The Sensible Sentencing Trust needs to front up and state whether it is a genuine victims’ rights organisation, as it claims, or an organisation with an extremist hidden agenda, says Green Party Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos.
“In describing the Prime Minister and Amnesty International’s call for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty as an insult to murder victims’ families, spokesperson Garth McVicar appears to be supporting execution as punishment.
Today is World Day Against the Death Penalty and was marked by the joint announcement.
“Supporting the death penalty would move Sensible Sentencing right out of the realm of victims’ rights, or sensible sentencing for that matter.
“Sensible Sentencing has a total right to advocate for whatever sentencing policy it wants no matter how irrational, but it cannot continue to sell that as a concern for victims rights.
“Calling for the worldwide end of the death penalty is not insulting victims, and to say that it is, is manipulative and disrespectful.
“The assertion by Mr McVicar that people who disagree with Sensible Sentencing’s agenda are contemptuous of victims needs to be strongly challenged in the interests of honest and open debate.
“If anything it is the parading of grieving people to gain support for a the group’s agenda and the sidelining of the concerns of those victims who actually don’t support their objectives that is disrespectful.
“Sensible Sentencing has dominated the discussion around victim’s rights but it is time to see better representation of victims’ interests. Victims and their families deserve an organisation that actually speaks for and about victims rather than focussing on offenders,” Nandor says.