Bill offers closure for victims of insane offenders

The passing of my Member’s Bill’s first reading last night is a positive first step towards putting victims at the heart of our justice system, Louise Upston MP for Taupo says.

“The Rights of Victims of Insane Offenders Bill aims to ensure victims of legally insane offenders are treated the same as other victims of crimes. This issue is particularly close to me, as I have seen cases in my community where victims and families of victims have been let down by our justice system at the hands of this ruling, while being an MP.

“National is committed to changing our justice system so there will be no doubt about who is guilty of committing a crime. For some, recognising the criminal act can be considered closure for the victim and victims’ families.

“This Bill aims to rename the verdict of ‘not guilty on account of insanity’ with the new verdict acknowledging that the offender did commit the criminal act.

“It also goes further to ensure that victims of legally insane offenders will be notified if the offender is released from a secure health care facility and back into the community.

“The Government has followed National’s lead to put victims first for a change. National cares deeply about New Zealanders and their communities and we are committed to strengthening the rights of victims.”