Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 4:22 pm
Press Release: ACT New Zealand
Historic Day As Three Strikes To Become Law
Today is a very significant day in the history of New Zealand’s criminal justice system with ACT's 'Three Strikes' legislation incorporated into the Government’s Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill passing its third and final reading, says ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman David Garrett.
"Since ACT campaigned for 'Three Strikes'in the 2008 election, four more people have been killed* – who, had 'Three Strikes' been in place at the time of the killing, would be alive today. The passing of this Bill is a huge step towards keeping violent, repeat offenders off our streets and keeping New Zealanders safe, Mr Garrett said.
"Both the ACT and National parties are committed to taking a tougher stance on crime, but we also realise that a focus on rehabilitation is equally important. That is why Budget 2010 more than doubled the funding available for rehabilitation programs. One initiative worthy of further enquiry is the concept of a 'Drug Court'which sends non-violent offenders to rehabilitation rather than jail.
"While rehabilitation is an important step, regrettably, there will always be a number of repeat violent offenders who can’t be reformed. It is these people who, due to their violent history and recidivist behaviour, must be locked away to keep our communities safe. This is the purpose of Three Strikes.
"Today proves that ACT has helped National become a Government of action – one that does not merely talk tough on crime, but is truly committed to keeping New Zealanders safe," Mr Garrett said.
Strike One: the offender receives a sentence, as determined by the judge, with parole. The offender will be warned by the judge of the consequences of committing another violent offence.
Strike Two: the offender receives a sentence, as determined by the judge, with no parole. Again the offender is warned of the consequence of committing another violent crime.
Strike Three: the offender will receive the maximum sentence for the crime with no parole unless it is manifestly unjust.
There are 40 listed serious violent offences.
For more about Crime in New Zealand take a look at our Crime Stats page.
*New Zealand has the fifth highest murder rate in the OECD, there are about 100 murders and manslaughters in the country every year.
See also blog posts tagged Violent Crime
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