Victims of crime who have seen their offender be unfairly acquitted may be able to seek justice for a second time.
The Victorian Parliament introduced legislation on 8 November 2011 that allows criminals to be retried for an offence where significant new evidence comes to light that compels the guilt of a previously acquitted criminal. This proposed reform comes following the recent attempts by Victoria Police to prepare a case against the men cleared of the Walsh Street killings of two police officers some 23 years ago.
Double jeopardy prevents an individual from being tried more than once for a particular crime. In Victoria currently, if an accused is acquitted of a crime, he or she cannot be brought back before the court in an attempt to secure their guilt.
If the legislation is passed in parliament, restitution for victims will likely receive a much needed lift. If new and compelling evidence comes to light, offenders acquitted of murder, manslaughter, aggravated rape or armed robbery may be retried in an attempt to bring them to justice.
If you have been a victim of any of the aforementioned crimes or any other crime against the person freecall Victims of Crime Counselling and Compensation Services on 1800 000 055 for more information on accessing your rights.