The article was the usual indignant waffle about the soft criminal justice system and the comments were mainly about how community sentences are a joke and what scum these repeat offenders are. But one comment from "Craig" in Glasgow stopped me dead in my tracks:
These sentences create lots of work for lawyers through the legal aid system and that's the real reason we have these silly sentences. Lawyers know their cash cows will continue to re-offend if they're getting such soft sentences. If criminals got sentences that fitted their crimes, then lawyers would get a lot less work. You see stories in the local paper here of people with 40 odd previous convictions and they've only been in jail for a few months, it's utterly ridiculous.
When you apply Guido's test of cui bono to stuff like why our legal system is such a complete fuckup, it becomes obvious. It creates work for lawyers, and curiously enough, it's lawyers who create the legal system.
The complexity of the legal system also creates massive barriers to entry and allows for endless rent-seeking opportunities.
And it's not like I haven't moaned about lawyers before. I can't see how I missed this one.