19 August 2009

Canberra the Capital without Murders

| che
Join the conversation
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.

Join the conversation

46
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Actually it is up to the judge, and evidence.

You cannot ‘get’ manslaughter…..and sadly it won’t matter what the family do or don’t think if an alternative of manslaughter is found.It is what the system allows

He will get manslaughter.

The families will not accept manslaughter for their murders, I’m sure his defence would have wanted that, NO WAY!

QUID I read where the person who caused your mother’s death got off with the manslaughter charge, I’m very sorry, I hope they lock him up in a mental hospital

Yes we’ll just have to wait and see what the outcome will be, I do sincerely hope the families do get justice, the new laws do not include the victims, the government should not have never changed the laws in the first place!

I’m sure it’ll be headline news in Ukraine, Kenya, Brazil etc.

You’re obviously close to the family, so I won’t wind you up anymore. I do sincerely hope justice is done and the family gets some closure.

You live in your own world, I live in the real world!

No it won’t. Not unless you and I have different definitions of ‘world wide’.

Tooks
I know the family of Jules have been contacted a couple of times from jurno’s, as far as England, it’s not less than a year to go for trial, don’t be so smug, the family will make sure if justice is not done in Canberra it will go worldwide! Regarding the laws here in Canberra.

Worldwide? No. Probably not even nationwide.

VG The news will go worldwide, trust me, if the courts let the murder recieve an unjust sentence for what he did to those inoccent victims.

QUID – thank you

QUID – Thank you.

Jackel post#4 Because the murderers are getting away with blue murder

QUID

I totally agree

Jb overlord am I keeping you busy lol

Quid MRS here. Having worked for many years in the legal profession, I suspect that its much easier to get offenders behind bars and prove a manslaughter rather than a murder. You may recall my mother-in-law was “manslaughtered” in August 2007 at the Canberra Centre so this is a subject I will continue to go on and on and on about for the rest of time. My husbands good friend of 30yrs Struan Bolis was murdered along with an old friend of mine Julie Tattersall (RIP guys) in that awful Dower murder. Another mate of mine was dumped into a garbage hopper in Kingston and his murder remains listed as “unsolved” despite his killers having ratted each other our and both spending time in custody. They are both now off the hook and walking the streets.For a city that has allegedly no murders, I am able to name someone who has been murdered for each and every year my husband and I have been together. I know so many people who have had their lives tragically taken by other peoples stupidity or selfishness (ie poor Dave in the hopper died from hypothermia after his so called friends panicked and dumped him outside in minus 7 degrees) that I am unable to remember all their names off the top of my head. Canberra has become a truly awful and unsafe place. We are now thankfully living in a safe place a long way from Canberra where I am able to leave the keys in the car when I go into the shops if I dont feel like carrying them. I certainly hope that Struan and Julies murderer gets fully convicted of murder not manslaughter. Cheers to you ppl of ACT. Mrs Q

Serenace As for not locking your doors, you’ve got to be kidding, I couldn’t lock my door last night, I was locked out and yanked the door dam door open as the barrel kept on turning around with the key, the locksmith came out this afternoon and fixed the lock, they weren’t going to come out at least for a few days, I just said no no no you come out ASAP. Once upon a time at least thirty years ago that was the case, you didn’t have to lock up, I had to talk to my mother about it, as they had someone years ago run into the house and hid under a bed, he was running from police.

Serenace Yes but locking the murderers away from the public is an effective deterrent. There has never been a double murder like the Downer murders in Canberra, what he did was over kill, he should never be released, he will never stop, he had been charged with attempted murder and grievous bodily harm before, he was only out of prison less then twelve weeks when he committed the murders, as they say some people are born that way and parents need to get help for them early in life, otherwise it’s too late to help them, they never change.

Jailing whilst sometimes needed does not affect the rate of murder in most modern countries around the world. There is no effective deterrent for the murderous kind. Get used to it. But you can take some fear out of your day in knowing that the rate of murder has never really gone significantly up or down in canberra ever!. You can probably leave yr door unlocked one or two days a week now.

Actually I do!

joy123 said :

VG

The Daily Telegraph are already talking about Canberra’s laws, being a killers paradise, imagine if McDougall actually gets sentenced for double murder and arson, I’m sure that will make the headlines! That’s what he’s going for in the Supreme Court.

You don’t read this site much, do you?

Then again, because the Tele is talking about it that must mean something…….surely?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy10:06 am 31 Aug 09

joy123 said :

VG

The Daily Telegraph are already talking about Canberra’s laws, being a killers paradise, imagine if McDougall actually gets sentenced for double murder and arson, I’m sure that will make the headlines! That’s what he’s going for in the Supreme Court.

Imagine if he doesn’t…

VG The Daily Telegraph are already talking about Canberra’s laws, being a killers paradise, imagine if McDougall actually gets sentenced for double murder and arson, I’m sure that will make the headlines! That’s what he’s going for in the Supreme Court.

#19 posted Serenace

The point is there has been NO convictions for murder for eleven years, most people would be safer as the murders would be in prison for longer periods for murder, then manslaughter, ACT is behind the eight ball, mainly because it is the Capital, and this government likes to think it’s squeaky clean, or want it appear as such, which is far from the truth, I can assure you this is not thoughtless dribble, wipe your chin, and who are you kidding, crime in Canberra has increased since they changed the laws.

“Is it possible that ACT justice is better than other states?”

Depends if you’re an offender or a victim

Who really thinks having a higher conviction rate for murder will make them safer? What a pile of thoughtless dribble. Will the convictions stop people from falling victim to murder? Wake up. Is it possible that ACT justice is better than other states? That it is more thorough and therefore is delivering a more just outcome? Its worth considering and by any measure, Canberra is probably the safest and cleanest city in Australia so lets just settle.

“If McDougall gets manslaughter there will be an out cry and it will go nationwide”

As opposed to someone who stabs his mother, say, 53 times?

There will be no ‘national outrage’ over a Canberra sentencing. You need to get out more

Yes McDougall will stand trial for double and arson, it will be very interesting, such a high profile case, let us see what the out come will be, If McDougall gets manslaughter there will be an out cry and it will go nationwide, so no sweeping this one under the carpet, these murders should be made an example of in Canberra

19. In the crimes act for The Capital

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

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!

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

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 toad11:24 am 20 Aug 09

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

Sure they will….

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

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 Sloth10:57 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.

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

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.”

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.

Try “sweet”

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

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

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…

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.