VICTORIANS are witnessing too many instances of plea bargains in our criminal justice system that see violent criminals get off lightly for horrific crimes, says Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto.
Cases that start off with serious charges too often get whittled down after private talks between prosecutors and defence lawyers so that defendants can accept much lesser charges with far weaker sentences.
The latest example of this involves one of the criminals involved in horrifying armed robberies of two jewellery stores in Melbourne earlier this year.
The offender in that case was to be tried in the adult system, but was spared that after a deal between prosecutors and the defence. Rather than face a maximum of 25 years, he will face a maximum of three years.
This current culture of giving our most violent criminals an easy pathway to softer sentences has to change.
As announced earlier this year, if elected next year Matthew Guy and the Liberal Nationals will introduce reforms to require prosecutors to consult properly with victims and their families before any arrangements are made for a change to charges.
We need to change the law and culture so that we can all have faith that our prosecutors will better reflect the tough approach Victorians deserve but are not getting under Daniel Andrews.
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