Research finds families of victims are dissatisfied with homicide sentencing

Tuesday 18 June 2013 13.14
The survey found that 63% of the participants favour the introduction of minimum sentencing guidelines for homicide
The survey found that 63% of the participants favour the introduction of minimum sentencing guidelines for homicide

New research suggests that the families of victims of homocide are dissatisfied with sentencing and proposed penal reform.

The research was carried out on behalf of victims' families advocacy group AdVIC.

It found 65% of the families of homicide victims are dissatisfied with the length of sentence given to the perpetrator in their case.

It also found that 90% of victims' families are dissatisfied with current bail laws.

Three-quarters of victims' families believe the State more often than not pursues charges of manslaughter over charges of murder when bringing a prosecution in order to achieve a conviction.

Echoing earlier calls from ADVIC, 63% of survey participants favour the introduction of minimum sentencing guidelines for homicide.

More than one in ten of homicide victims' family members never return to work after their bereavement, the survey also finds.

Report author Cathriona Nash said: "These research findings indicate that little has changed in relation to the rights of victims of homicide, and those of their families, since AdVIC's inception in 2005.

"While there has been some reforms in the system, namely guaranteed seating for victims' families in court and the entitlement of families of homicide victims to make a victim impact statement, AdVIC members are seeking much greater reform."

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