So Ken Clarke made a boo boo the other day and got his words in a twist and didn’t say exactly what he meant to say about the crime of rape. This has led to everyone from the labour leadership to various campaign groups hanging on to the wrong words and implying that Ken Clarke said something very bad and that he is a dinosaur.
Whatever he said, there are different levels of rape. There is statutory rape (which I gather he wrongly labelled as date rape) which is between underage teenagers even if both parties are willing and consenting. Then there is the rape as normally thought of. Two different levels of rape.
Just like there are different levels of murder. There is manslaughter where a fight leads to the death of someone and then there is murder where someone pre-plans in cold blood the killing of another.
There are also different levels of theft. There is white collar crime where no violence is used and there is mugging and burglary from the home where violence is used.
Now you can see that there are different levels of all different types of crime.
We also have to take into account that sending someone to jail is for two different reasons. One is for punishment and the other to remove them from society so that they don’t carry on committing their crime. This is why some crimes have shorter sentences than others and others longer.
Someone who commits manslaughter is less likely to commit the crime again so they don’t need to be kept away from society for as long as a serial killer.
Someone who admits their crime and pleads guilty and helps the police will get a shorter punishment sentence than one who refuses to admit guilt and hinders the police.
So a teenager who has sex with another underage teenager commits an act of rape but should not get the same sentence as as someone who grabs a woman off the street and commits an horrific and terrifying act leaving her with permanent mental scars.
Note that I am talking about crimes having different levels of severity. The fact that the sentence for rape is low already and that the left and right are only arguing about 5 months is covered by Dizzy.
I am also not talking about the reason that the subject was raised which is to discuss whether someone admitting guilt makes it easier on the victim (shorter trial, less need to give witness, etc.) and therefore to try and encourage more criminals to do so they should be given shorter sentences.
Should each criminal committing a type of crime get the same sentence no matter to what extent the seriousness was? Or should they get a sentence commiserate with the seriousness of the crime.