Punish lawbreakers accordingly

Editorial

PEOPLE who commit crimes should not be allowed to avoid punishment.
Some offenders are inclined to use personal reasons in order to seek leniency from the court and circumvent jail time, but this is no excuse.
The person cannot blame anyone for his predicament before he embarks on a path of crime.
He/she committed the offence alone and so should face the consequences alone.
Sexual crimes should be dealt with severely in every instance.
Crimes of this nature are more to do with a spur of a moment act than a calculated course of action.
Offenders are usually opportunists who take advantage of a situation; nevertheless, these are serious crimes and should be punished accordingly.
Corruption and the abuse of power, including the misuse of public money by those in positions of authority, are inexcusable.
Violent and white collar crimes are problems society is trying to deal with and part of the effort is for the reinforcement of the attitude and mentally that when you commit a crime, you should pay.
The courts are given the right to sentence people to years in jail for sexual crimes and violent crimes such as murder.
The message should be clear – that you cannot injure or hurt anyone and hope to evade the lawful process by paying restitution or settling things in a customary or traditional way.
That mode of thinking has no place in modern Papua New Guinea.
In terms of corruption and the theft of public money, the courts should not drop the ball.
If anything, this crime is a bigger problem than the aforementioned crimes because it has far-reaching consequences for the country as a whole.
This crime is a premeditated act committed by people clearly in control of their senses and with a dishonest, self-serving aim in mind.
The misappropriation of State money for personal benefit or for use outside the parameters for which the money is intended is criminal.
There can be no two ways about it.
These people are no better than thieves and robbers and should be treated as such.
Several MPs and public servants have been charged for corrupt practices and duly sentenced to jail for their misdeeds.
Some of these men have asked the court for leniency and to excuse their actions claiming a range of excuses from an ignorance of the processes and mechanisms in place for the use of the money; pressure from their constituency; their genuine aims for the money to be used to benefit the people despite it being acquired through dubious means; medical grounds or poor health or the effect incarceration will have on their health and; familial responsibilities.
Some have even had the audacity to shift blame minimising their involvement in the crimes and pointing the finger at other individuals.
Others have developed serious medical conditions almost overnight after sentencing.
These ploys should be seen for what they are nothing more than cowardly and pathetic attempts to avoid what is deemed a just punishment for the crime.
The law, which should be independent of any and all political influence, should be upheld.
Before a person commits an offence, he should first consider the interest, welfare and well-being of his family and his personal circumstances.

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