[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- worldwide
j_sommer at gmx.net
Thu Jul 15 12:04:35 CDT 2004
death penalty news
July 15, 2004
Death Penalty Distraction
ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today declined to support
the death penalty, but said he had no objection to the idea that some
crimes deserved it.
"There is a legitimate question as to whether justice can ever be done in
some cases without it," Mr Franks said.
"Most cultures see a levelling of the scales, or restoration of balance, as
an essential justice element. It's not simply `an eye for an eye' or `
tooth for a tooth'. There's something repugnant to every culture in seeing
wrongdoers left better off after the crime than the victim.
"Nevertheless, I cannot advocate the death penalty as part of our essential
criminal justice reform, as there are so many sincere people who would
cease to support the justice system.
"There are far more useful reforms to spend our political capital on. If
all that energy went into fighting for the justice of the death penalty it
could simply result in hung juries, judges distorting the law to avoid
conviction and even witnesses refusing to testify.
"There is plenty of useful work to do, going far beyond Dr Brash's recent
announcements. Those who want to debate justice issues can spend the time
on issues like giving adult sentences for adult crimes, ending name and
record suppression for guilty young offenders and their families, and
strengthening the law of self-defence," Mr Franks said.
(source: Scoop News)
28% want death penalty
Wellington: A new poll shows just over a quarter of adult New Zealanders
want the death penalty back.
The One News -Colmar Brunton poll found 28% of those questioned wanted
death as a sentencing option, the network reported last night.
The poll found 67% did not want the death penalty option and 5% did not know.
Justice Minister Phil Goff said the justice system could not guarantee it
would always convict the right person.
"To take the life of an innocent person is the worst thing that a state can
do to its citizens," he told One News .
Under this Government, sentencing and parole laws have been toughened.
However, only 13% of voters were happy with current parole laws, 28% wanted
parole abolished and 58% wanted to retain it, but under stricter
conditions, the poll found.
The poll showed significant support for National's tough law and order
policies, but more than half the poll's respondents said they were aimed at
The poll also found 58% wanted compulsory DNA sampling of anyone arrested,
40% were happy with the status quo and 2% did not know.
The poll of 1000 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.
(source: Otago Daily Times)
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