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SST asked to Respect Victim's Rights

Sensible Sentencing Trust asked to Respect Victim's Rights

Brian Aim, the father of Taupo murder victim Karen Aim, should be able to choose to meet the 14 year old offender, without harassment from an organisation promoting its own political agenda," said Project Leader of Rethinking Crime and Punishment, Kim Workman.

He was commenting on a report in the UK Daily Record, that Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson, Garth McVicar had warned Brian Aim against such a meeting.

"Brian Aim is a committed Christian, who believes in the place that grace, forgiveness and redemption has in the justice system. The last thing he needs right now, is the Sensible Sentencing Trust telling him that restorative justice has been hijacked by the offenders and their lawyers because it can end with a discount on their sentence. Garth's reported statement that" "I'm sure Karen's dad wouldn't want to be any part of the offender getting a discounted sentence." is both patronizing and morally coercive."

"The Victims' Rights Act 2002, provides that judicial officers and prosecutors should encourage the holding of such a meeting, and facilitate it between the victim and offender, where both parties agree. More importantly, it provides that any person dealing with a victim, should treat the victim with courtesy and compassion, and respect the victims' dignity and privacy."

"That the victims dignity and rights were violated is bad enough. That the Trust then used this occasion to publicly promote their own political agenda is totally reprehensible. It lends weight to the growing view that the rights of victims are of secondary importance to the Trust, and that their main interest is in promoting a punitive criminal justice culture."


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