INDEPENDENT NEWS

90% Got It Right

Published: Thu 17 Feb 2000 01:30 PM
MEDIACOM-RELEASE-NL-WITHERS
90% GOT IT RIGHT
In response to this morning's lead story in The Dominion I respond as follows.
1. Clearly 91.75% of the voters had no difficulty with the question for the overwhelming need to reform our justice system to focus on the needs of victims and implement appropriate penalties for violent offenders.
2. A worthy point to note is that the referendum result achieved approximately three times the vote recorded by any other party.
3. The bottom line is that the people of our community have voted overwhelmingly to reform our justice system as people have the absolute right to expect:
a. Support for victims of crime
b. Sentences that fit the crime
c. Peace of mind in their own homes and places of work
4. I often hear or read people commenting or making the statement that imprisonment doesn't work - this statement is false and misleading as it is only made from the viewpoint of the criminal and not the viewpoint of our society. When a violent offender is imprisoned he or she is not free to murder, rape or beat up innocent members of our community.
5. For Mr Keating, The Justice Secretary to suggest that the referendum question was confusing is somewhat subjective - evidently 91.75% of voters didn't think so. If we are in a democractic society the demands of some 91.75% of voters must be adhered to. 6. Until we come up with magical solutions our society has the absolute right to expect freedom from violence. The only option at present is to imprision repeat offenders, thus affording our community the peace of mind it is entitled to as an absolute right.
7. Let's get real - it's time to stop weasel wording and confront the real issues facing our society. Let's place real accountability on offenders and put in place the required funding to rehabilitate those who are able to be reformed - we must stop the cycle. "Words mean so little they don't even move the leaves on the trees"
SIGNED
NL WITHERS

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