Mandatory life sentences for cop killers
On 23 June, the Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Act 2011 (NSW) commenced, inserting a new s 19B into the Crimes Act 1900. Section 19B(1) of that Act now provides that a court must impose a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murder of a police officer if the murder was committed:
(a) while the police officer was executing his or her duty, or
(b) as a consequence of, or in retaliation for, actions undertaken by that or any other police officer in the execution of his or her duty,
and if the person convicted of the murder:
(c) knew or ought reasonably to have known that the person killed was a police officer, and
(d) intended to kill the police officer or was engaged in criminal activity that risked serious harm to police officers.