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Innocents Pay For Minister's Parole Blunder

Innocents Pay For Minister's Parole Blunder

Monday 29 Mar 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today demanded that Justice Minister Phil Goff and Corrections Minister Paul Swain front up and explain just what Gary Maui Isherwood was doing out on the streets only four years after his eight-year sentence.

"Parole is supposed to be granted to offenders who are not a danger to the community - someone clearly got it wrong with Isherwood," Mr Franks said.

"If parole were abolished, these predators would have been behind bars, unable to commit their crimes. But they were not. They benefited from a soft law, made to appease the bleeding hearts, that turns our prison gates into a revolving door.

"Parole should be abolished. Justice is supposed to be open, dispensed by independent judges who serve the law, not political masters. Yet the Parole Board - appointed by Ministers to do what Ministers want - interferes with and terminates court-imposed sentences.

"Parole is a trust, a bargain, where offenders are released early on the proviso that they do not betray the trust.

"Parole must end now, and the Minister should tell us precisely how often Isherwood had previously betrayed that trust," Mr Franks said.


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