Australian judges way too soft, and slow, on crime

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie. Tom Huntley

THE civil liberty groups will scream blue murder, but surely it's time for some swift, hard, long-term justice in Australia.

The case of Ariel Castro - who was sentenced to life plus 1000 years - after abducting and torturing three women for more than a decade - might be a good starting point.

Here's a case which has been dealt with by the courts in just months - despite it involving more than 900 charges.

In Australia, the victims would have been still waiting for legal argument to unfold.

Sure, a guilty plea will fast track any case.

But it is quite amazing that just months after Amanda Berry broke down the front door of Castro's home in May and cried for help, Castro is now behind bars with no prospect of release.

Compare that to the situation in Australia, where cases can take many months, if not years, to be resolved.

And even then, so often our courts hand out such pathetic sentences that we are left wondering why police even bothered.

Too often, the same offenders, after being released again into the community, rape or kill someone else, leaving another family with a life sentence of pain.

This week, Queensland civil liberty groups attacked Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie after he ordered a review into Queensland's sentencing laws.

Robyne Cuerel

They said Mr Bleijie failed to understand the principle of the separation of powers between the courts and state.

Well we reckon its time our courts stop listening to the bleeding heart lawyers and start listening to the real stakeholders in this - the victims of crime.

The Homicide Victims Support Group has a far better understanding of the problem than civil libertarian Terry O'Gorman.


Do you think there should be mandatory sentencing?

This poll ended on 09 August 2013.

Current Results

Yes. Our judges and magistrates are too soft on crime


Yes. Victims of crime deserve better


No. Let's leave it up to judges to decide


No. It's interfering with the courts' independence


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


Keeping prisoners in jail is a hefty expense - a staggering $80,000 a year.

Perhaps we should have a look at the standard of their services and accommodation - or a PNG option.

Serious offenders deserve no compassion.

We are kidding ourselves if we think child molesters, rapists and sadistic killers will be ever rehabilitated.

What cost do we put on the pain of seeing a family destroyed because we don't have the moral conviction to keep them inside until they breathe their last.

While Mr O'Gorman says it should be up to judges and magistrates to determine sentences, they have repeatedly failed in their duties.

We are kidding ourselves if we think child molesters, rapists and sadistic killers will be ever rehabilitated.

Mandatory sentences and non-parole periods will put a line in the sand - one the community has demanded for decades in this country.

* Mark Furler is APN Australian Regional Media's group digital editor, overseeing more than 25 news websites.

Topics:  editors picks jarrod bleijie justice queensland

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