Repeat Offenders

 
Here’s an interesting story that’s indicative of the legal process here in England. It seems a heroin addict snuck into a local church and made off with the handbag of a 73-year old woman, while she was praying. He was eventually identified and nabbed by the police.
 
What’s interesting is that the thief had recently been released from a stint in prison. In addition, he was out on bail pending trial for shoplifting. And, oh yes, he had 47 previous offences! Forty-seven! These facts, in several combinations, raise so many questions, starting with: how does someone with a record like that get bail?
 
Let us presume that this offender had no record of serious attacks, no physical assaults, that his 47 transgressions were indeed more of the same: purse-snatchings and shoplifting. Seems less urgent but still, I wonder what the cost was to the local taxpayer for 47 arrests, 47 trials, and 47 case dispositions? Clearly there was little deterrent effect being created. And what of the 47 victims – their losses and traumas?
 
The thief was sent back to prison in this case, but I wonder for how long. He now has 48 offenses to his "credit"; I wonder how long it will be before he gets to 50.
 
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