The Australian Parliament should revert to the punishment practices of our neo-colonial days, namely execution and floggings, because the current punishment by incarceration has proven ineffectual, costly and fraught with social diseases. Parliaments should re-adopt the Corporal and Capital punishment sentences that were assigned by the state Criminal Courts one hundred years ago, the year that The Great War ended - 1918
Reduce Australia’s pro-rata Criminal Justice System annual funding costs and new occupant numbers by –
by adopting some of the ‘crime deterrent practices’ that have applied to over 97% of all Homo sapiens that have ever breathed air on terra firma
Government empirical data establishes that prison does not effectively discourage re-offending/re-entering
In the last 70 years circa in the UK, Canada and Australia, the pendulum has swung too far to the left, thereby forgoing cost-effective ‘crime deterrent punishments’ that previously kept citizens out of the ‘prisoner education revolving turnstile’
Safeguard the QOL of tens of thousands of vulnerable, predominately young Australians, by deterring them from approaching that ‘revolving turnstile’
Recidivism among prisoners in Australian gaols can be measured by the rate at which released prisoners return to prison. In Australia overall, 44.8% of prisoners released during 2014-15 returned to prison within two years (to 2016-17). Feb 1, 2018
Call for a complete rethink as prison population, recidivism explode - SMH - Rachel Olding - Feb 2016 includes:
“Why bringing back hanging is the right thing to do” - Stephen Pollard, - Sat, Jun 25, 2011
“A poll in the U.K. in September 2010 found that 51 per cent supported reinstating the death penalty for murder, compared with 37 per cent who oppose it.”
Why Do People Get So Worked Up About the Death Penalty? - Peter Hitchens 17 Aug 2015
“Punishment is a cherished part of the Australian way of life. It is a concept that Australians understand and warm to. The last remnant of the puritan ethic is the sense that everyone who goes to prison deserves to be there and that conditions ought to be tough, otherwise offenders will prefer the security and comfort of prison to the hazards of life outside .... Australia began as a convict settlement and penology was its primary industry for 50 years. Our penal birthstains and convict ancestry has not—the ‘mateship’ legend to the contrary—given much sympathy for prisoners. They are not seen as victims of society, but as outlaws, people who have declared war on society.
The current method of execution in Texas USA of a vicious murderer who displayed no compassion for his/her victim/s, evidences political correctness leaning too far to the left. Rather than being hung by the neck with several witnesses present, and public announcement of it, the convicted murderer is discretely injected with a poison to ensure a painless death; a concession often not granted to his/her victim/s.
Question: Does the current quiet sanctuary afforded at execution in Texas deter other potential transgressors to the same degree that the supporters of Jesus of Nazareth witnessed in the painful lead-up to Jesus’ ultimate death on public display on a wooden cross that Jesus had to drag from town centre wearing a crown of thorns whilst being whipped?
Answer: A painless injection in a quiet and private preserve does not instil the same deterrent effect deployed 2,000 years' ago to discourage similar transgressions.
3. Over 97% of the 109 billion Homo sapiens ever born are UN-likely to be wrong about the deterrent effect of swift and sometimes brutal punishment, consistent with a vicious murderer’s ‘modus operandi’
An estimated 109 billion Homo sapiens have entered terra firma initially congregating in East Africa approx. 125,000 years ago and then 75,000 years ago or thereabouts starting to populate the planet.
Over 97% of those 109b have lived under a retribution system referred to (in the Western world) as Capital and Corporal punishment. The majority of the current 7.6b human population today live under Capital and Corporal punishment edicts. Rulers in countries such as China, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Arab States, North Korea ‘et al’ opine that incarceration is costly and an ineffective deterrent to further behavioural transgressions. Those countries seek to expend their ‘public purse’ more so on health and educating citizens that will be productive taxpayers and do not take the ‘easy option’ by not similarly punishing criminal offenders.
Incarceration as a remedy for punishment has been used by some Western Countries only during the –
Western countries such as the USA and Australia should learn from South East Asian and Middle Eastern Countries. China pumps a bullet in the side of the convicted murderer’s cranium and charges the family for the bullet. There is no protracted and costly appeal system.
Confining a vicious murdered to a steel cage until he dies at the taxpayers’ expense is not cost effective expenditure of the public purse when that purse is already in deficit, and higher priorities exist (health and education) that will achieve more taxpayers and higher productivity from some of them. That is the priority in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam ‘et al’.
The same rationale applies for less serious crimes where flogging is a greater deterrent than spending time at Her Majesties Expense which is often a breeding ground for learning more about crime from other criminals and the "return rate" is almost 50%, perhaps because three meals a day and a warm bed is appealing to some.
Islam practices Sharia law where punishment is often carried out on a Friday, either execution or floggings. The deterrent effect upon those required to witness the application of punishment is cogent.
Reportedly, 2,000 years ago a revolutionary/radical/outspoken named Jesus of Nazareth challenged/criticised the behaviour/ethics of the local ruling Jewish government.
Jewish locals muttered:
“This Jesus guy is right. He is on the money. We are getting screwed over by the –
(i) Jewish tax collectors appointed by the Romans;
(ii) Jewish money lenders; and
(iii) Jewish false prophets in the holy temple that tell us to give them my money and they will get me into the next life.”
Jesus and his vocal followers represented a threat to the local Jewish rulers who ‘took Jesus out’ in a brutal and public execution which was the medium of the era to deliver the patent message to other potential transgressors “Don’t mess with us”.
As was the case 2,000 years ago, punishment today has to incorporate a message, “Don’t mess with us, because the price that you will pay will be painful”. Why is that message necessary? To discourage prospective criminals from entering the Revolving Turnstile because the prison system includes material failings, not limited to cost on the public purse, crime education and proliferation of diseases.
The last execution (by hanging) in Australia was Ronald Ryan in 1967. Australia’s recent partiality for incarceration lacks the patent message: “Don’t mess with us”. Whereupon crime is rife, too often exacerbated by crystal meth 'et al', and punishment is not cost-effective. Prisons are often a breeding ground for further transgressions.
NB: Likely, the brutal crucifixion of a radical known as Jesus of Nazareth was chronicled in the New Testament by spin-doctors “that did not know him from a bar of soap”. Some were canonised as Saints for the benefits to the church of their ‘spin’. Jesus’ name and his courage remained only in folklore for two hundred years because only a handful knew how to write and fewer had the primitive tool to inscribe a few words. Bic biros and note pads were over 1,900 years away. Jesus’ character was ultimately stolen in the pursuit of ‘crowd control’ and ‘power/authority enhancement’ by the early Catholic Church. (Crows control was probably the greatest benefit of Christianity). Jesus did not have 12 peaceful apostles, but rather a larger following of disgruntled peasants. Nobody knows the names of his parents. There were no Three Wise Men with wisdom to anticipate and herald his birth. Eve did not eat a forbidden apple and give humans 'original sin'.
4. Capital and Corporal punishment practiced in Australia until the mid-20th Century was swift and often painful
“Capital punishment had been part of the legal system of Australia since British settlement and during the 19th century, crimes that could carry a death sentence included burglary, sheep stealing, forgery, sexual assaults, murder and manslaughter, and there is one reported case of someone being executed for "being illegally at large". During the 19th century, these crimes saw about 80 people hanged each year throughout Australia”.
Although Australia has abandoned capital punishment, it does not follow that it could never be reintroduced. Nor does it mean that it cannot be imposed on Australians travelling overseas, as illustrated by the double execution of Barlow and Chambers who were hanged in Malaysia on 7 July 1986 for drug trafficking.
Whenever a particularly vicious crime is committed, members of the public, police, politicians and the press ‘reopen’ the debate on the death penalty.
For example, as recently as October (1986) the 30 member council of the Police Federation of Australia voted unanimously to press State and Federal Governments to hold a referendum upon the reintroduction of capital punishment. The issue of capital punishment is most often raised in respect of sex-murder cases, acts of wanton terrorism, or the killing of police or prison officers.
Over recent years, a number of opinion polls have been carried out to determine the public's attitude to capital punishment. Results vary because of differences in the wording of the questions, and in the type and timing of the surveys. A phone-in poll conducted in January 1986 by a Sydney TV station shortly after a particularly gruesome sex-murder received over 48 000 calls. On this occasion 95 per cent of the respondents were in favour of the reintroduction of capital punishment.
More reliable surveys, such as those run by Australian Public Opinion Polls or Morgan Gallup Polls, have elicited pro-capital punishment results ranging from 70 per cent (in response to a question which specifically related to crimes such as child murder, rape-murder or gang war murder)7 to only 43 per cent (where an almost equal percentage voted for life imprisonment when asked to decide the appropriate penalty for murder. See Table 3).8
"Flogging with the cat for adult male offenders, and birching and parental caning for boys, were still in use in South Australia in the 1950s, as may be seen in several historical news items. The clearest picture of what the "parental caning" involved comes in this May 1956 illustrated news item, where it is interesting to note that one youth so caned was aged 17, despite the supposed upper limit of 14 (according to Cadogan)."
The Writer attended Catholic schools from 1955 to 1969 during an era when ‘spare the rod, and spoil the child’ was common parlance. He, and the vast majority of his classmates, were whipped with a leather strap by school teachers on the hand or buttock for indisgressions. From about 4 years old until about 8 years old if he, or his brothers, transgressed in the family home, his father applied the wrong end of the feather duster to the wrongdoer’s open palm a couple of times. The Writer managed to survive and learn what was right and wrong in his household and at his schools where school teachers were respected and occasionally admired. Corporal punishment didn’t negatively affect the Writer demonstrably.
AUSTRALIA: Domestic Corporal Punishment chronicles the abolition of Corporal Punishment in schools, starting in the state school system.
5. Australian Parliamentary Report dated 2013 that examined the economic and social costs of imprisonment concluded that the current justice system with rising economic costs, as well as acute social costs (for individuals, families and communities) is unsustainable. Similar findings in England and Wales 10 years earlier
B. Evidenced that incarceration as a form of punishment is highly cost-ineffective and a breeding/training ground for more complex crimes, sometimes allied with newfound accomplices, because inmates are in regular contact with other adroit convicted law breakers.
“3.24 Submitters commented on the health impacts of imprisonment. The increase in prison populations has caused overcrowding in prisons, which impacts on prisoner health. Drug use and related health issues are a concern with a higher rate of hepatitis C and HIV manifesting in prison populations due to needle sharing. The overall prevalence of hepatitis is estimated to be between 23 and 47 per cent for male prisoners and between 50 and 70 per cent for female prisoners. As many prisoners move in and out of the corrections system quickly, these infections pose a risk to both the inmate and public health. Prisoners with histories of substance abuse are also at a higher risk of death once released, particularly death from drug overdose.
3.25 The prison population is also at risk in relation to mental health. There is a high rate of mental health illness in the justice system with 31 per cent of imprisoned individuals reporting they had been told by a health care professional that they had had a mental health disorder in their lifetime, 'a rate 2.5 times higher than the general population'.
3.31 The increase in prisoner numbers is putting financial strain on the Australian justice system, which is quickly becoming unsustainable. Released prisoners are finding it difficult to find work and are facing multiple barriers to reintegrating with society. In addition, the removal of an individual from a community or family can have long lasting effects, as well as increasing financial burden. Due to the overcrowding of prisons, prisoner health is deteriorating and those health issues are being transferred to society with the release of prisoners. Governments need to address the long term economic and social costs of imprisonment to prevent further development of intergenerational offending, and occurrences of recidivism.
6. A few recent Australian vicious murderers that should have been brutally and painfully executed, so as to -
* respect and measure their victims' pain, suffering and loss of life; and
* discourage other similar murderers
The Ivan Milat, Backpacker Murders and the Martin Bryant, Port Arthur massacre evidenced 42 innocent people slaughtered. Milat and Bryant were not required to pay for their monstrous crimes with their lives when judges ruled that they could never be released into mainstream society because of the risk of re-killing. Unlike the earlier history of Australian criminal courts, Milat and Bryant were not executed because our federal Parliament considers execution barbaric, no matter what the crime/s and the brutal pain that they inflicted.
Martin Bryant shot 35 people to death in Port Arthur Tasmania in 1996. He has been sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in a maximum security steel cage at the taxpayers’ expense of AUD$150,000 pa circa. He took the lives of 35 innocent Australians, yet was not required to pay for taking those lives by foregoing his life.
Between 1989 and 1993, Ivan Milat viciously and sadistically murdered seven young backpackers, aged 19 to 22, in the Belanglo State Forest, 15 kilometres from Berrima NSW. Five of the victims were foreign backpackers visiting Australia (three German, two British). Two were Australian travellers from Melbourne. Ivan Milat is never to be released.
The Australian taxpayer was sentenced to the order of AUD$150,000 each, annually for maximum security confinement, because each was sentenced to occupy a steel cage at the taxpayer’s expense until each dies. Can any politician articulate the logic of that injustice to the victims and to taxpayers?
In 2012, Milat's great-nephew, Matthew Milat, and his friend, Cohen Klein, (both aged 19 at the time of their sentencing) were sentenced to 43 years and 32 years in prison, respectively, for murdering David Auchterlonie on his 17th birthday with an axe at the Belanglo State Forest in 2010. Matthew Milat struck Auchterlonie with the double-headed axe as Klein recorded the attack with a mobile phone. This was the same forest where Ivan Milat had killed and buried his victims.
Australia’s worst killers: 10 of our most evil murderers destined to spend life behind bars – Daily Telegraph – 2016.
A jury recently found Joshua Homann guilty of stabbing his pregnant partner 49 times in the bedroom of their Mount Druitt home in Sept. 2015, thereby ending two lives. He will likely be sentenced to life in a metal cage in a max. security prison at the taxpayers' expense. The taxpayer is sentenced to pay for Joshua Homann’s monstrous murder of two others with no commensurate payment by the murderer involving the same fear of an imminent, cruel and painful death.
Martin Bryant, Ivan Milat, Matthew Milat, Cohen Klein, Joshua Homann and other similar sadistic murderers should be hung by the neck until dead, with a least a dozen witnesses who are at liberty to describe what they witnessed to a waiting media to publicise the old adage, "An eye for an eye". and 'Justice is done!"
Interviewing retired NSW Police Assistant Commissioner, Clive Small, and any of his former 'task force' members re the details of any/each of the seven backpacker murders, in particular the sadistic streak in Milat and his method of killing, may influence some anti-Criminal punishment advocates to ponder their logic.
7 The above details of a few notable murderers in Australia that mirror similar atrocities in the UK and Canada, evidence that ‘political correctness’, has over-corrected, and that we need to lean back to former Capital and Corporal punishment methodology that was diligently applied in Australia to discourage similar atrocities (detailed in the first and third embedded threads in Section 4 above). Time to turn-back-the-clock and re-adopt the Corporal and Capital punishment sentences that were assigned by the state Criminal Courts one hundred years ago - 1918
The current judicial system has abrogated its responsibilities to the deceased innocent victim/s in murder trials, which is a disappointing indictment of our legislature imposed at the ‘coal face’ by our judges. If someone takes another human’s life in a vicious, painful and premeditated manner, then that murderer should pay swiftly with his or her life in a frightful and painful manner. This realisation was/is fundamental to over 97% of all Homo sapiens that ever breathed oxygen on ‘terra firma’.
The judicial system holds a duty of care to other possible victims (open to be slain by other potential mass murderers) to value and honour those lost lives by swiftly and similarly executing convicted murders, not confine them to a steel cage until they die from old age at the taxpayers’ considerable expense. Australia, Great Britain and Canada have each tried long term incarceration since the middle of the 20th Century. It is flawed as evidenced in the Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 in Section 5 above.
Similarly, formal legislative abolition of Corporal Punishment across Australian states from the middle of the 20th Century was not thought through because Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 chronicle the high economic cost, social cost and re-offending rates by prisoners who learnt so much more about committing crime from other inmates whilst in gaol.
The Writer recently discussed (with a retired magistrate) his views on the inefficiencies of long term incarceration as punishment for heinous crimes against other innocent human beings. He told me that he could not support my views because of the occasional wrongful conviction which is subsequently reversed. He found the prospect of executing an innocent man unacceptable, seemingly at any cost.
Other people contend that executing a convicted mass murderer is barbaric.
To seek to obtain a perspective of the value of a human live, as a reaction to the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914, 60,000 young Aussie males (from the other side of the planet) were coerced into dying in WWI for some cause that they did not understand, like 19 year old Alvin Wilfred McHugh from Ulverstone Tasmania. Many lingered for weeks after being wounded, before dying from infection. That was barbaric. Yet that was condoned by the politicians that were perched ‘high on the hill’ and well away from physical danger. There needs to be a relativity of the value of human life taken by a premeditated sadistic murderer..
Proof of guilt is usually required to be “beyond reasonable doubt”. There needs to be a higher level of proof for sentencing a murderer to death because his/her heinous crime/s renders that he/she cannot be rehabilitated. If found guilty “beyond any doubt”, where each and every person in the jury finds the accused guilty, then the murderer should be executed swiftly and painfully. Our forefathers had it right. Our politicians in the middle of the last Century, merely transferred the problem to others at considerable social and economic costs to others.
Section 4 above includes:
"Although Australia has abandoned capital punishment, it does not follow that it could never be reintroduced."
8. Previous polls and ballots on the pros and cons of Capital and Corporal punishment have failed to present all the associated tangible and intangible costs and benefits, so as to make an informed decision