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Monday, November 15, 2010

MP hits back at convicted killer in voting rights row

MP hits back at convicted killer in voting rights row


Andrew Griffiths MP

BURTON’S MP has slammed the views of a convicted killer as ‘distorted’ after the politician was accused of having a ‘pathetic argument’ as to why prisoners should not be entitled to vote.

Andrew Griffiths hit back after coming under fire from John Hirst as being ‘out of touch’ for arguing that inmates should not be able to vote in general elections.

Hirst claimed the response that prisoners should lose their vote as part of the punishment ‘has already been soundly dismissed by the highest court in Europe’ and said voting was a basic human right.

However, Mr Griffiths said: “This convicted killer talks about it being his human right to vote.

“The families of victims would be appalled and they would ask about the rights of their loved ones who were brutally murdered.

“I’ve not met anyone in Burton who agrees with this person’s point of view.

“Voting is not a right — it’s a privilege.

That privilege is lost when you have taken someone else’s life.

“I’m not sure whose views are more distorted — the views of this convicted killer or the views of the European Court of Human Rights.”

Hirst served 25 years after being convicted of manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, of his landlady in 1980 and used his time behind bars to campaign for the Government to change its system which denied inmates the right to vote.

His campaign was taken to the ECHR in 2004, where he won the landmark case.

He commented on the Mail’s website after Mr Griffiths called the idea ‘barking mad’ and said he did not ‘want thousands of criminals voting in my constituency’.

Hirst posted: “I am disgusted to read than an elected MP considers that human rights are a barking mad idea. He says: ‘I think that when someone commits a crime they should lose their right to vote as part of the punishment’.

“Far from it being the ECHR out of touch, Mr Griffiths is the one too far removed. He says: ‘Victims of crime will be very angry’. This case has nothing whatsoever to do with them.

“In any event, the victims here are the 75,000 convicted prisoners denied their human right to vote.

“I am surprised that an electorate voted for a MP who believes that some human beings are less than human and not deserving of the minimum standard of human rights.”

Hirst has also come under fire after he posted a video of himself on video website YouTube smoking cannabis and drinking champagne — twice — to celebrate the after


Tim said...

There's no logic in his arguments that I see.

Victims of crime do deserve to be treated with the greatest of respect, but that's got nothing to do with prisoners' basic human rights.

jailhouselawyer said...

Tim: Well said and to the point. He waffles.