain we are going through each day without our amazing bright Sabina and still not knowing why he killed her.”