Is the Sentence Given to Brett Peter Cowan for the Murder of Daniel Morcombe Too Lenient?
In her sentencing Justice Roslyn Atkinson ordered a non-parole period of 20 years, telling Cowan that she didn’t believe that he should be granted parole, labelling him a ‘convincing liar,’ an ‘opportunistic offender’ and ‘beyond rehabilitation.’
Personally, as a parent, I wish the justice system would give up on this ludicrous idea of ‘rehabilitating’ sex offenders, like it is some curable disease. It isn’t. We might as well prescribe Conversion therapy to cure homosexuality, and labotomise the mentally ill – it’ll have the same effect. None! Putting our children’s innocence, and in some cases, lives at the mercy of the will-power of these predators because they have apparently learnt to control their urges, and shown a willingness to be rehabilitated (so they can get out of prison earlier) is almost as abhorrent as the crimes these people commit. They all know how to play the system, say I’m sorry, show remorse, promise they have changed and hey presto parole or even worse early parole. If Cowan lied so well as Justice Roslyn Atkinson stated, then how easy would it be for him to “play the system”?
So what is the answer? If we are truthful, most of us could reel off a handful of suggestions of what we’d like to see done to people like Cowan, ranging from locking him up and throwing away the key, to castration. A girlfriend of mine half-jokingly suggested today that they should be used for medical experiments. Leave the poor defenceless animals alone, and use these disgusting and depraved humans for medical research instead. That’s all well and good in a private conversation amongst friends, but woe betide the person who suggests capital punishment be brought back for these types of crimes. I’m not saying for a moment that I would personally advocate that, but it is interesting and frustrating how we seem to place so much weight on the ‘rights’ of these people, when they show a blatant disregard for the most vulnerable and innocent people in our community – our children.
Cowan’s defence lawyer argued that his client deserved a more lenient sentence because he didn’t ‘intentionally kill Daniel.’ Deserved? I can think of a few things that despicable man does deserve, and leniency isn’t one of them.
Today Queensland Attorney General Jarod Bleijie has instructed the DPP to appeal to have the non-parole period extended on the grounds that it is not in line with community expectations, is inadequate and isn’t enough of a deterrent to stop other sex offenders committing these types of crimes.
“We will continue to reform Queensland’s criminal laws to tip the scales of justice back in the favour of the victim and to ensure that the children of Queensland are protected,” Bleijie said.
Whilst many back Bleijie’s hard line stance, he has also come under criticism for using the case to gain votes, and for prolonging the ordeal for Daniel Morcombe’s parents Bruce and Denise, who must have thought that at least this chapter of this horrific story had come to an end.
What are your thoughts? Is Bleijie right to push for an extended non-parole period for Daniel Morcombe’s killer?