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Parole is a privilege and not a right

Parole is a privilege and not a right – a privilege that should be given sparingly

27th June 2018

Twenty seven years ago, an evil man called Anthony Roma bludgeoned a young boy to death and left his brother fighting for his life. Roma claimed he was insane at the time, but a jury rejected that plea, and he was sentenced to the misnamed “life” in prison. He has been let out on parole several times. Now Roma has been recalled after his latest breaches.

“In layman’s terms, we believe the Parole Board needs to ‘harden up' “ said Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar.

“As certain sections of the media like to remind the public, I am not a well educated man. But I know enough to know that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behavior. This mongrel has now been released back into the community from his supposed ‘life’ sentence three times; he is now back where he belongs after breaching his parole yet again”

“The media report says the Parole Board who released Roma in 2011 thought that ‘he has an insight into his offending and an openness that was never the case.’ Does the Board need reminding of the many times they have been fooled by devious and cunning criminals, the worst example perhaps being Graeme Burton in 2007, who convinced the Parole Board he was a changed man after obtaining “the answers” to questions aimed at confirming his level of psychopathy, and gave the prison psychologist and the Parole Board the ‘right’ answers?”

“The Board needs to understand that while people like Roma might have far less education than me, and even be illiterate, they can be as cunning as outhouse rodents, and tell the middle class Board members what they are waiting to hear. Surely it is common sense that once a guy has breached parole once – and Roma’s first recall to prison was for doing an indecent act in public - it should be exponentially harder for such a person to get parole a second, let alone a third time?”

“We recognize that the Parole Board has a difficult job, operating as it does under an Act which essentially says they must release prisoners as soon as possible. But they are paid a king’s ransom to do that job. They are supposed to be the best we have at looking past prisoners’ devious deceptions and ascertaining who will reoffend and who won’t. If they keep releasing men like Roma, perhaps we need some people on the Parole Board who are both very well educated and have a dollop of common sense. If the government wishes, we would be happy to nominate a couple of suitable candidates”.

“In the meantime, we call on the Parole Board to be cynical and questioning, and not take at face value presentations by people whose sole focus in life is to think of ways of fooling them that they are safe to release back among us.”



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