Is retrospective expunging of criminal records after decriminalisation appropriate?

Disillusioned democrat

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It sounds like the OP thinks all gay men should have waited until 1993 before they had sex :confused:
My question had almost nothing to do with the actual law as opposed to the wisdom of letting governments decide which laws from the past they wish to retrospectively pardon.

I seem in a minority of one to believe that the government should apologies and offer redress where earlier governments failed to live up to its obligations, but there's a minefield out there when governments start to re-write history.
 


Notachipanoaktree

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Nobody believes that because it will never happen. There is a very good reason why sex with minors is outlawed and will remain that way and it has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality.
hahuauhahahhahahahhahah hahahahahahahuahahhhahahahah ahahhahahahahahhahhhaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
 

Golden Phoenix

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Yes he thinks it's ok for the state to enforce celibacy through criminal justice, and only 25 years ago mind.
The timeframe btw is within living memory, and there's been no grand enlightenment since, we were just as educated and science knew as much about homosexuality then as it does now, in fact Ireland was the last west European country to decriminalize, we must of known something the others didn't?
Not to mention the fact that there was tremendous dragging of heels and delays in introducing the law AFTER the European Court ruling.

And if Maire Geoghegan-Quinn wasn't the then Minister for Justice......
 

Disillusioned democrat

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I never implied any such thing. - you kind of did by comparing the rule of law in Ireland pre-1993 with that of 1943 Germany, to be fair.



The grey area allows people to use their own moral compass. It's wrong to lock a guy up and electrocute him in the balls because he likes fellas. It was wrong then, regardless of what the law said. The law cannot rely on people's moral compass - just look at the board of the Anglo Irish Bank in 2006.



Hitler was elected. Weather or not there was functioning democracy doesn't change anything. There was functioning democracy in Ireland when women were put into forced labour camps for little more than being female and poor. I believe there's some balance in the world, the bint who ruined my dad's friend's life because it was 'the law' has probably since died roaring, and deservedly so

By 1943 Adolf Hitlers democratic mandate had long since expired.


.
 

Roll_On

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Arguing about how Hitler came to power is nonsense, it has no bearing. You could equally knit pick about the first past the post system. Whether or not a law is unjust doesn't just depend on the state being a democracy. Ireland was a democracy when marital rape was fully legal and guess what, that was 100% wrong in the 1990s as it is now.

Are you Dutch by chance?
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Not really. You’re a deeply unhappy person who can’t see the merit in any action taken by anyone.

Not at all - I'm generally very happy, and believe it was 100% right to decriminalize homosexuality, even to mark the anniversary of that event, but I think it's odd and even a sinister precedent, when governments start to retrospectively decide what the law SHOULD have been.



It’s not bizarre at all. They’re 2 unrelated things.

They're actually completely related and mirror images of each other along the timeline - a government cannot decide that something that was legal when it happened yesterday can be prosecuted under a new law today, nor should it be able to decide that something that WAS illegal yesterday be pardoned by a new law today.



No, it’s to be sympathised with that the state was so preoccupied with people’s orientation that they had to live in fear of who they really were. I think someone suggesting the state doesn’t take steps to recognise past wrongs is to be ridiculed.
Righting wrongs is 100% to be celebrated, but as per the logic above it was illegal at the time and no new law can change that.

A government with a sufficient majority can change any law they want and this precedent suggests that if they did they can apply that new law to old cases.
 

Buchaill Dana

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Despite the obvious angry in the OP, there is a point worth discussing here. The law was clearly unjust and I have no significant issue with pardons. However the precedent is an issue, what laws does this apply to. When cannabis is legalised does anyone with a possession conviction get their record expunged? Dealers?
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Despite the obvious angry in the OP, there is a point worth discussing here. The law was clearly unjust and I have no significant issue with pardons. However the precedent is an issue, what laws does this apply to. When cannabis is legalised does anyone with a possession conviction get their record expunged? Dealers?
Just to point out - I'm not in the least angry about this, just a bit uncomfortable that we're now buying in to retrospectively "re-trying" cases based on modern laws. The fact that this case happens to be a virtue signalers wet dream is largely irrelevant, it's the precedent and the plethora of possible unintended consequences that bother me.
 

Golden Phoenix

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This thread is a bit like arguing how many angels fit on the tip of a needle.

Just be glad and CELEBRATE that the hurt and damage caused to a marginalised section of society has now been acknowledged and apologised for.

Let's focus on humanity and the lived experience of people in this country.
 

Dame_Enda

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Report mentions a case in 1986 where 2 men rented a room in a hotel and a busy-body receptionist called the Gardai who caught them in consensual sex. It says they werent prosecuted but even so, I wonder are there still homophobic hotels today? There were also apparently 86 prosecutions under the law in 1928-9, according to the hypocritical Garda Commissioner Eoin O'Duffy speaking to an Oireachtas committee. Between 1962 and 1972 there were 455 convictions and there were 44 in 1976-9.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/gay-community-recalls-dark-days-before-decriminalisation-1.2886652?mode=sample&auth-failed=1&pw-origin=https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/gay-community-recalls-dark-days-before-decriminalisation-1.2886652

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/varadkar-hails-unknown-heroes-who-helped-decriminalise-homosexuality-849902.html

Historian Diarmuid Ferriter mentioned the following statistics:

 
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Buchaill Dana

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Just to point out - I'm not in the least angry about this, just a bit uncomfortable that we're now buying in to retrospectively "re-trying" cases based on modern laws. The fact that this case happens to be a virtue signalers wet dream is largely irrelevant, it's the precedent and the plethora of possible unintended consequences that bother me.
You are extremely angry. There is more than a whiff of homophobia off your posts
 

Disillusioned democrat

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This thread is a bit like arguing how many angels fit on the tip of a needle.

Just be glad and CELEBRATE that the hurt and damage caused to a marginalised section of society has now been acknowledged and apologised for.

Let's focus on humanity and the lived experience of people in this country.
Let's do that, certainly...but answer me this - do you think it's good precedent for a government to apply today's laws to yesterday's events and can you see nothing sinister about that?
 

bactrian

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As I said in another thread I watched our Taoiseach offer a high profile apology to the LGBT community for a law that changed 25 years ago with an ambivalent "meh!"

There was a whiff of virtue signaling to it - it was a generation ago. Last night at a dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality Varadkar claimed that the state was going to expunge the records of anyone charged with the crime...eh??

Having thought about it a bit longer, though, I'm not as "meh" about it any more.

It was the law of the land at the time, albeit a different time and some people chose to break the law and others decided not to.

The writing is on the wall for decriminalizing the use of hard drugs - does that make it okay for someone who truly believes the law is wrong to take hard drugs and assume that 25 years from now they'll get an apology and a clean record.

Some people believe sex with minors is okay and may convince themselves that like homosexuality, the criminalization of pedophilia is just around the corner, so continue on their merry way.

It's been said many times that many wrong-doings cannot be punished because the wrong-doing was not a crime at the time and that you can't make laws retrospectively, so I'm not convinced that any government has the right to change the law retrospectively just because it suits today's narrative.

What do others think?

I think that you are a homophobe

"It was the law of the land at the time, albeit a different time and some people chose to break the law and others decided not to. "

As we all know LGBT+ persons have made a "Lifestyle" choice and if we pray over them, invoking the righteous non-queer Gods they will be saved.

What this nonsense that it is part of who they are ,that they are not aberrant ,that actually they are some subsection of normal sexual orientation and expression? No, no, no we must express our hatred and prejudice.


Some people believe sex with minors is okay and may convince themselves that like homosexuality, the criminalization of pedophilia is just around the corner, so continue on their merry way.

Let's all characterise "them" as perverts! They probably don't believe in Jesus and eat strange foreign foods . Bacon and Cabbage is not good enough for them
 

livingstone

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Despite the obvious angry in the OP, there is a point worth discussing here. The law was clearly unjust and I have no significant issue with pardons. However the precedent is an issue, what laws does this apply to. When cannabis is legalised does anyone with a possession conviction get their record expunged? Dealers?
I guess the question is whether we see any fundamental right to smoke or deal in weed. I support decriminalisation, but because I think it is a more sensible policy, not because I think there is any inherent right to take a particular drug.

On the other hand, I do think there is a fundamental right not to be criminalised for being a gay person with a sex life, and so the criminalisation of that was not just bad policy, it was fundamentally unjust.

Of course we can and should make that assessment when it's necessary to do so. If we end up decriminalising something else and there are similar arguments, then we should assess whether convictions were fundamentally unjust or just bad policy.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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You are extremely angry. There is more than a whiff of homophobia off your posts
You certainly don't know me if you think this is my "angry" face.

I'd also challenge you to link me back to a few posts where you think I'm leaving off a whiff of homophobia. I do have an issue with our nation's "leader" being a one trick pony, but that's my politics as opposed to homophobia.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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I think that you are a homophobe

"It was the law of the land at the time, albeit a different time and some people chose to break the law and others decided not to. "

As we all know LGBT+ persons have made a "Lifestyle" choice and if we pray over them, invoking the righteous non-queer Gods they will be saved.

What this nonsense that it is part of who they are ,that they are not aberrant ,that actually they are some subsection of normal sexual orientation and expression? No, no, no we must express our hatred and prejudice.


Some people believe sex with minors is okay and may convince themselves that like homosexuality, the criminalization of pedophilia is just around the corner, so continue on their merry way.

Let's all characterise "them" as perverts! They probably don't believe in Jesus and eat strange foreign foods . Bacon and Cabbage is not good enough for them
...or you could actually express an informed opinion on the question I asked?
 

Roll_On

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Righting wrongs is 100% to be celebrated, but as per the logic above it was illegal at the time and no new law can change that.

A government with a sufficient majority can change any law they want and this precedent suggests that if they did they can apply that new law to old cases.
To the best of available knowledge at the time, the law was unjust.
 

Buchaill Dana

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You certainly don't know me if you think this is my "angry" face.

I'd also challenge you to link me back to a few posts where you think I'm leaving off a whiff of homophobia. I do have an issue with our nation's "leader" being a one trick pony, but that's my politics as opposed to homophobia.
Linking being gay to child abuse to start
 

Buchaill Dana

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I guess the question is whether we see any fundamental right to smoke or deal in weed. I support decriminalisation, but because I think it is a more sensible policy, not because I think there is any inherent right to take a particular drug.

On the other hand, I do think there is a fundamental right not to be criminalised for being a gay person with a sex life, and so the criminalisation of that was not just bad policy, it was fundamentally unjust.

Of course we can and should make that assessment when it's necessary to do so. If we end up decriminalising something else and there are similar arguments, then we should assess whether convictions were fundamentally unjust or just bad policy.
So it is entirely subjective.... Which is my point really.
 


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