I don’t believe in custodial sentences for many offences, including the one for Tommy Sheridan (Solidarity 3/192). However I am getting the feeling Solidarity believes the courts have no rights here. I disagree.
The argument that because the judicial system has biases and prejudices we do not use it is as ridiculous as saying that because democracy in this society is limited flawed and biased we shouldn’t vote. Many issues are pursued through the courts however imperfect, that actually give people a right of redress to what may have happened to them.
There has to be, for instance, some consequence for the taking of a life, and if that has to be through an imperfect court system so be it.
Whatever system of socialism and democracy you believe in, some judicial system, separate from the political, is I believe essential. To say that anybody should be able to lie in court and not think there will be consequences is crazy. What if a defendant sought to mislead a jury in a murder case... no consequences?