Free Zak Grieve. End mandatory sentencing in the Northern Territory.

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Zak Grieve, an Indigenous young man from Katherine, remains behind bars in the Northern Territory because of mandatory sentencing laws that saw him imprisoned for 20 years in 2011. He backed out of a crime others went on to commit. He was not present at the crime scene and there was no evidence of his DNA at the crime scene, and yet Zak was given a harsher sentence than the people who carried out the crime. Under the Northern Territory's mandatory sentencing laws Zak was convicted because he did not go to the police to prevent the murder. Chris Malyshcko and Darren Halfpenny, who committed the crime, were each given 18 years, while the woman who organised and paid for the murder, was given 8 years. Zak's sentence was reduced under a Prerogative of Mercy but he still languishes in prison for a crime committed by others. 

The Judge, Justice Mildren, described Zak of good character. He was non-violent and was from a loving family. Zak had a conscience and backed out of the crime. The judge said that mandatory sentencing brings about injustice but had no option under the current legislation other than to give Zak 20 years. Zak's plight has been highlighted in the media through the book, Mandatory Murder and the documentary The Queen and Zak Grieve. The laws in the Northern Territory are brutal. Innocent people like Zak end up in the system doing more time than the perpetrators. 

We call upon Vicki O'Halloran, the Chief Administrator to release Zak to his family.