August 17, 2011

4 years prison for facebook postings

The establishment has gone bonkers. The government is announcing a new policy to deal with "disorder" every day, magistrates are being advised to ignore the usual sentencing rules when dealing with riot related defendants and now a judge has put two young guys away for four years each over stuff they put on facebook, inviting rather than inciting people to riot. Nobody turned up for the riot but the guys still got four years.

I told a criminal barrister last night what I thought I had heard on the radio and she was sure I had misheard. She actually convinced me for a while that I must have misheard.

Looking at most of today's front pages would also lead people to suspect that the belief that a 20 year old and a 22 year old had both been sentenced to 4 years in prison for what they posted on facebook was erroneous. Only two papers had the story on their front pages and they were The Times and the little i. I find that more shocking than the sentences themselves.

This Ian Bone chap puts it all much better than me. And on the riots more generally and the establishment responses to them, Mike Marqusee has a very useful article on his own site.

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