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Victims Taken To Heaven And Hell All In One Day

Press Release from Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar

Media Release: Embargoed until midnight

18th December 2007

Victims Taken To Heaven And Hell All In One Day

A Justice Watchdog group says Victims of violent crime were given a journey to heaven and hell – all in the space of about 4 hours.

At 1:00pm yesterday the Justice and Electoral Select Committee released its long awaited report into victims’ rights which recommended a major overhaul of the criminal justice system to ensure much more user-friendly and responsive approach to victims needs. Including a national centre to oversee all victim issues and a compensation scheme to ensure victims are recompensed for their loss.

But any euphoria from victims was extremely short-lived when only 4 hours later Parliament passed the Electoral Finance Bill that would effectively stop victims or their representative organizations recommending or lobbying for one political party over another.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is one such organization that will be effected and Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar is promising Law & Order and Victims issues will become an Election issue.

“We have spent 6 years exposing the failures and advocating for Victim’s, the Select Committee recommended action on virtually every issue we have raised and yet the Government appear to be now trying to shut this debate down.”

“The Sensible Sentencing Trust has been able to bring a balance to what was a very one-sided criminal centred – offender friendly – legal process and we have a number of high-profile campaigns planned for next year to ensure the momentum is continued.

McVicar said the Sensible Sentencing Trust had become the voice for victims but was actually funded by thousands of New Zealanders who had become extremely concerned about the current break down in Law & Order and escalating violent crime.

“We have a duty and an obligation to the victims we represent and the public who support us to continue speaking out on these issues – we promise to do so.”


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