Daniel Morcombe
Daniel Morcombe Contributed

'Give Daniel Morcombe's killer 'death at own hand' option'

SERIAL child sex offenders with no hope of rehabilitation should be offered the opportunity of a state-sanctioned mercy death 'at their own hand' to avoid serving the rest of their lives in jail, a Sunshine Coast election candidate says.

Bill Gissane, who ran for the ALP for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher against Mal Brough, said it was 'time to start considering other options' in dealing with people like Brett Peter Cowan, who killed Daniel Morcombe.

Mr Gissane, who stressed he was expressing a personal view not ALP policy, said he was no fan of the death penalty or vigilante justice, but believed more ethical treatment of people beyond help needed to be considered.

"It appears as though this fellow is incapable of any rehabilitation of any form unfortunately,'' Mr Gissane told ABC Coast FM late Friday.

"I am not an advocate of the death penalty but nor am I happy that someone is incarcerated for the rest of their life, regardless of who they are.''

He suggested the state should offer such extreme offenders the opportunity of a 'dispatch at their own hand'.

"I don't know if it is a good idea. It will certainly stimulate some debate.

"It's trying to find some way to unburden ourselves of having this person in our streets, a threat to our children, taking a humane attitude into the way he should be punished.''

"It would be the state facilitating it but it would be the decision of the person if they could see they had no hope of release,'' Mr Gissane said.

"We give them the option of a quick and merciful death.''





Mr Gissane said he was not aware of the idea being trialled anywhere in the world.

He said he wanted to offer the suggestion as 'an ethical way to deal with such a shocking position'.

The successful businessman, who rose through the ranks of BHP, was one of the most impressive candidates in election forums during the federal elections.

Mr Gissane said the idea was not about saving taxpayers' money, saying if as a society we believed in locking up people for the rest of their lives, we should be prepared to pay the cost of it.

Should life prisoners be given the option of suicide?

This poll ended on 14 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes, and hopefully they all take it


Yes, it's civilised that we offer the option


No, they have to serve their full term


No, it's the death penalty without a mandate


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

His comments come amid news reports that Cowan is a high priority 'bash target' in prison for his appalling crimes against children, including Daniel.

Cowan is expected to initially kept under suicide watch at a maximum security jail at Wolston.

Given his high profile, he is expected to be kept in isolation from other prisoners, at huge annual cost to taxpayers.


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