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Gardiner Released Into Exile
Thursday 21st July 1874:
Gardiner Released Into Exile
    Frank Gardiner, the notorious bushranger, walked out of gaol yesterday after serving less than one-third of his 32-year sentence on the condition that he leaves the colonies of Australia and New Zealand. Gardiner is one of 23 criminals convicted during the bushranging era 10 years ago who have had their sentences commuted by the New South Wales Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson.
    Gardiner is a known horse-thief who formed a gang with bushrangers, Ben Hall and John Gilbert. Their biggest robbery involved a gold escort from Eugowra in 1862, which netted the gang £14,000 worth of gold and money. Gardiner was caught 10 years ago, running a hotel in Queensland. He was convicted and sentenced to 32 years in prison by Chief Justice Sir Alfred Stephen.
    It is believed that Gardiner's sisters have been lobbying the Governor to release their brother.
   The Governor was reportedly convinced of the bushranger's good behaviour and
services rendered during his term in gaol, and that the sentences imposed by judges during that era were unduly harsh in order to stop the increase of such crimes. However the Gopvernor has been roundly condemned by several Members of Parliament and leading newspapers. In the NSW Parliament, Mr Coombs recently moved theat the House disapprove of the contemplated release of the long-serving prisoners, but the move was defeated by the Speaker's casting vote.
   The Age said the question remains as to whether or not an irresponsible Imperial officer, under a responsible Government, ought to exercise the prerogative of mercy without being responsible for it...
'Irresposibility is an attribute that cannot be allowed to any Governor under responsible institutions, and it is a monstrous proposition for any Secretary of State to put forward at this time of day that we should have no voice in the disposal of our own criminals.'
   The main criticism of the Governor stems from the fact that he did not consult the Ministry in making the decision. The Premier Henry Parkes said the Governor had the right to make his own decision and that he did not ask for advice on the issue. Under normal circumstances the Governor would ask for advice from the relevant minister and follow it up with legal advice from the Attorney-General.
   Gardiner's destination on leaving Australia is unknown.
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