Saturday, May 9

Australia doesn't impose the death penalty, does it?

The most horrifying story I've read this week wasn't the rugby league players' gang-banging a gullible 19-year-old in New Zealand seven years ago. It wasn't even the details of OOO call centre operators' sarcastic and unfeeling responses to a calls from a boy who was perishing in the Blue Mountains.

It was this story, the P8 lead in today's Sydney Morning Herald -- "Woman in jail should have been in a care home".

To give you a taste of it, here are the first two pars:

A 73-YEAR-OLD woman convicted of Social Security fraud, who was suffering cancer, dementia and other problems and should have been sent to a nursing home, died less than five months into a three-year prison sentence imposed by the District Court, Glebe Coroner's Court has heard.
Judge David Freeman sentenced Mary Anne Roberts in September 2004 despite a report by Nicholas Brennan, director of geriatric services at St Vincent's Hospital, that she was not fit to serve a jail sentence.

Read the report. It made me so angry I risk making a comment which would see me hauled up before the majesty of the law, asked to grovel -- and for my refusal, sent to the NSW prison system for contempt. A prison system which just sneers at any concept that it owes a duty of care to treat the health problems of inmates.


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