The background to this petition was the brutal killing of Samuel Merry, a constituent in Ayr, earlier this year. The sentences passed on his killers were widely perceived to be inexplicably lenient. Immediately thereafter, some 3,000 or 4,000 people in Ayr signed a petition prepared by the family, but its format was not acceptable to the House. Accepting that, a new petition was prepared and signed by 100 neighbours and relatives of the late Samuel Merry. Tonight, I present that petition, which states:
Wherefore your petitioners pray that the honourable House will introduce legislation at the earliest possible date to provide the Prosecution in Scotland with the right of appeal against sentences. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
I beg leave to present the petition.