“NO” to Penal Populism in SA

What follows are excerpts from the letter to the main daily SA newspaper from the President of the Law Society of South Australia (LSSA):

‘Newspapers must report on courts in an accurate and balanced way. They should not be influenced by penal populism’

In recent weeks there has been media criticism of sentences imposed by judges of the District Court and particularly in the area of death by dangerous driving. ….

Mr Penberthy’s article also questioned why someone who, as he put it, was a “dictionary definition idiot” (mentally deficient from birth) should have diminished responsibility. ….

The upshot of the criticism is that the courts fall short of community standards by imposing sentences that are too low and that they do not seem to care about the devastation that the death of a loved one can have upon surviving family members …. 

The esteemed editor of the then Manchester Guardian, CP Scott published an essay in 1921 that stated: “a newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly” 

Sad to see such dud reporting. Lazy journalism. Misleading.

Newspapers, media and their Court reporters must report in an accurate and balanced way.

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