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The cost of the Bill of Rights

Thursday, 26 August, 2004

Alexander: It's time to count the cost of the Bill of Rights

Something is seriously wrong when prisoners jailed for denying their victims' rights - in one case the right to live - can turn around and demand their "supposed rights" from society, United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

Four inmates are trying to grab a total of $605,000 of taxpayers' money for being allegedly treated 'inhumanely'.

"I'd like to know by what criteria they are judging that, when one of them, Christopher Taunoa, is a disruptive inmate and convicted murderer who deprived his victim of the right to be alive today.

"Lets get real here. If anyone deserves compensation, it is the victims and their families," Mr Alexander, United Future's law and order spokesman, said.

"While no one can condone barbarity wherever it may occur, these offenders should not profit by one cent as a result of their imprisonment for the crimes they chose to commit. If there are payouts they should be reasonable, go towards their upkeep in prison or to victims as reparation," he said.

Any prison officers found guilty of breaching inmate management regimes should be answerable, Mr Alexander said.

"The Bill of Rights gets used and abused by the very people who never respected its provisions in the first place."

ENDS

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