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Keli Lane now a political prisoner under contentious “no body, no parole” laws

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024

22 March 2024 - Keli Lane has been denied parole under NSW’s new “No Body, No Parole” laws after the State Parole Authority stated it was unsatisfied in her cooperation with investigations. Lane has served more than 13 years in prison after being convicted of the murder of her baby on circumstantial evidence. She has always maintained her innocence. The knee-jerk “no body, no parole” law was brought into place two years ago to respond to the tragic circumstances of the murder of Lynn Dawson, but as anticipated has unfairly jeopardised Ms Lane’s right to parole. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson said “Ms Lane is now effectively a political prisoner of the State of New South Wales. She has served her non-parole sentence administered by a judge of a court under the criminal law, she has been a model prisoner and now she is being held in prison under what can only be described as a regime of populist harmful politics. Every day and night that Ms Lane now spends in prison she does so as a political prisoner.”

“The “no body, no parole” laws were a knee-jerk response of the former Coalition Government to capture the attention of the Australian public over a particular case. That Ms Lane should have to pay the price for political fodder is cruel and inhumane. I called these laws out when they were introduced, as a significant departure and change to the role of the State Parole Authority in determining parole for homicide offenders.”

“The “no body, no parole” law undermines the fundamental objective of parole to support community safety with a focus on the rehabilitation of the offender. At their core they further punish the person who has served their time. The Bar Association also predicted they could create an inexcusable consequence for anyone who finds themselves wrongly convicted within our judicial system, and like Kathleen Folbigg, that’s the territory Ms Lane could have landed in.”

“The determination from the State Parole Authority under “no body, no parole” laws in Ms Lane’s matter is a chilling read. It essentially relies upon a police report of Ms Lane’s cooperation with police investigations from over 13 years ago as a prohibition to parole. Ms Lane has been placed in a cruel conundrum that needs to be resolved.”

“Ms Lane has always maintained her innocence. She was convicted on circumstantial evidence only, there was no material evidence, no DNA, no witnesses and there was not even any realistic speculation of how Ms Lane caused the death of her baby. The judge in her trial now maintains that while he accepted the jury’s verdict, he had misgivings about aspects of the way the trial was conducted.”

“It is an unfair, but real, truth that the criminal justice system is biased towards convicting mothers for the murder of their babies. When no direct evidence is present and the media headlines a mother as a baby killer. In Kathleen Folbiggs case she was a ‘monster’ for being convicted over the killing of her babies, the convictions of which have now been quashed.”

“The fact is Ms Lane has done her time and she has been an exemplary prisoner and she should not remain in prison any longer.”

“I am calling on the Police Commissioner and the Minister for Corrections to work together to immediately end this cruel conundrum, and until such time as this matter is resolved, Ms Lane is essentially a political prisoner.”

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024


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