Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe has lodged a “no body, no parole” Member’s Bill in the ballot, which he says will help with bringing closure to those who have lost their loved ones.
“Sadly, there are some offenders who refuse to disclose where the bodies of their victims are.
“This adds considerably to the distress of relatives who sometimes spend a lifetime agonising over what might have happened, and their inability to hold a funeral and lay their family member to rest.”
Macindoe said he was not worried the bill could see wrongfully-convicted prisoners locked away for life, as it did not make it mandatory for the parole board to deny parole.
The Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill would require the Parole Board to take into account a prisoner’s refusal to reveal the location of their victim’s body when considering whether they should be released.
It would also require the sentencing court to include it as an “aggravating factor”.
There were calls in the United Kingdom for a similar law in response to the murder of Helen McCourt, who disappeared in 1988 and whose body has never been recovered.
Ian Simms was convicted of her murder in 1989, and granted parole in November last year. He has never revealed the location of McCourt’s remains, claiming he is innocent.
Macindoe’s bill was part of National’s Law and Order Discussion Document, which he said would “put victims at the heart of the justice system”.