Early release scheme for prisoners singled out by Tories
THE Scottish Conservatives launched a scathing attack on Labour yesterday over the automatic early release of long-term prisoners.
They accused Jack McConnell, the Scottish Labour leader, of "aiding and abetting" criminals through the scheme and attacked the Labour- Lib Dem coalition for enabling those with jail terms of four years or more to be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence.
David McLetchie, the Scottish Tories’ leader, also claimed that only a vote for the Conservatives could bring about the changes on taxes, public services, crime and immigration that Scots wanted.
Speaking outside Saughton prison, Edinburgh, he accused Mr McConnell of "hiding behind" the Executive-appointed Sentencing Commission, which is reviewing aspects of criminal punishment including the early release scheme.
Mr McConnell had been "all talk and no action", Mr McLetchie claimed, adding: "The people of Scotland have had to put up with him saying he’s going to end automatic early release for nearly two years, but nothing ever happens.
"He’s like a golfer with a decent back-swing but no follow-through.
"Jack McConnell’s automatic early release scheme is creating needless victims. He is more interested in emptying Scotland’s jails than protecting Scotland’s people, and he is effectively aiding and abetting often heinous crimes."
As law and order is a devolved policy area, any decision to scrap early release would have to be taken by the Executive, but Mr McLetchie has insisted that tomorrow’s election should also be a referendum on the Executive’s record.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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