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May 01, 2003

Tough love

A magistrate in Australia has been rebuked for trying to talk some sense into a defendant.

Before passing sentence, Mr Frederick told the defendant: "You're a druggie and you'll die in the gutter . . . I don't believe in that social worker crap . . . You can go to work.

"Seven million of us do it while 14 million like you sit at home watching Days of Our Lives, smoking your crack pipe and using needles, and I'm sick of you sucking us dry.

"Little Johnnie taxes us with all sorts, and now with salt tax and maybe war tax.

"We dicks pay for your life. It's your choice to be a junkie and die in the gutter. No one gives a shit, but you're going to kill that woman who is your mother, damn you to death."

Personally I don't so what's so offensive about what he said. That he is rebuked for saying it is a sign of how much society or at least elite society prefers 'sensitivity' to the harsh truth. Being judgemental is now a worse sin than wasting your life. While I don't agree with drug laws or prostitution laws, he of course had to administer those laws and what he was saying was more moral suasion to get her to change her ways. He was clearly emotional when he let it rip and the reaction was one of one human being who thinks that another human being could do better with her life. If only more judges were as concerned with the people they sentenced.

Posted by jason_s at 06:48 PM

I think the magistrate went a little over the top, his words sound as if they're out of a comedy routine. Still, most of it is true.

Posted by: Nick at May 2, 2003 12:31 AM

Jason Soon,
Your link is broken

Posted by: duende at May 2, 2003 06:10 AM

It's a man having to answer a magistrate for using drugs that rubs me raw. I don't care that the magistrate berated a crackhead, but the fact that my tax dollars are paying for the magistrate's bloviations and the subsequent costs of improsing the wretch is galling. Legalize it!

Posted by: martin at May 2, 2003 09:37 AM

Well, if Australia is really 2/3 crackheads on welfare, I'd be talking that way too. The guy sounds thoroughly loony though.

Posted by: zizka at May 2, 2003 10:09 AM

Martin said "I don't care that the magistrate berated a crackhead, but the fact that my tax dollars are paying for the magistrate's bloviations and the subsequent costs of improsing the wretch is galling".

So the fact that the druggie sucks up tax money doesn't bother you in the least, but the magistrate's wisdom does?!?!

Posted by: Thoth at May 2, 2003 10:55 AM

The guy's job as a magistrate is to judge and sentence people. If he wanted to pontificate and deliver harangues, he should have gotten a job in media somewhere. His outburst is an abuse of his office and well worthy of rebuke.

Posted by: bbartlog at May 2, 2003 11:19 AM

And my guess is that he's innumerate.

Posted by: zizka at May 2, 2003 11:48 AM

Thoth-a pox on both their houses-but fact is the war on drugs sucks up more tax dollars than drugusers themselves. The magistrate is wrong. This particular crackhead won't be lying in the gutter at virtually nil cost to the taxpayer-he'll now be in taxpayer provided housing eating taxpayer provided food and receiving taxpayer funded dental care. All courtesy of the magistrate and the legions of goons who wish to imprison people for using (certain)drugs to what effect on curtailing drug use I cannot see.

Posted by: martin at May 2, 2003 12:36 PM

It was probably the swearing and the "damn you to death" bit that got him in trouble. Unprofessional.

Posted by: Jacqueline at May 2, 2003 03:50 PM

as I said, I am against the war on drugs but I'm not sure you can berate this magistrate as a goon for doing his job and enforcing the laws. it sounds like he would prefer to legalise them himself. and perhaps his words were rather harsh (though the swearing is a given in Australia, Australians are probably more used to swearing though it may sound grating to US ears) but my point was I would have interpreted them as an attempt at moral suasion rather than just an outburst. perhaps this isn't part of his brief, but he wouldn't be the first judge to go beyond his brief in sentencing

Posted by: Jason Soon at May 2, 2003 05:17 PM