Australia more compassionate to victims of crime than NZ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Australia more compassionate to victims of crime than New Zealand
Tough new sentencing laws introduced by West Australia are designed to show ‘compassion’ for victims of crime and the Sensible Sentencing Trust say New Zealand should follow their example.
West Australian Attorney General introduced the new penalties into State Parliament to give the Courts the ability to sentence serious offenders to ‘LIFE’. The new sentencing regime will mean anyone convicted of even manslaughter will face the possibility of life behind bars, up from the existing 20 year maximum. Most states in Australia already have ‘LIFE’ sentences for murder.
Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar said that sentencing laws in this country were way behind those in Australia. “We have had a recent case here in New Zealand where a man convicted of the cold blooded shooting of his wife only got 11 years and many murderers still only get sentenced to the minimum 10 years in prison.”
“Sentences such as these are an insult to the victims’ family who see the pathetic sentence as an additional aggravation and burden they are forced to carry. Many say living with the tragedy is bad enough but the system appears to have been designed to continually torment them and in reality they have got the ‘LIFE’ sentence.”
“I note the West Australian Attorney General stated that his Government is committed to the tough new laws as a ‘compassionate’ means to help families who have lost a loved one as a result of a violent crime.”
“Our Government has recently introduced some financial assistance for victims but our sentencing and parole laws remain an extreme aggravation and stumbling block for these people struggling to get some semblance of normality back into their lives.”
“New Zealanders pride themselves as being a compassionate people but at present that compassion does not reach victims who have had a loved one killed in a violent crime.”
“Current sentencing and parole laws mean the victims’ family are continually confronted with, and reminded of, the offence. There is no such thing as being able to put it behind them. Compassion in New Zealand does not extend to victims of crime.”
“With an Election looming we will be encouraging all parties to look seriously at how Australia is helping their victims’ of crime.” ENDS