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Victims' Rights Paramount

Victims' Rights Paramount

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today congratulated the Parole Board for deferring rapist-murderer Paul Bailey's parole for three years, but said the law will not work properly until it is changed to give victims' families enforceable rights - not just hopes that the Board will respect their feelings.

"I'm glad the Board is using the new law as far as it is able. But the role of victim should be so critical in parole processes that it should have been inconceivable for Kylie Smith's family to have had to hear their decision from the media," Mr Franks said.

"Kylie Smith's friends and family were not told directly of the Board's decision, according to news reports. They had phoned the Board, who told them no confirmation would be made until next week.

"Parole is a failure. It should be abolished, so that every criminal serves the sentence the judge hands down. But, while we still have it, victims' rights should come first, not after the criminal's and the media's," Mr Franks said.

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