Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fed: NT has responsibility to scrap mandatory laws: Beazley

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: NT has responsibility to scrap mandatory laws: Beazley

Opposition leader KIM BEAZLEY says the Northern Territory government has a moral responsibility
to scrap its mandatory sentencing laws.

Federal cabinet is set to discuss the territory's laws this afternoon after last week's
death in custody of a 15-year-old boy jailed for stealing pencils and crayons.

Federal coalition MPs are pushing for a conscience vote to override mandatory sentencing
laws in both Western Australia and the NT.

Mr BEAZLEY says the death is a terrible tragedy and the mandatory rules should be dumped
in favour of a discretionary system of sentencing.

But he says the decision is one the NT government should take, although the federal
government should be prepared to act if neccessary.

West Australian Liberal senator ALAN EGGLESTON told ABC radio the NT's laws were put
in place because other means of curbing crime had failed.

But Mr BEAZLEY says the scrapping of the so-called three strikes and you're out legislation
won't mean serious offences will go unpunished.

Mr BEAZLEY says the NT's experience should serve as a lesson for the WA government.

AAP RTV rft/mfh/smf


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