Monday, February 17, 2003

Justice Action criticises Govt's victim voice policy

Victims are not being properly considered in compensation and no expression is given to them, of community goodwill. A spokesperson for Justice Action Mr Brett Collins said, "No community expression or concern is given to the victims of crime. They feel their pain is not acknowledged by the government which tries to balance pain against pain. Never! The community is being misled."

The Sun-Herald reported on Sunday Edward Lee's mother she said, "Then maybe they listen to the mother and father of dead boys," Mrs Lee said.

Mr Collins went on to say, "The community needs to offer victims goodwill, generosity, compassion and preparedness to listen. Not stimulate anger, more damage and vengeance in the mind of the victim." He said.

The New South Wales Law Society is concerned retribution and vengeance will become a part of sentencing under a state Government proposal to give victims a greater voice in court.

New South Wales Premier Bob Carr says the victims of crime should be allowed to participate in the court system by explaining during sentencing how the crime affected them.

However Law Society president Robert Benjamin says the changes are fraught with danger and has urged the Government to reconsider.

Mr Benjamin says it is undesirable to involve emotion in the sentencing process, and he fears judges may be influenced by victims to hand down harsher penalties.

"This has to be done in a balanced and sensible sense so that all the needs of justice, the needs of the community, the needs of the victim and the needs of the person who's committed the crime are all met in a measured way."

By Justice Action 17 Feb 03


Victims should benefit from criminal assets, not police: NSW Opposition
The New South Wales Opposition wants the victims of crime to benefit from the confiscation of criminal assets, rather than the state's police service.

Crime victim group wants say in money allocation
A spokesperson from Justice Action Mr Brett Collins said, "Victims should be properly compensated regardless of the source and that is currently the law. The law says you don't need to find even the offender to get compensation. This is an attempt by the opposition to create a law and order issue-involving victims when there is in fact no issue!

Abolition of 800 year old double jeopardy law a crime
The 800-year-old rule prevents a person who's acquitted of a criminal charge from ever being re-tried for that offense.

When real safety is jeopardised in NSW
Perception of crime is still a problem in NSW, with a new Productivity Commission report showing the state's citizens feel less safe than most of their counterparts.

Chronology - A History of Australian Prisons
[Allegedly:] The events that have shaped NSW prisons - from convict days through royal commissions, to the Supermax of today. [I say allegedly because no one should trust Four Corners [Walls], why? Because they spill out the propaganda of the day for the Government, whether it be wrong or right. A government that lies and has no remorse about it.]