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Judicial CP - February 1999


The Press, Christchurch, 22 February 1999

Corporal punishment mooted for criminals

HAMILTON -- Corporal punishment for violent criminals should be considered as an alternative to locking them up, National's Coromandel MP Murray McLean says.

In some cases physical punishment could be a "better answer" than locking people up for 15 years, Mr McLean said. He also favoured bringing back caning in schools.

"I think we have some very violent people in our society and locking them up does not appear to me to be the answer."

Mr McLean clashed with rival Coromandel MP and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons over the issue in Parliament last week. Ms Fitzsimons accused him of wanting to bring back flogging, and said the Government should focus on rehabilitation and concern for the victim rather than "revenge".

Mr McLean pointed to the attack on retired Thames doctor Chris Harison as an example of a vicious crime recently committed in his electorate. Mr McLean said he did not believe in "wholesale flogging at all" but said he wanted "feedback" on what people in his electorate thought.

He also believed New Zealand would ultimately have to consider the death penalty in particular cases of violent crime. "There are some pretty vicious people in our society and sometimes we have to think whether the ultimate penalty should be there for some cases," he said. -- NZPA

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Archive 1999: New Zealand

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