For the record
Richard Ackland is incorrect when he says I was a supporter of mandatory sentences (”In a sentence, mandatory terms mean muddles”, February 7). In fact, I stared down and defeated Liberal opponents who in three state elections were advocating mandatory minimum sentences: in 1995 when John Fahey campaigned on Californian-style ”three strikes” sentencing; in 1999 when Kerry Chikarovski campaigned for mandatory minimum sentencing; and in 2003 when John Brogden campaigned for compulsory minimum sentencing. The reason we are having a debate now is that I blocked its introduction, that I defeated Liberals who on three occasions were pushing it.
And for the record, I was never talked out of mandatory sentencing by Chief Justice Jim Spigelman because I never believed in it.