Thursday, December 8th, 2016
The incarceration of Jamie Gregory McCrossen for a quarter of a Century is an indictment on the Tasmanian prison system and the legal framework that supports indefinite sentences to prevent possible crime in the future.
Jamie has served longer in a Tasmanian prison (to prevent any chance he might commit another crime) than the average murderer would serve without bothering to apply for parole. Had he been the average convicted murderer, Jamie would have already served his sentence in full, be a free man and live without supervision. That’s the everyday reality of most murderers. Sentence, parole, release… time served. Very few murderers get Life maximum sentences in Tasmania.
But Jamie isn’t a murderer. Not even close to it. He’s been a lot of things, but not a murderer or rapist. We need to keep that in context.
The down side of the Dangerous Criminal legislation is that fundamentally Jamie’s indefinite incarceration is about the possibility of committing a future crime. It’s incarceration as some perverse prevention measure. Because Jamie threatened a witness in the very early 1990s at the age of 20 while in prison for a robbery he committed 2 years earlier.