INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt ignores NZ on violent crimes

Published: Thu 18 Oct 2001 09:50 AM
Brian Neeson National Corrections Spokesperson
17 October 2001
Govt ignores NZ on violent crimes
National's Corrections spokesman Brian Neeson today called on the Government to support his Degrees of Murder Bill. Mr Neeson was speaking in the debate on the select committee's report on his Bill in Parliament tonight.
"New Zealanders have demonstrated an overwhelming desire for fundamental changes to the sentencing of violent criminals.
"Brutal murderers like Gresham Marsh and Leith Ray were sentenced to life in 1994 but under the current system they'll be out after just ten years behind bars. Compare that with armed robber Kevin Polwart who will also serve ten years behind bars. The sentence for violent, brutal murderers is unacceptable to most New Zealanders.
"At the other end of the scale is the Albury-Thompson case where the jury convicted her of manslaughter as they felt the minimum sentence for murder was too tough given the circumstances of the case.
"My Degrees of Murder Bill will categorise murder into three separate offences - murder in the first, second and third degree. The major change to the sentencing regime would be that life means life for first degree murderers.
"Degrees of Murder would ensure the punishment fits the crime. It would also give the public the right to participate more fully in the judicial system by giving the jury a portion of the responsibility for sentencing. The jury will not only decide if a person is guilty of a crime but 'how guilty'.
"This Bill would give the justice system some flexibility so people can be convicted for the crime they have committed but the sentence imposed will reflect the degree of the crime. I have received wide public support for this Bill. The Government's lack of support shows how out of touch they are with New Zealanders when it comes to being tough on crime," Mr Neeson said.
Ends

Next in New Zealand politics

PM's Post-Cab 25/3/19: Royal Commission on Mosque Attacks
By: The Scoop Team
Gordon Campbell on the school climate strike
By: Gordon Campbell
Latest OIA statistics released
By: State Services Commission
New legal action taken against 'Hit and Run' inquiry
By: RNZ
Mokihinui River catchment land to be added to Kahurangi
By: New Zealand Government
PM Announces Royal Commission into Christchurch Attacks
By: RNZ
PM Ardern to visit China for one-day meeting with Xi, Li
By: BusinessDesk
Prime Minister to visit China to meet with leaders
By: New Zealand Government
Foreign Minister to visit Malaysia
By: New Zealand Government
An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa
By: SchoolStrike
We're striking and we're doing it right!
By: School strike 4 climate
Wairarapa college students will join international protest
By: Carys Gibbs
Christchurch students to join global Climate Strike
By: SchoolStrike
Climate change protest on school day divides MPs
By: RNZ
Principals seek guidance over students climate strike
By: RNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media