I wonder what the people of Victoria would reply if asked whether the death penalty should be reinstituted. One thing we can be sure of is that we won’t be asked …
AUSTRALIA is among a record 110 countries which have backed a resolution voted on every two years at a UN General Assembly committee calling for the abolition of the death penalty.
It would seem though, that the rehabilitation of men who murder women is less than perfect. I won’t discuss a couple of cases awaiting trial but a notable recent case illustrates the point rather well …
A Victorian Supreme Court found Leigh Robinson guilty of murdering 33-year-old Tracey Greenbury at Frankston, Melbourne, last year by shooting her in the back of the head at close range.
She had been trying to crawl into the neighbour’s house to get away from him when he shot her from just over 1.5 metres away.
Robinson then left a mobile phone message for Ms Greenbury’s ex-partner saying: “Yeah, come and get your kids. They’ve got no mother.”
The jury was not told that Robinson in 1968 was sentenced to death for murdering his then 17-year-old ex-girlfriend at Chadstone.
Had Leigh Robinson been hanged in 1968 those kids would still have a mother …
When Leigh Robinson was sentenced to natural life for the shotgun murder of his estranged girlfriend, Tracey Greenbury, in October 2009, a heraldsun.com.au poll revealed almost 78 per cent of 3000 respondents voted for capital punishment.
Forty years earlier, Robinson had stabbed to death another girlfriend, Valerie Dunn, and was sentenced to hang. This was later commuted to 30 years’ jail, of which he served just 15.
“It is often said that with rehabilitation and counselling we are able to turn cold-blooded killers into normal human beings,” Valerie’s niece reflected after Robinson’s second murder conviction.
“This week’s verdict has proved us wrong.”
I have heard it said that severe punishment has little deterrent value.
But this is certain, after execution the rate of reoffending is nil.