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Last Year's Justice Referendum

MEDIA RELEASE

23 March 2000

Graham Capill
Party Leader


LAST YEAR’S JUSTICE REFERENDUM NOT ONLY ABOUT SENTENCES

Party Leader Graham Capill has criticised the government’s follow up of last year’s referendum on the justice system as “totally inadequate and one-eyed”.

Mr Capill said, “Longer sentences were only a minor part of what we discussed with Mr Withers. The question asked for a total reform of the justice system so that it would place greater weight on the needs of victims. The Government is shirking its responsibility to follow up the referendum by simply focussing on sentencing.

“That sentences have been too short for violent offences has often been pointed out. What has been neglected are the needs of victims. The Bill of Rights has protected the offender so efficiently, that the victim has been sidelined.

“For the government to reduce the referendum to simply a question of longer sentences and miss the clear message to reform the whole justice system is totally inadequate and they deserve to be voted out of office next election.

“Victims should be put back in the position they were in before the offence took place. Offenders ought to spend time, not locked up in prison courtesy of the tax payer, but working to repay their victims. The Government’s Clayton’s sentencing bill will do nothing to address the needs of victims other than a little more retribution,” Mr Capill concluded.

The Christian Heritage Party believes in victim restoration. Such a programme would look at all the needs of each victim: social, psychological and physical. It would hold offenders responsible for restoring victims as closely as possible to the state they were in before the crime took place.

Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766


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