Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Bad Law For Mad Killers

Bad Law For Mad Killers

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today urged a rethink of the system that draws such huge distinction between `mad' and `bad', after reports that Raurimu killer Stephen Anderson is entitled to leave into the community - only six years after killing six people.

"Whether he be `mad' or `bad', the fact of the matter is that Stephen Anderson went on a rampage and deliberately ended the lives of six people. How can we be sure he will not do so again once he's back out on the streets?" Mr Franks said.

"Insanity should affect the kind of custody but - until we have better reason to trust the psychiatric system - it should not mean that the victims' families have to find the killer wandering amongst them, long before anyone could say he will never do it again.

"Anderson was acquitted by reason of insanity. There's no doubt he killed six people - yet he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The verdict should be guilty, but insane.

"Insane killers shouldn't be in prison, but should be in custody - they should be locked up while the madness persists, even if it could be controlled by medication. Concern for others' safety is only part of this. It's unfair to victims, and those who fear becoming so, for the mental health system to say, `trust us, we know what we're doing', when clearly they don't.

"Though it should matter that Stephen Anderson was `mad' at the time, it shouldn't mean he is treated as if his insanity has no more importance than ordinary mental illness. He is a killer. He stopped taking his medication once - after only six years, who's to say he won't again? Should he kill again, he will be treated as a victim of the `mad' variety.

"The distinction between sane and insane killers puts more innocent lives at risk. I have long objected to this - dare I say it - insane division, as well as the fact that `life imprisonment' can mean anything from one year to 17 years.

"What will the Government say if Stephen Anderson kills again? `It was not our fault, we thought he was curably mad, not bad'. Ordinary commonsense knows it is possible to be both at the same time. Either way, we can be sure of exactly what his next victims' families would think," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news