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Life Must Mean Life For Killer

Life Must Mean Life For Killer

If a wanton murderer gets only a 13 year minimum non-parole period, what sentences will be given for lesser murders under the Government's new Sentencing Act? ACT justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Everyone knows that the non-parole period is the only sentence that most criminals will ever end up serving. What does it take for murder to be taken seriously? If Nika Abraham had killed Kate Alkema without planning, in the course of a burglary or robbery, the starting point for his sentence would have been 17 years," Mr Franks said.

"But Abraham killed her for pleasure. He put the victim's family through the torment of a trial, and never showed shame or remorse.

"A life sentence should mean just that. Why should a criminal who has callously taken someone's life be released in time to enjoy their own? He could be out before he has reached the age at which Kate Alkema's life was horribly taken from her. He'll have more time free than the time he stole from her and all her family.

"Pity the judge. He may have felt obliged to give this sentence. It fits the philosophy in Labour's new law - an ideology based on the politically correct notion that criminals are really victims themselves, and that the only legitimate purpose of sentencing is `reintegration'. Justice Minister Phil Goff's new law even stripped out the word `punishment' from lawful sentencing principles.

"Thirteen years for an unprovoked attack? What then for criminals who kill in the heat of passion or after periods of provocation? Five years? Three? A slap on the wrist and a stern tongue-lashing?

"In 13 years, Nika Abraham will be eligible for parole and, experience has shown, he will get it. He was sentenced to life. He should get it. The system is charged with punishing criminals and protecting the rest of us. Until there is truth in sentencing, and criminals pay the price that matches the crime, the Government is not doing its duty" Mr Franks said.

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