Murderers will have to reveal the location of their victims bodies if they want parole, under new “No body, No parole” laws passed in Queensland parliament today.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the legislation would go some way to providing all-important closure for grieving relatives.
“These laws will help victim’s families and provide an incentive for offenders to cooperate with authorities,” Mrs D’Ath said.
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The laws will apply to people convicted of murder; manslaughter; accessory after the fact to murder; accessory after the fact to manslaughter, conspiring to murder; unlawful striking causing death; and misconduct with a corpse.
“In addition to our original bill, after consulting with families our legislation was expanded to include someone convicted of being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“I would like to thank Queenslanders like Fiona Splitt and Gary and Leanne Pullen who have lost loved ones, yet found the strength to advocate for this important reform”.
Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan said to be eligible for parole, all current and future prisoners would need to satisfy the Parole Board that they had satisfactorily cooperated with police to identify the location, or the last known location, and place of a body.
“’No Body, No Parole’ means that unless the Parole Board is satisfied that the prisoner has cooperated satisfactorily, parole must be refused,” Mr Ryan said.
Fiona Splitt said that passing of ‘No Body, No Parole’ marked almost two years of dedicated advocacy.
Ms Splitt’s husband Bruce Schuler disappeared more than five years ago while prospecting near Palmerville Station, north-west of Cairns. Two people were convicted of his murder but his body has never been found.
“This legislation not only acknowledges my family’s grief and loss but all loved ones of murder victims, especially when we are unable to lay our loved ones to rest,” Ms Splitt said.