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Canberra the Capital without Murders

By che - 19 August 2009 46

The Daily Telegraph has a piece on how canberra appears a killers paradise compared to NSW. They highlight that there have been no murder convictions in the ACT in 11 years, and that any killings are usually prosecuted as manslaughter as its easier to get a conviction, but therefore goes with a much lighter sentence.

I was told once that murder and manslaughter carry the same maximum sentence (please correct me if I’m wrong) which is why the DPP go for manslaughter, but when it comes time for sentencing it seems the ACT is much lighter than NSW.

There are proposed changes going up in the ACT LA to bring the ACT in line with NSW for the requirements to prove a Murder conviction, but will the sentencing be any different?

Ralph and BerraJ also had their thoughts on the story.

    The Daily Telegraph has an interesting story today that draws attention to the soft treatment of those who commit murder (aka ‘manslaughter’ in the Capital), and our not recording a murder conviction for 11 years.

    The article draws attention to previous RiotACT favourites, such as Glenn Porritt, was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter after stabbing his mother 57 times.

    It appears that pressure from the community (which would include agitation on this site) has seen the ACT Government apparently proposing changes that make it easier for judges to convict for murder.

    This would be a good outcome if in fact it is true, however, the obvious question is whether the ACT’s bleeding heart bench possesses the gumption to convict for murder.

What’s Your opinion?


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46 Responses to
Canberra the Capital without Murders
backlash 9:02 pm 21 Aug 09

What hawk said is in the crimes act for Canberra, look it up if you don’t believe me

Angel36 9:04 am 21 Aug 09

Lets see the outcome of the next person charged with two counts of murder in the ACT, Mr McDougall – Clearly with the details that were exposed at the committal hearing this one will be interesting. One good point is he has been committed to stand trial!

FC 8:19 am 21 Aug 09

love how people rattle of things as facts but really haven’t a clue.

harvyk1 1:24 pm 20 Aug 09

hawk said :

jackal
Also a person who intentionally inflicts grievous bodily harm, will get 15 to 20 years confinement.
Crimes Act 1900

In a magical realm where the ACT actually has judges who are not soft and don’t believe in 153rd time lucky…

barking toad 11:24 am 20 Aug 09

I’m always happy to accept vg’s view on these matters rather than someone toting an arts/law degree

DJ 9:29 am 20 Aug 09

Sure they will….

hawk 12:11 am 20 Aug 09

jackal
Also a person who intentionally inflicts grievous bodily harm, will get 15 to 20 years confinement.
Crimes Act 1900

jackal 11:22 pm 19 Aug 09

vg said :

Learn your legislation before you comment:

“12 Murder
(1) A person commits murder if he or she causes the death of another
person—
(a) intending to cause the death of any person; or
(b) with reckless indifference to the probability of causing the
death of any person.
(2) A person who commits murder is guilty of an offence punishable,
on conviction, by imprisonment for life.”

Ok my bad. It’s still life for murder. The rest of my post was correct i think. The Crimes Act’s murder part was amended in the early 90s effectively making it harder to get a conviction (which the Gov is now trying to change back).

Grapes of Sloth 10:57 pm 19 Aug 09

It all comes down to ACT criminal law having a ludicrously tight definition of “intent” for murder – yes, you can stab your mum 53 times and she can die from the wounds, but if you didn’t mean to kill her, then under ACT law as it stands now, you’ll just get convicted of manslaughter.

The gummint has a bill before the Assembly now to bring “intent” provisions for murder into line with other jurisdictions. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the amendments to get through the Legislative Assembly – the Greens and the Libs both say they’ll oppose bringing ACT law into line with the rest of Australia.

Won’t stop the Libs pontificating about how slack the Supreme Court is, next time the court hands down a manslaughter conviction instead of a murder conviction.

vg 10:57 pm 19 Aug 09

It was never ‘changed in the early 90s’. Eastman was convicted in 1995 for a start

vg 10:55 pm 19 Aug 09

Learn your legislation before you comment:

“12 Murder
(1) A person commits murder if he or she causes the death of another
person—
(a) intending to cause the death of any person; or
(b) with reckless indifference to the probability of causing the
death of any person.
(2) A person who commits murder is guilty of an offence punishable,
on conviction, by imprisonment for life.”

jackal 10:02 pm 19 Aug 09

54-11 said :

“I was told once that murder and manslaughter carry the same maximum sentence”.

Dead right – sweety FA for either, within the ACT.

Not true. The max for manslaughter is 20 years, max for murder 25 years. Used to be life for murder, and life meant life (changed in the early 1990s), which is why Mr Eastman will never taste freedom unless he tunnels out of the AMC Shawshank Redemption-style.
Interestingly, the max for aggravated robbery is also 25 years, when arguably it is a lesser offence to a high-end manslaughter.
I find the timing of the Telegraph story very odd, wonder what prompted it (no recent verdicts, and the Government’s proposed amendments to the ACT murder laws were tabled in the Assembly several months ago and the Bill is yet to be voted on).
Also, max sentences don’t mean much, as we never see anything coming close to the max imposed. The norm for agg. robberies is about 2-5 years with most if not all suspended on a GBO.

54-11 6:32 pm 19 Aug 09

Try “sweet”

54-11 6:31 pm 19 Aug 09

“I was told once that murder and manslaughter carry the same maximum sentence”.

Dead right – sweety FA for either, within the ACT.

harvyk1 5:51 pm 19 Aug 09

This would be a good outcome if in fact it is true, however, the obvious question is whether the ACT’s bleeding heart bench possesses the gumption to convict for murder.

No…..

Given that our courts also have a strong belief in giving crims their 447th chance I highly doubt that if a murder charge was to be brought before the courts the crim would be given much more than a slap on the wrist. Probably because the judge wouldn’t want to “hurt the crims feelings”, and a murder conviction can certainly hurt ones feelings…

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