Friday, August 12, 2005

Philosophical/legal question

Over the past week the Enquirer has published two stories about males found guilty of attempted murder: Jesse Gandy and Benjamin White (I can't find the Enquirer link on the White case so I pulled the Post's). I realize they're both juveniles, but I'm not really focusing on the particulars of the case.

The greater question I've always had is, why do people get lighter sentences for attempted murder than for murder? The intent is the same; you're trying to end another person's life. That's why they call it attempted murder. Why should you get a lighter sentence because you didn't 'succeed' at it? Is there a belief that you have less of a chance of committing another crime if you didn't actually kill the person? Maybe the argument is facetious or naive, but I would really like to understand from a legal or other perspective why this is.

I'm sure some people will say, 'that's like comparing shoplifting with robbing a bank of millions'. I would say that the analogy above is more comparable to a singular murder to multiple murders. In the end the intent is still the same, you're just comparing volumes.

UPDATE: Whoops, forgot to sign the post. That happens when you blog with 4 hours sleep.


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