William Patrick Mitchell's sentence to be reviewed. CREDIT: murderpedia.org
The verdict of William Patrick Mitchell, one of the most brutal murderers in Australia, is set to be reviewed this weekend, Oct. 13, by the Parole Review Board. Any comment or recommendation given by the Board will have to be reviewed by the attorney general. Should he be seen fit for parole, the governor will have to sign off if he has to return to society.
However, Ian Blayney, a Member for Geraldton, has written to both the premier and attorney general about the community's concern regarding Mitchell's release. The petition expressly requesting Mitchell to stay in prison and not be allowed to rejoin society has been circulating in the Mid West City since early 2013 and collected as many as 15,000 signatures. The petition has been recorded in Parliament. In response to Blayney's concern, the premier and attorney general said petition has been passed on to the Board.
"I know there's a group of people that have a specific job to do in considering this, but I would hope they would take into account the community's view before they make that decision," Blayney commented on the issue. "It's very important that the community has a say and they feel they have a right to have a say, which of course they do have and they need an avenue to bring that sentiment to the government."
Mitchell has long been regarded as one of Australia's most notorious murderers after the horrific murders of Karen McKenzie and her three children in Greenough, south of Geraldton in 1993. He was found guilty for four counts of willful murder and four sexual assaults. The axe murderer has been fighting a series of appeals concerning his sentence. The initial verdict of 20 years in prison and has since jumped from a life sentence to his present punishment of being eligible for parole.
Barbara Marchant, mother of McKenzie, has commented in the past that the ruling was too light for Mitchell whose actions were so severe that the court ruled to keep its details unknown to the public.
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