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Parole Should Make Sense Not Cost Cents

Marc My Words.
By Marc Alexander MP

Parole should make sense not cost cents

Trawling through the newspaper can be hugely damaging to a good mood and positively lethal to a belief in commonsense justice.

A number of cases have sprung from the pages this week that have sickened me.

An apology of a man stands accused of punching his own two year old daughter as she lay in traction in hospital, and a woman shopkeeper was held with a knife to her throat while being robbed - that these things happen as almost daily occurrences utterly appals me. But it is the contempt with which our justice system fails to deal realistically with the aftermath of such crimes that truly offends me.

Consider the case of a taxi driver in Blenheim who was stabbed seventeen times with a fork by Gregory Hunt, so viciously that one of the prongs was imbedded in the taxi driver's brain. Aside from the physical injury, Mr Williamson continues to suffer considerable psychological trauma. What rubs salt into the wound is that the culprit of this vicious and wanton act was rewarded with home detention just six months into a four year sentence! No sane person could fail to empathise with the victim, or could possibly consider such a decision to be in keeping with any resemblance to fairness and justice.

In such cases it's hard not to conclude that at best, Parole Board decisions are a commitment to stupidity, and at worst, demonstrate an indifference to the suffering of victims - and either way, a nose being snubbed at the law-abiding!

Then we have the unbelievable case of a burglar with a mind-boggling number of 635 previous convictions. Now on his 636th conviction (for burglary) he is being given a six year sentence! What is more.this offence was committed while he was on parole!!

It seems to me that yet again we have a Parole Board that displays due diligence and dedication to all the foolishness they can think of - even beyond the wildest imagination! These kinds of decisions, now so regular, risk becoming a parody.

What I want to know is; what qualification do you have to have to fail to be eligible to sit on the Parole Board? I have come to the unhappy conclusion that the legislative framework under which the Parole Board operates should be figuratively taken out and shot and buried so that its ludicrous effects cease to penalise the innocent, at a cost to all.

I am of the opinion that the current legislation must be the true culprit, as I truly cannot believe that so-called rational individuals could get it wrong so often - 86% of the time (the percentage which reflects the recidivist rate of all offenders within five years). An alternative reason suggests a compliance with evil: but it would be cynical to give that possibility any credence.

If I'm right, then it follows that stupidity and prejudice will often conspire to create damage that is more harmful than venality to our community and our sense of fair play and justice.

The citizens of New Zealand should pull the plug on the disastrous experiment of parole - simply stop paying for it.

No more parole on our pay roll. We should not put another cent towards this abysmal failure. The concept of parole requires a total rethink because at present it is a blind leap in the dark.


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