'Sorry' no longer good enough for Australian crime

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SYDNEY, Oct 17 (Reuters) Criminals in the Australian state of New South Wales can no longer expect a lighter sentence if they say sorry under new laws obliging them to prove remorse.

The laws to be introduced into the state parliament today will require judges to scrutinise a criminal's remorse and not just accept guilty pleas as recognition of regret.

''This is about ensuring that the system is much more rigorous,'' said the state's attorney-general, John Hatzistergos.

''Criminals will be required to provide evidence that they have understood and accepted the consequences of their actions to the court,'' he told reporters.

The new laws are part of a crackdown on crime by the government in Australia's most populous state.

Reuters RN DB0920

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