Saturday, 29 March 2008

Life jail sentence outlasts parole court

SYDNEY'S historic parole court will move on Monday from Hospital Road - where it has sat, in rooms 26 and 17, for more than 40 years - to the new justice precinct at Parramatta, joining the Attorney-General's Department and new law courts.

One of the authority's last orders of business before the move was to discuss parole for NSW's longest-serving prisoner, the triple murderer Eric Turner, in a private hearing on Friday. He has spent 57 years in jail.

Turner was sentenced to death - which was later commuted to life - in 1948 for strangling his 15-year-old girlfriend and killing her father with an axe. When he was released in 1970 he killed two more people.

The chairman of the Parole Authority, Ian Pike, said parole courts were emotional places - for the prisoners, who hoped for their freedom, and for victims and families of victims, who often dreaded their release.

"It revives all the emotion of the time when the offence was originally committed."

Questions: Why did Eric Turner kill two more people when he was released from prison the first time? Didn't he learn his lesson? Or wasn't he taught anything in prison while he was there? I dare say that the Attorney-General and the alleged Corrective Services? With the current 64 per cent recidivism rate have nothing to be proud of by linking Turner to this article accept to say that there were many prisoners mistreated in prison and released back to the community only to take out their revenge on society. Did the relatives of the two dead people sue the government of the day for letting him out without any rehabilitation process? Now that life means life perhaps mistreating prisoners doesn't matter as much to the authorities? Because they will never get out to be able to take revenge. However those housed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for years on end with no constructive lifestyle should remind those who are thinking about committing pre-meditated murder that they're better off dead instead of being caught after committing that crime. "The life sentence imposes intolerable burdens upon most prisoners because of their incarceration for an indeterminate period, and the result of that imposition has been an increased difficulty in their management by the prison authorities.”


When Life Means Life
A potted history of life sentences in N.S.W - A measure of the statutory maximum of “life imprisonment” Prior to 1981 any person convicted of murder was automatically sentenced to life imprisonment. Life was the mandatory penalty. However, all prisoners were considered for release on licence. At the time of the introduction of the Sentencing Act in 1989 there were only two prisoners who had served more than 35 years imprisonment [ Leonard Keith Lawson and Eric Turner. Each of those had originally been sentenced to death, had the death penalty commuted, been released - one on licence, the other on parole, and both had committed murder whilst out.]., and in both of those cases the imprisonment had not been continuous.

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