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ACT releases victims' rights policy

ACT releases victims' rights policy

Stephen Franks
Monday, 5 September 2005
Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT today released its victims' rights policy after a ceremony organised by the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

The ceremony was held on the banks of the Tu"taekuri River in Napier, where Ida Hawkins laid to rest the spirit of her daughter Colleen, who was murdered 18 years ago.

Mrs Hawkins also wanted to focus on the changes needed in the criminal justice system.

The ceremony was organised by the Sensible Sentencing Trust that invited political parties to highlight their commitment to the trust's objectives.

"It was an honour to be at such a moving ceremony," ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said.

"ACT has supported the Trust from its inception. ACT has the only unqualified commitment to the end of parole. The other parties have weasel words.

"ACT will give victims the same rights as the Crown at sentencing hearings and at sentencing appeals.

"I've watched victims regaining their pride as they have campaigned with the trust. At last they have an opportunity to say what should happen," Mr Franks said.

"It is completely wrong that they should have been made to feel apologetic about their wish to see criminals pay a price for crime.

"Victims who want it are entitled to retribution. Politically correct National and Labour governments decided that paying a price for crime was too old fashioned.

"This political correctness reached its peak in the Labour Government's Sentencing Act which doesn't even mention punishment.

"ACT does not apologise for punishment and will ensure that retribution is in the Sentencing Act along with the other purposes of sentencing," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

ACT's crime policy can be found at www.act.org.nz/policy_crime

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