The State Government will introduce new laws into parliament today, preventing the consideration of mass murderers and serial killers for release.
The Sentence Administration Amendment (Multiple Murderers) Bill 2018 will enable the Attorney General of the day to direct that mass murderers and serial killers not be considered for parole or re-socialisation program by the Prisoners Review Board.
Premier Mark McGowan said that the legislation will be delivering on an election promise to families and victims involved in murders and killings.
“Prior to the March 2017 State election, WA Labor pledged to reform WA’s parole laws to ensure that serial killers and mass murderers would not be considered for parole,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“The aim of this policy is to limit trauma to family and friends of murder victims and others impacted by the crimes, including surviving victims of serial killers and mass murderers, by suspending the consideration for parole or a re-socialisation program.”
“This is about putting victims and their families first, ahead of murderers.”
The Attorney General will be able to legalise public declarations of no release for specific serial killers and mass murderers.
It follows consistent public declarations from Attorneys General of successive governments that specific prisoners would not be released during their appointment.
However, prisoners were still required to be considered for release by the Prisoners Review Board.
Prisoners are currently considered for release every three years.
“This suspension, should the Attorney General of the day determine to exercise it in a case that is captured by the proposed legislation, would remain in place for a period of up to six years,” Mr McGowan said.
The laws came following an online petition to reform the parole laws by Kate Moir in 2016, a violent crimes survivor who was a victim of killers David and Catherine Birnie.
The petition has received more than 41,000 signatures.
Attorney General John Quigley said murder victims and their families re-suffer the horrors of their experience when convicted killers are eligible for parole.
He said the legislation would help victims find closure.
“Survivors and secondary victims are re-traumatised every time these prisoners come up for consideration for a re-socialisation program or parole, as is required under existing parole legislation,” Mr Quigley said.
“The secondary victims and survivors of these horrendous crimes have already suffered enough, they should not be put through this process every three years.”