Convicted killers will be denied any chance of parole if they refuse to reveal the location of their victim’s bodies under proposed new laws.
The NSW government will introduce “no body no parole” legislation to parliament on Wednesday, with the new laws expected to impact six criminals currently incarcerated.
The proposed bill would prevent the State Parole Authority (SPA) from granting parole to a prisoner unless it was satisfied they had cooperated with authorities in disclosing information on the victim’s whereabouts.
“We will make it impossible for offenders who willfully and deliberately refuse to disclose information about their victim’s remains, to be granted parole,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
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“Being unable to locate a loved one’s body is extremely distressing and traumatic for the families and friends of victims and it denies a victim the dignity of being laid to rest appropriately.
“These laws are to stop inmates convicted of murder or homicide offences from getting parole unless they co-operate with police to end the torment of families and return to them the remains of their loved ones.”
Under the reforms, the SPA will consider advice from the NSW Police Force as well as other relevant information when determining whether a prisoner has cooperated.
Corrections Minister Geoff Lee said the reforms are modelled on laws in other states and territories and would apply to all current and future inmates in NSW jails.
“Any offender in prison coming up for parole should really think hard about maintaining their refusal to cooperate with police if they want to retain their prospects of getting parole,” Dr Lee said.
‘No body no parole laws’ are currently in place across Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The issue has gained traction in recent months after former Rugby League player Chris Dawson was convicted of murdering his wife Lynette who disappeared from their northern beaches home in 1982.
The 33-year-old mother of two’s body has never been found and a petition dubbed “Lyn’s law” was launched in September lobbying for the reform.
Dawson pleaded not guilty to the murder and maintained his innocence throughout the 10-week trial.
The 74-year-old is expected to appeal against his conviction.
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