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Minister must meet Sentencing and Victim Equality (SAVE) demands – Kathleen Funchion TD

3 July, 2019 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin TD for Carlow/Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion has said that demands from the SAVE (Sentencing and Victim Equality) group to the government should be “supported without question”.

SAVE held a demonstration outside Leinster House today to support the families of murder and manslaughter victims.

The group are calling on the Government to bring about changes that would mean people who have murdered family members are not eligible for parole until their minimum sentence has been served.

Teachta Funchion said:

“SAVE are calling for the introduction of minimum sentences for all categories of homicide.

“These include;
- no parole until the full minimum sentence has been served.
- the end of concurrent sentencing and the end of reward day releases.
- and the establishment of a state-funded agency to assist and support the families of victims of all violent crimes.

“The Irish Penal Reform Trust has recently stated that for there to be any meaningful reform of our system, all parole decisions must be coherent, transparent, fair and removed from political control.

“Currently, parole decisions are signed off by the Justice Minister of the day, who is presented with case-by-case recommendations by the parole board. This process is not fit for purpose.

“I have worked closely with Kathleen Chada from SAVE for some time now and I am continuously amazed and humbled at her courage, strength and perseverance in fighting for justice.

“People like Ms. Chada who have been through the most horrific of events, deserve proper support from the government when it comes to the sentencing of the murderers of their loved ones.

“They should be granted an appropriate level of financial assistance to confidently tackle the legal process and turmoil they are faced with.

“The Minister for Justice Charlie Flannigan must listen to what both SAVE and the Irish Penal Reform Trust are calling for.

“Minister Flanagan must also ensure that such crucial decisions rest with a fully independent Parole Board, rather than having parole decisions hang on the decision of the Justice Minister of the day.” 

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