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Govt must take heed of sentencing concerns

Wayne Mapp
National Justice Spokesperson

7 February 2001

Govt must take heed of sentencing concerns

The sentence Mark Middleton is set to receive next week must reflect community sentiment, National Justice spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp said today.

"His actions reflect enormous public concern about sentences for violent criminals. Nothing will be gained by a sentence of imprisonment.

"The public is clamouring for more say in our justice system. The Norm Withers' citizens-initiated referendum gave a clear message. 92% of New Zealanders voted for tougher sentences.

"Phil Goff and Matt Robson have not delivered. What's more, the Government's secretive sentencing reform programme will apparently give no voice to the public.

"Juries should have their say on appropriate sentences. They would give judges real guidance on what the public expects.

"This is not a time for Phil Goff's overblown rhetoric. Actions are what counts," Dr Mapp said.

Ends

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