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Mapp promotes 'life means life' sentences

Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

24 September 2001

Mapp promotes 'life means life' sentences

National's Justice spokesperson Wayne Mapp expressed his support for 'life means life' sentences in Christchurch today.

"New Zealanders want the worst offenders locked up for longer. There is a deep expectation that the Taffy Hotenes, Greshem Marshs and Paul Dallys of this world will effectively lose a large chuck of their life," Dr Mapp said.

"Life should mean life for the worst murderers. The Government's proposed legislation goes some way to toughening up on the very worst of offenders but I don't believe it goes far enough.

"In New South Wales the 'life means life' law has wide support. It states that the worst offenders, those who commit multiple killings, those who are particularly cruel and depraved, those that are unusually premeditated, should effectively forfeit their life, not through the death penalty, but by incarceration for life.

"Release is only possible near the very end of the offender's life, when they could not possibly be a threat to society. This law is intended to protect the community, and is an expression of the community's revulsion for the actions of the offender.

"In New South Wales over the last five years, 17 offenders have received the life sentence. That's about 10% of all those convicted of murder. They are the truly exceptional. Translated to New Zealand this would be two or three offenders per year. New Zealanders know who they are.

"In my view the 'life means life' law is the right course for National to take and I will be lobbying my caucus colleagues and party members to support this policy," Dr Mapp said.

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