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Friday, December 17, 2010 

Burying bad news? Never!

It's good to see that regardless of the political shade of government, unpopular decisions still get mysteriously announced on Friday afternoons when the hope is that almost no one will notice.

As far as almost inevitable compromises go, the decision to give those serving prison sentences of less than 4 years the franchise seems to be about the best that could have been hoped for. Certainly, it would have been far fairer to either allow the judge to decide who should and shouldn't be denied the vote at the time of sentencing, although that leaves things very much on his whim and could also lead to countless cases of those told they won't be allowed the vote challenging the decision when others given similar or even the same term have been, or alternatively to give the vote to everyone not sentenced to life. This might also save time and further expense: as the Heresiarch points out, the more recent Frodl case decided by the European Court of Human Rights makes clear they favour either of the two aforementioned solutions, leaving the door wide open for a further legal challenge. Whether the court will be prepared to rule against a piece of legislation specifically designed to deal with their judgement remains to be seen.

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