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Faith In Parole System? Fat Chance

Faith In Parole System? Fat Chance

Monday 24 Feb 2003 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

Children's Commissioner Roger McClay is right to worry that the parole system will not make sure convicted child-killer Edward Smith keeps to his parole conditions, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Our parole system is a sham, and it makes sentencing into a sham. Mr McClay should join in calls to abolish parole. That Smith has been released shows that court sentencing is a sham," Mr Franks said.

"Parole makes judges lie in sentencing. Their non-parole periods are the actual sentences - the extra five years for Smith were just window dressing, as are most parole conditions

Smith has returned to the community in which he and his partner tortured Delcelia Witika to death. He walks the streets a free man.

If it is true that he wants to sell his story, he should be immediately recalled to finish his sentence, for showing so little remorse for what he has done. If we must have parole, then it should only be for those who have genuine remorse.

"But recall won't happen. Hopes that the parole system will keep close watch on him are little more than a pipe dream. With a list of drastic failures, including the case of RSA killer William Bell, the parole system is clearly incapable of monitoring released offenders.

"Obviously, the non-parole period is the only real sentence given to criminals, with the rest nothing more than camouflage to distract and mollify an outraged public," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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