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  #71  
Old 03-26-2018, 04:49 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Hi OneRound,

That was probably around the same time my late father was called for jury service. His attitude was much the same as Albert's, that you wouldn't be in the dock in the first place if you were innocent.

My brothers and I quipped that Dad could just post a little note to the judge with "Guilty" written on it, to save time and expense.

Makes you wonder how many people have been convicted over the years by juries who thought like my Dad.

Love,

Caz
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For many years when I went for jury duty my being a law school graduate weighed against me (today it no longer can, but back in the 1990s it still could). In one case, I was informed by BOTH counsels that I was being excused from duty because, "you are a law school graduate, and you want to dominate the jury panel." This was the first time I was to learn that my secret desire was to dominate juries I served on. Until then I never thought that was my secret craving.

I was still sitting in the courtroom and was listening to the questions directed to the other would-be jurors, and an elderly woman was asked 1) if she was ever robbed; 2) if she had any relative in the police department; 3) if she was opposed to the idea of a fair trial. She got accepted by giving answers the two legal solons felt were proper. She sat down next to me, and the judge and the attorneys had to discuss some matter, so she muttered about the damned fool questions that she was asked. "Of course I was never robbed. My sister was robbed twice at gunpoint, but they didn't ask me about that!! And while no relative of mine is a policeman, my son's brother-in-law is!!" Now, I heard this, and could easily have ratted the poor woman out. Instead I decided not to because I did not want to prove to the two idiots who denied a seat on the jury to me that I wanted to dominate the jury;
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  #72  
Old 03-27-2018, 12:28 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Another thing which has changed is the sentence for murder.

In the good old days the automatic sentence for murder was the death penalty. However roughly half of these death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment with the murderer released on parole after serving between 8 and 15 years. Camb was released after about 11 years.

Today, it is the trial judge who fixes the minimum period the convicted murderer should serve. In the aftermath of the trial, especially high profile cases, the urge to be tough on crime is irresistible, so minimum terms of 25 years plus are now the norm.

I am not a bleeding heart liberal in any sense of the description, but I doubt the wisdom of locking people up for 40 years or so if they no longer pose a threat to society.
Hi Spitfire - I feel something that rattled the British public and intensified their feelings about the Craig & Bentley case was not only the sub-normal (as termed then) secondary partner, Bentley, being hanged whilst the person who committed the physical act of murder, Craig, was imprisoned but also the latter being released after less than 11 years.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #73  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:34 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Hi Spitfire - I feel something that rattled the British public and intensified their feelings about the Craig & Bentley case was not only the sub-normal (as termed then) secondary partner, Bentley, being hanged whilst the person who committed the physical act of murder, Craig, was imprisoned but also the latter being released after less than 11 years.

Best regards,

OneRound
Hello OR,

Possibly, but most people were in favour of capital punishment when it was abolished. Opinion polls since abolition have indicated a strong element in favour of its return. 75% in favour as late as 1983 and only dropping below 50% as recently as 2015. All of which might indicate that most folk were happy with the system in place immediately before abolition, which, along with all systems involving a human agency, involved an inherent possibility of error.

Regards

S
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  #74  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:57 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Hello OR,

Possibly, but most people were in favour of capital punishment when it was abolished. Opinion polls since abolition have indicated a strong element in favour of its return. 75% in favour as late as 1983 and only dropping below 50% as recently as 2015. All of which might indicate that most folk were happy with the system in place immediately before abolition, which, along with all systems involving a human agency, involved an inherent possibility of error.

Regards

S
Hi again Spitfire - the point I was really trying to make was that Craig was perceived as getting off lightly, both in terms of not being hanged (as legally had to be the case in view of his age) and again when he was released after serving less than 11 years. The contrast with the sentence imposed upon Bentley was huge. Not sure that came across to you.

I am sure there would have been less public anxiety about Bentley's execution if Craig had been old enough to join him on the gallows.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #75  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:09 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Hi again Spitfire - the point I was really trying to make was that Craig was perceived as getting off lightly, both in terms of not being hanged (as legally had to be the case in view of his age) and again when he was released after serving less than 11 years. The contrast with the sentence imposed upon Bentley was huge. Not sure that came across to you.

I am sure there would have been less public anxiety about Bentley's execution if Craig had been old enough to join him on the gallows.

Best regards,

OneRound
Hi again OR,

The sentence eventually imposed on Craig was in line with the 'going rate' for life imprisonment for murder. In that respect, the Bentley/Craig case was no different from any other. The public outcry was that Bentley was hanged and Craig, the gunman, lived. I don't think that there was a public outcry when Craig was released after 11 years or so, no more than there was a public outcry when James Camb was released after a similar period of time.

Churchill was upset that Camb was spared the noose by a Criminal Justice bill passed by the Commons which would have suspended the death penalty for 5 years. So in the late 1940s, well before Bentley/Craig, Parliament was itching to abolish the death penalty.

Regards

S
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  #76  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:25 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Hi again OR,

The sentence eventually imposed on Craig was in line with the 'going rate' for life imprisonment for murder. In that respect, the Bentley/Craig case was no different from any other. The public outcry was that Bentley was hanged and Craig, the gunman, lived. I don't think that there was a public outcry when Craig was released after 11 years or so, no more than there was a public outcry when James Camb was released after a similar period of time.

Churchill was upset that Camb was spared the noose by a Criminal Justice bill passed by the Commons which would have suspended the death penalty for 5 years. So in the late 1940s, well before Bentley/Craig, Parliament was itching to abolish the death penalty.

Regards

S
Hi once more, Spitfire - you are right that there wasn't a public outcry when Craig left prison in 1963. From memory, I don't recall it something being widely known when it first happened. However, as news of his release did get out and the case got taken up more, I feel it gnawed away at the British conscience and increased the feeling that ''there hadn't been fair play'' despite his time served being in line, as you say, with what was the ''going rate'' at the time.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #77  
Old 03-27-2018, 06:47 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Hi OneRound,

There were two points about the Craig-Bentley Case that emerged in later years. A study of the case in the late 1980s or early 90s suggested the police officer who was killed may not have been shot by Craig, but was a victim of "friendly fire", and that a kind of cover-up resulted (technically it would still have been a case of a homicide resulting in the furtherance of a crime - a breaking and entering or attempted burglary I believe - but it would still have not been appreciated by the public if the death of the officer was shown to have been due to his fellow officers), The other point was Craig has lived a very seclude live afterwards, and has always felt bad about the fate of his friend. Sometimes a hanging or execution is not the worst punishment a criminal survivor might suffer.

Jeff
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  #78  
Old 03-27-2018, 06:53 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Hi again OR,

The sentence eventually imposed on Craig was in line with the 'going rate' for life imprisonment for murder. In that respect, the Bentley/Craig case was no different from any other. The public outcry was that Bentley was hanged and Craig, the gunman, lived. I don't think that there was a public outcry when Craig was released after 11 years or so, no more than there was a public outcry when James Camb was released after a similar period of time.

Churchill was upset that Camb was spared the noose by a Criminal Justice bill passed by the Commons which would have suspended the death penalty for 5 years. So in the late 1940s, well before Bentley/Craig, Parliament was itching to abolish the death penalty.

Regards

S
Hi Spitfire,

People tend to forget that the issue of the death penalty had been growing over a period of years since (at least) 1923 with Edith Thompson. The real spurt in the decision to do away with it (and even so, it was not gotten rid of until 1962 or 63 in Britain) was probably the Evans - Christie mess in the early 1950s, and the sickening realization that not only could an innocent but mentally challenged man be sent to the gallows, but the main witness against him proved to be a real monster. That was one of several cases in the period (Craig-Bentley being another, as well as Ruth Ellis) that made the issue far more involving to the public.

Jeff
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  #79  
Old 03-31-2018, 09:45 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
Hi OneRound,

There were two points about the Craig-Bentley Case that emerged in later years. A study of the case in the late 1980s or early 90s suggested the police officer who was killed may not have been shot by Craig, but was a victim of "friendly fire", and that a kind of cover-up resulted (technically it would still have been a case of a homicide resulting in the furtherance of a crime - a breaking and entering or attempted burglary I believe - but it would still have not been appreciated by the public if the death of the officer was shown to have been due to his fellow officers), The other point was Craig has lived a very seclude live afterwards, and has always felt bad about the fate of his friend. Sometimes a hanging or execution is not the worst punishment a criminal survivor might suffer.

Jeff
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your post and apologies for not responding earlier.

I don't claim to be an expert on this case but it is the one I have read most about over the years. It was actually as far back as 1971 that David Yallop in his book To Encourage The Others (made into a highly moving BBC drama-documentary of the same title the following year) proposed the theory that PC Miles was fatally shot by a police marksman and not Craig. Although little is as clear as one would wish, evidence as to timings when marksmen first surrounded the rooftop and the police ammunition returned unfired go against Yallop's proposal. Add to that, Craig in subsequent interview gave it no support and acknowledged he shot the policeman.

As far as I am aware, Craig has led a quiet and law abiding life since his release from jail in 1963. I also accept that he feels bad about the hanging of his friend. However, I would flag that he did nothing to ease the suffering of the Bentley family during his ten years of imprisonment, refusing requests during that time to be visited by Bentley's father as he desperately sought to understand and learn more about the events of that night.

I am sure that the Bentley family would side with me in not agreeing - as you seem to suggest - that Craig suffered the worst punishment of the two criminals.

As an aside, it was various references to James Hanratty in my readings of the Craig & Bentley case that first brought me to this site.

Best regards,

OneRound
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