The evil monsters who must die in jail

 

Evil monsters who murder children or commit heinous atrocities causing multiple fatalities should never be released from jail.

Queensland must follow the UK path and enact law that assumes a whole-of-life sentence for catastrophic crime, or the judge must explain why he or she has deviated from that legislative requirement.

Those perpetrating aggravated murder in Queensland should be handed life sentences, with no prospect of parole.

If we are serious about the punishment fitting the crime, this is the only way to truly reflect community expectations around sentencing for horrific murder.

 

Child killer Brett Peter Cowan
Child killer Brett Peter Cowan

 

Civil libertarians and do-gooder judicial types will harp on about rehabilitation and offering offenders the chance to make amends to society. It is an heroic aim, albeit an ideological fantasy.

These people forfeit their right to be treated as normal citizens on the day they commit to deranged and socially unacceptable behaviour.

How could we possibly see the good in any person - or the prospect of rehabilitation - after such a wicked betrayal of normal societal conventions?

Could you imagine sitting next to Childers backpacker murderer Robert Paul Long on a train or aeroplane or at the footy?

This man, who according to the sentencing judge showed premeditation and planning, set fire to a backpacker hostel in 2000, resulting in the deaths of 15 people, nine women and six men. Long's parole application is due to be decided any day.

Why would anybody want to jump into a taxi being driven by Brett Peter Cowan, the sadistic murderer of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe? Cowan abducted Daniel Morcombe, aged 13, in 2003 as he waited for a bus on the Sunshine Coast.

How would you like it if Lionel Patea, a convicted murderer of two people, serving a minimum 30-year sentence, was released on parole and then lived next door to you?

You'd probably sell up, right?

How about if you turned up to your kids' soccer game and who should be there on the sideline but Max Sica, the man who killed the three Singh siblings "with a substantial degree of premeditation or planning'', according to the court.

 

Backpacker mass killer Robert Paul Long
Backpacker mass killer Robert Paul Long

 

These people deserve to die in jail. How could any psychologist or parole board realistically suggest that Long, Cowan, Patea or Sica can safely be assimilated back into mainstream society?

In Texas, they'd be on death row. The risk is too great. The mere possibility of their release is an affront to justice, an insult to their victims and their grieving loved ones.

Whole-life orders, set be legislation, are the solution. There must also be no doubt - irrefutable evidence - suggesting they committed the crime.

In the United Kingdom, Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, means sentences are presumptive, not mandatory. Mandatory sentences are handcuffs for the courts, and run the risk of injustice.

Double murderer Lionel Patea
Double murderer Lionel Patea

Legislated presumptive sentences means for people like Long, Cowan, Patea and Sica, the judge must start the sentencing process with a whole of life prison order.

If a court departs from the legislated presumptive whole of life sentence, it must explain why in written reasons.

That is, the onus is on the sentencing judge to justify the departure from what is the legislative requirement.

New Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has shown a willingness to explore "outside the square'' solutions to portfolio problems.

This is one that will test her, especially with the bleeding hearts in her Left faction.

But if protecting the community from evil is one of the aims of our Westminster system, bringing in tougher sentencing laws for sadistic crime is appropriate and timely.

 

 

 

Originally published as The evil monsters who must die in jail



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