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Justice campaigners brand Chris Brown's plea deal, a 'joke'

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Chris Brown
London (ANI): After singer Chris Brown made a plea deal, and was let off without a jail term for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, justice campaigners have come forward to condemn the action as a "joke". Brown, 20, has admitted to having assaulted Rihanna just hours before they were due to perform at the Grammy Awards in February.

Under the terms of the bargain, he is likely to serve no jail time and will instead do six months community service and placed on probation. But the recommended sentence has not been met with favour by domestic violence campaigners, who say that it sends out the wrong message and may discourage women reporting violence.

"It is letting him off the hook. What they are doing is letting him off easy. I do not know what it accomplishes. It is laughable," the Daily Express quoted Roslyn Muraskin, professor of criminal justice and director of the Long Island Women's Institute, as saying. "It will discourage people coming forward. It is revolving justice - you get a slap on the wrist and let back on the streets. It is not proper justice, it is a joke.

"It is typical (of the US justice system). They do not pay a great deal of attention to women who are the victims of domestic violence. When people get killed, that is when they pay attention," the author of ''It''s A Crime: Women and Justice' stated. "There are so many deterrents preventing women coming forward," Retha Fielding, of the US National Domestic Violence Hotline, added.

UK-based campaign groups also warned that "ineffective, low" sentencing does not protect vulnerable women. But charities welcomed the publicity surrounding the case. "We welcome the clear message that this sends around the world that domestic violence is unacceptable and perpetrators can and should be convicted," Deborah McIlveen, spokeswoman for Women''s Aid, said.

"Domestic violence is a serious crime that affects one woman in four during her lifetime. This case has highlighted the fact that domestic violence affects all parts of our society," Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, voiced her opinion. "A successful and popular celebrity like Rihanna is just as likely to experience domestic violence as any other woman," Horley added

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