In the Wake of Chris Dawson’s Murder Conviction, NSW Introduces “No Body, No Parole” Laws

If one of your best pals was murdered, and you never learnt where their body was, that would just eat you up from the inside. To go to a funeral with an empty coffin would gnaw at you. It would be awful, it might be like they never came home. 

Well, the NSW Government wants to disincentivise murderers from never disclosing where the victim’s bodies are. They want to introduce laws that mean that if a killer withheld such information, they could never receive a more lenient sentence for having good behaviour. These pieces of legislation would be called “no body, no parole” laws.

“We will make it impossible for offenders who willfully and deliberately refuse to disclose information about their victim’s remains, to be granted parole,” explained NSW’s Premier, Dominic Perrottet.

“These laws are to stop inmates convicted of murder or homicide offences from getting parole unless they co-operate with police to end the torment of families and return to them the remains of their loved ones.”

According to Corrections Minister, Geoff Lee, these laws would apply to all current and future inmates. 

Related: Who Is Chris Dawson and How Did a Podcast Send Him to Jail?

Related: Prepare Your Ears — ‘The Teacher’s Pet’ Podcast Is Being Rereleased

Did the Arrest of Chris Dawson Inspire These Laws?

According to The Guardian, these laws have also been dubbed “Lyn’s law.” This name is in honour of the late Lynette Dawson, the wife of Chris Dawson. 

As per The Sydney Morning Herald, Lynette went missing in 1982. It took Chris six weeks to report this fact. Her body has never been found.

On August 30, the ABC reported that Chris was declared guilty of murdering Lynette. Chris has denied this fact and hasn’t told police where her body is located. Lynette’s family doesn’t know where she is. This has distressed them for more than 35 years. 

The fact that Lynette’s body has never been brought home inspired a petition. This petition asked explicitly for “no body, no parole” to be introduced into NSW. It also received over 25,000 signatures. 

While the NSW Government’s press release doesn’t mention Chris or Lynette by name, it would be surprising if this case hadn’t influenced this potential policy. But either way, if these laws are passed, hopefully they will reunite some families with their loved ones.

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