While the Australian Federal Government abolished the death penalty in 1973, one Victorian independent candidate is hoping capital punishment will be reinstated across the country.
Appearing on the 3AW Mornings show with Neil Mitchell on Tuesday, Gottfried ‘Goff’ Wolf explained that he wanted the death penalty to return to Victoria and that it’s at the top of his agenda. Wolf is running for the seat of Geelong in the upcoming state election.
Ronald Joseph Ryan was the last person legally executed in Australia in 1967 after he was found guilty of shooting and killing a warder during a Victorian prison escape.
“Why the hell are we keeping these people around?” Wolf said in response to people who have murdered across Victoria in recent times. “There’s got to be some sort of consequence for these people to face what they’ve done.”
During the interview, he wasn’t able to detail the number of murders in Victoria, while Mitchell pointed out the murder rate had remained steady for the last decade. He said there hadn’t been an outbreak of murder in recent times as Wolf claimed, but acknowledged it was still awful. Wolf revealed he wanted the people of Victoria to vote on the matter but said if there was enough evidence to prove someone was guilty of murder, they should be executed. He also said people with mental illness who murder shouldn’t be exempt from being executed.
“There’s no excuse for it,” he said. “There’s hundreds of people with mental illness or bloody drug addiction or alcoholism. If you take the life of someone else, you forfeit yours.”
During the interview, Wolf also described the prison system in Australia as “a joke”. He also said he’d prefer the lethal injection as a method of killing murderers and admitted he wouldn’t want to go back to hanging because it’s cruel.
Neil became confused when his guest said no one has the right to take somebody’s life, pointing out that Wolf wanted to give that same power to politicians. He explained that the power would be given to the public and that the legal system would decide who faced the lethal injection.
Although he’s one of the few speaking up about the issue, Wolf said he was sure there were others who wanted the death penalty reintroduced.
“I’m pretty sure there’d be a lot of politicians that would like it to come back, but everyone’s being pretty quiet about it,” he said. “They’re too scared to talk about it and that’s what I said. You’ve got to bring it to a vote, to a referendum so people can decide what they want to do.”
Wolf said he didn’t think drug dealers should be executed and that his plans were for deliberate killers.