miserable descent into authoritarianism

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    The New South Wales Opposition says mandatory life sentences should be imposed on people who kill police officers.

    The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has rejected an appeal by prosecutors to increase the sentence given to a man who shot Senior Constable Glenn McEnallay in March 2002.

    Sione Penisini pleaded guilty to the policeman's murder and was sentenced to a maximum 36 years in jail.

    The Crown argued the jail term was was too lenient.

    However, the court has rejected the appeal, finding the crime was not pre-meditated or planned.

    The Shadow Attorney-General, Andrew Tink, says existing laws should be changed.

    "Anybody who murders a police officer in the line of duty should be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole," he said.

    "Nobody who murders a police officer, in the course of that police officer doing their duty, should ever come out of jail again."

    Police Commissioner Ken Moroney says he is astounded by the court's decision.

    "Lets not mix our words here," he said.

    "He was shot to death... by those persons who were intent on serious crime and for the protection of the community he lost his life.

    "The sentence reaffirmed by the court today is extremely disappointing."
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