La­bor vows to re­form pa­role laws

Pilbara News - - Election 2017 - Tim Clarke

La­bor has pledged to re­form WA’s pa­role laws to en­sure se­rial killers or mass mur­der­ers would not be con­sid­ered for pa­role.

Se­rial killer Cather­ine Birnie, who will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role con­sid­er­a­tion again in 2019, would be first on the list.

In a move made in the light of a cam­paign by Birnie sur­vivor Kate Moir, shadow at­tor­ney-gen­eral John Quigley said that if elected, a La­bor gov­ern­ment would amend ex­ist­ing laws that al­lowed even the worst killers to be con­sid­ered for re­lease ev­ery three years.

Un­der the changes, an at­tor­ney­gen­eral could tell the Pris­on­ers Re­view Board not to con­sider pa­role in cases of se­rial killing.

That would be de­fined as two or more mur­ders on dif­fer­ent days or, in the case of mass killing, two or more mur­ders on the same day.

The pa­role con­sid­er­a­tion ban would last for the term of that gov­ern­ment.

Mr Quigley said if he be­came at­tor­ney-gen­eral, Birnie would be the first per­son he would make the sub­ject of an or­der.

“She might well never be re­leased but she is still con­sid­ered ev­ery three years, which is trau­matic for vic­tims and rel­a­tives of vic­tims,” Mr Quigley said.

Ms Moir was 17 when she was snatched from a Perth street and sex­u­ally as­saulted by Cather­ine Birnie and her part­ner David, who had al­ready killed four young women.

The pair were cap­tured af­ter Ms Moir es­caped and alerted po­lice.

Ms Moir launched a cam­paign last year to try to halt what she said was the reg­u­lar “re­trau­ma­ti­sa­tion” of vic­tims who were asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role for their at­tack­ers.

An on­line pe­ti­tion has been signed by more than 40,000 peo­ple.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Michael Mischin said last week he had told Ms Moir he would not change the laws.

“I have given (Ms Moir) an ex­pla­na­tion on why, in the public in­ter­est, chang­ing to no re­views in some cases was not prac­ti­cal or de­sir­able,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.