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The Forum > Article Comments > The punitive obsession > Comments

The punitive obsession : Comments

By Ken Macnab, published 28/2/2006

In tackling crime and violence the law and order bandwagon unthinkingly fosters a culture of more violence.

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Hi all

plerdsus (post 1:23:04 PM 2/3/06)

Good commentary.

I don't know how we overcome injustice & recidivism in the short-term. I'd guess that there are only about 100 annual Restorative Justice cases being handled within NSW. [If anyone wants to know the actual figure I'll ask.] But where RJ is instituted the rate of repeat offence is markedly reduced. RJ isn't appropriate in all instances - whatsmore the offender must admit his/her guilt beforehand.

Our system is "presumption of innocence" - thankfully. Realistically, police certainly prosecute far more guilty defendents than innocent. However, every wrong prosecution is one too many - just asked the aggrieved. Notwithstanding, society deserves protection.

The issue is complex & involves correction of socio-economic inequities as well. Empathy, patience & appropriate education all help. But ignoring criminality - legislated or not - doesn't reduce the suffering of the victim.

Kalweb (post 6:09:11 PM 2/3/06)

My pleasure to add enjoyment to your day.

I didn't just lose Sue. Her lies & deceipt turned my children against me too. But that's life. My murdered mum warned me of what lay ahead, but I wouldn't listen. Mum only made peace with Sue about 3-years before mum was killed. I'm thankful that mum didn't survive to see the later anguish.

No, I'm all male. Not even an inkling of 'cross-dress' thought. Think that I might have been LittleAgreeableBuddiette if I'd had the 'snip&tuck'.

You identified yourself as "Kay", so I knew your status. But like you with me, Scout had me fooled. I'm pleased to communicate with both of you - the feminine gentility now shows.

Now, how do we put "justice" back into our "legal system"?

Truth & integrity might help. Consistency & transparency should be there. As must be pragmatic lateral thinking & education. That doesn't diminish the need to be tough on crime either. But it's getting the balance right that counts. We also need to focus away from "punishment" (vengeance), & view incarceration as protecting society, whilst we change the attitudes & skills of the guilty. ...


Cheers all
Posted by LittleAgreeableBuddy, Monday, 6 March 2006 9:22:22 PM
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Hi all

Kalweb (cont response) [your post 6:09:11 PM 2/3/06]

Murderers, from my experience, take 10to15-years to become compliant - if they ever do. Without diminishing the seriousness of other crimes, murder must rate as the worst. Sentencing should reflect that.

I also support "a 3-strike & you're out" concept.

ZORRO (post 3:24:57 PM 6/3/06)

I don't know anything about you - yet.

I'm amazed that pro-capital punishment advocates usually have never been a "victim of crime".

Zorro, you obviously haven't read my posts. And it's likely that you don't know Garry & "Peg" LYNCH (Anita), Kerri & Bev BALDING (Janine), Peter & Christine SIMPSON (Ebony), Ken & Carol (now Lynette) MARSLEW (Michael), Brian MORSE (Virginia), John BUTTON (Rosemary Anderson), Michael & Lindy CHAMBERLAIN (Azariah), policeman Ian BORLAND (wounded in 1984; partner killed), et alii. [I know many more.] We're all 'victims'. My mum was killed in 1990.

Ironically, I also professionally knew "the Granny Killer", John Glover. I used to shoot at Bowral Pistol Club with Ivan MILAT's brothers. How quirky!

John Glover's recent suicide revealed his weakness. What a nasty individual! He's now selfishly further traumatised his family - I don't know any of his victims' families.

I spent part of last weekend with Snr Sgt Garry RAYMOND (Ret.). He investigated into "the Granny Killings", the KALAJIC (Manly Pacific murder - he killed his wife) murder, & the Anita COBBY killing. A remarkable man.

I remain very 'close' to high-ranking police & members of the judiciary & DCS. I knew Det Chief Supt Ron STEPHENSON & his wife Gloria, too - both killed on Capt Cook Bridge (Sydney). Ron investigated the Milperra Bikie Gang Massacre.

Most people seek justice. But we see it differently. Inadequate sentencing is appalling. Few of the above are "capital punishment" advocates.

Isn't that interesting? The actual aggrieved rarely seek retribution. Self-proclaimed vigilantes are the vengeful.

Thankfully capital punishment isn't approved. If it were, John BUTTON & Lindy CRIGHTON (formerly Chamberlain) would be dead. Additionally, the opportunity to help my mum's killer through the Restorative Justice programme would be lost.

Cheers all
Posted by LittleAgreeableBuddy, Thursday, 9 March 2006 9:40:46 AM
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To LittleAgreeableBuddy:

I havenít read your previous posts, but if this comment is indicative of your thought processes, then I havenít missed much.

You give a grab-bag of names, but donít make clear just what the purpose of doing that is. Personal friends of yours? All Ďvictimsí, of something or other, as you claim? Few of the above are Ďcapital punishmentí advocatesĒ. Why then not name just which ones are, or are not? An asterisk against each name would have sufficed.

ďThe actual aggrieved rarely seek retributionĒ? Idiotic bleeding-hearts like you, who live in a delusional Fairyland, may like to think that. Those of us who live in the real world know otherwise.

The bit I really loved was the following statement:ďAdditionally, the opportunity to help my mumís killer though the Restorative Justice programme would be lost.Ē Indeed it would, and what a bloody shame! Itís a pity that we canít have your mumís thoughts on the matter, but then, thatís the problem, isnít it? The victims are voiceless.

I notice you didnít bother to answer my question on referendums. Neither has Ken Mcnab. So - answer this one instead. What gives you the right to impose your misguided morality on others
Posted by ZORRO, Wednesday, 15 March 2006 8:55:28 AM
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Hi all

ZORRO (post 8:55:28 AM 15/3/06)

I'd already said [Thursday, 9 March 2006 9:40:46 AM] that "Zorro, you obviously haven't read my posts ..".

Only (sorry!) a moron fails to thoroughly research his/her subject-matter, & shows a lack of compassion & understanding (generally).

You recognised none of those names. That shows your ignorance of well-publicised major. You're obviously lazy, & probably wouldn't seek information for yourself, so I'll give you a brief prťcis. Voila:

1. Garry & "Peg" LYNCH - parents of Anita COBBY: raped, tortured & murdered 2/1986 by Gary TRAVERS, Michael MURDOCK, and Les, Michael & Gary MURPHY.

2. Kerri & Bev BALDING - parents of Janine: accosted at Sutherland & pack-raped & drowned at Mt Druitt 8/9/1988 by Stephen Wayne "Shortie" JAMIESON & Bronte BLESSINGTON.

3. Peter & Christine SIMPSON - parents of then 9-year old Ebony: abducted from her Bargo home, sexually assaulted & murdered in 1992 by Andrew Peter GARFORTH.

4. Ken MARSLEW - father to then 18-year old Michael: shot in botched robbery of Jannali Pizza Hut on 27/2/1994 by four youths - don't remember their names.
Initially, Ken wanted "to get the four bastards who murdered young Michael, kill them, then suicide." - his quote.
Ken now runs "Enough Is Enough" Anti-violence Movement in Sutherland. He's a very close friend.

5. Brian MORSE - husband of Virginia: raped, tortured & murdered 11/1973 by Allan BAKER & Kevin CRUMP.

6. John BUTTON - boyfriend, in 1963, of traffic-accident victim, Perth teenager, Rosemary ANDERSON.
In 1964 John was sentenced to gaol for her manslaughter. It took 5-years to prove his innocence. The crime was actually committed by the last man executed in WA, Eric Edgar COOK.
Cook had admitted to the crime, but self-serving investigators 'buried' the evidence.
Journalist/author, Estelle BLACKBURN, together with an American "car-crash" expert, 'proved' Button's innocence.
It took until 2002 for the WA Government to acknowledge the injustices done to John. ...


Cheers all
Posted by LittleAgreeableBuddy, Thursday, 16 March 2006 4:59:44 AM
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Hi all

post to ZORRO (cont)

7. Michael & Lindy CHAMBERLAIN - internationally-known parents of Azariah. A travesty of injustice.
Michael lives on the Far-North Coast. Lindy lives in the Hunter Valley. Their lives were decimated.

I could continue, but you mightn't understand. None of those individuals desire "capital punishment" - I know them all. [Is that clear enough?]

As to my mum: I knew her intimately. I also know the conversations held between the offender & my mum. I know his tragic background - his crime shouldn't be excused. I also know her wishes - gaol for her killer, but not his death.

Just for your information, it was us (above) who fought for "truth in sentencing" (1989). None are 'soft' on crime - ask Nick GREINER, Bob CARR. Our lobbying resulted in Bob imposing the "never to be released" clause.

Meanwhile, what have you done Zorro? Probably nothing, except mouthing off in ignorance.

You'd benefit from reading "Vigilante Vengeance" in the book, "No Wonder They Called Him the Saviour" by Max LUCADO. It's vigilante, Bernhard Hugo GOETZ's story.

Your comment on referendums? I didn't notice that you specifically asked me to respond?! You said & I'll quote: "Perhaps Ken could give us the facts, or one of ..". I may or may not be one of Ken's 'supporters'? But, if you remain replyless from Amnesty International I can understand. Look at your OLO postings - you'll continue to be ignored.

Your closing comment [post 3:24:57 PM 6/3] that "The results are there for all to see.", places a presumption that you have expertise. I'd conjecture not.

In most of the countries, where "capital punishment" is part of their statutes, serious criminality often escalates. You see, criminals don't conjure captivity. The "death penalty" might be a 'thrill incentive' for the criminal?

In closing, if you're impassioned to improve the "justice system" you might courteously begin lobbying politicians about "inappropriate sentencing". I seek the removal of ineffectual magistrates like NSW Magistrate Pat O'SHANE. For me it's a "work in progress".

Cheers all
Posted by LittleAgreeableBuddy, Thursday, 16 March 2006 6:21:01 AM
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Loving your work here.

Capital Punishment/Death Penalty - no doubt there are many who deserve death for the heinous nature of their crimes, but apart from issues like effectiveness as deterrent (clearly not) and possibility of innocence (often happens) another issue I have with the implementation of a death penalty is this:

The Executioner.

Who is this person?

How is he/she chosen? What kind of person would choose to be an executioner?

To perform an execution both places the perpetrator into a position above all others and yet simultaneously brings us all down to the same level of the convicted murderer. We are guilty by association if our justice system includes death penalty.

How does the relatively painless death of the convict create justice for the murdered? Another death can't bring people back to life.

Being imprisoned for life, never to walk in a park, go to restaurants, swim at a beach. Many paint prison as a motel - they do not have the imagination to realise how much a loss of freedom is indeed punishment. Life in prison is no holiday. Whereas death only happens once, life in prison is every single day until the killer dies of old age.

People like Ivan Milat should never be released.

Many killers choose to suicide rather than be caught. To me death penalty is the easy solution. It is for people who see everything in black and white. People who don't like to think too much.


I am sorry to hear about the dreadful circumstances of your mother's demise. Your compassion is commendable - derived from experience and your own self-education.

I am interested in your thoughts on the issues I have raised here.

Kind Regards
Posted by Scout, Thursday, 16 March 2006 7:50:55 AM
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