August 30, 2007

Lee Hughes

There is a lot of competition (Neil Clark's archive is always 'interesting' to read) but this article by Lawrence Donegan must rate as one of the most stupid ever published on the Guardian's website. Lee Hughes was a football player who played for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City over several years- then he was convicted of driving whilst drunk, killing a man and absenting himself from the scene of the accident. Hughes deservedly got a sentence of three years- there may be doubt that he should have got longer but he was given three years and has been released. He has recently been employed by Oldham Athletic as a striker. Donegan argues that Oldham should not have employed him, that his employment is a kick in the teeth for natural justice and that essentially to follow his logic through noone should be employed after committing a crime. Donegan obviously doesn't get the central principle that after one has done one's time one has served one's debt to society. Personally Hughes should never forget what he did- but equally now that he has served his sentence it is not for any of us to stigmatise him. A judge decided he should go for prison for three years as punishment, that is the end of the matter insofar as this case is concerned. If you disagree with that sentence write an article about that- but this principle holds over all sentencing that once the sentence laid down at the time is served- the person is discharged back into society and can earn their way legally as they choose- which is exactly what Mr Hughes is doing.

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