Editorial: Sense of urgency

POSTED: 09/5/13 2:25 PM

Judge van de Ven looked perplexed yesterday morning when a prosecutor told him that unconditional prison sentences for suspects that are not detained at the moment of their sentencing cannot be executed at the moment.

The message is realistic and astounding at the same time: people that have been convicted for armed robbery are walking around as free citizens, while their victims are scratching their heads over the meaning of fair justice.

This is obviously not a new problem, but there ought to be a new sense of urgency after such a blunt statement in open court.

Right now there is a small uproar in the Netherlands because there are almost 15,000 convicts in the country that have never served their sentence. In this respect, we are then not alone.

But something needs to be done; otherwise law-abiding citizens will lose their confidence in the justice system. Such a sentiment will lead to only one thing: more crime and even more pressure on the prison system.

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