major parties now indistinguishable on sentencing

Wednesday, 4 September 2002 NSWCCL media release: 10/2002


NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Mr Cameron Murphy, today condemned the Carr Government’s new standard sentencing policy as “mandatory sentencing in sheep’s clothing”. 

Mr Murphy said: 
“The major parties are now indistinguishable on the issue of inhumane sentencing for the most vulnerable in our community. 

“The Carr Government have sold out their responsibilities to look for humane solutions and alternatives to brutal punishment. 

“I condemn in the most strongest of terms this capitulation to populism".

Mr Murphy said that standard sentencing would encroach on judicial independence and work only to deter judges from assigning criminals the rehabilitation they deserve. 
“Bob Carr should be ashamed of himself,” Mr Murphy said. 

“This is clearly a win for the shock jocks, but a loss for the community. 

“This is punishment, not rehabilitation. 

“What we are witnessing is a Government committed only to populist and simple-minded remedies to deep rooted social problems. 

“Judges have every reason to resent this unfair and unwarranted encroachment on time worn principles such as the separation of powers doctrine. 

“The NSW Council for Civil Liberties regards these measures as a brutal incarnation of mandatory sentencing and a blight on our statute books".

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