A PAEDOPHILE guilty of murder has been released from prison having served only nine years of a 16-year sentence (report, 6 April). Why has the criminal justice system allowed, or even as a matter of policy planned for, this to happen?
The principle of early release appears to run contrary to natural justice. Sentences imposed by judges should convey certainty, to prisoners, victims and the public, that they mean what they say. Rather than cutting prison sentences for any reason, including good behaviour, sentences should certainly run the full term and even be increased for bad behaviour. How else can we, the public, have any faith in the system?
As it is, many of us suspect that the system does not meet our desire for, even our right to, justice. Certainly, in the case of homicide, our lives seem to be valued too cheaply in current sentencing policy.