Monday, April 29, 2024

David Farrar: The new Three Strikes law may lead to shorter sentences

Heather DPA writes:

This morning I was listening to the radio, and I was quite shocked when I heard Labour’s Justice Spokesperson, Duncan Webb, talking about the Three Strikes Law.

He said judges and lawyers hate it so much, they will find ways around it so they don’t have to implement it.

He said because the law will now only apply to crimes with sentences over two years – 24 months, “we will see a lot of sentences at 23 months because judges and lawyers… hate this.”

Now… that’s a shocker.

Because what that tells you is that it’s just accepted that if judges and lawyers don’t like a law, they’ll find a way around it.

It’s so widely known that Duncan just says it on the radio and nobody blinds an eyelid.

It’s the reason, apparently, that when we had Three Strikes last time, no one ever made it to their third strike fully.

Duncan Webb and Heather are correct. The old Three Strikes law was effective but Judges used manifestly unjust clause to stop almost every third strike penalty,. But at least second and third strikers did serve more time behind bars.

This new law could well see violent and sexual offenders get even shorter sentences than they normally would. If a judge has a potential say 30 month sentence they’ll definitely find some factors top reduce it to 23 months so they avoid having to do a strike which takes away some of their discretion.

The new Three Strikes law must remove the two year threshold for sentences for first and second strikes. It will not only gut the law, but it could well lead to revisit criminals getting even higher sentences than without the law.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.


Bruce said...

Maybe Judges need to be more accountable? For argument sake some sort of points system based on reoffending time from last sentencing?

DeeM said...

Since when did judges decide whether to enact a law based on whether they liked it or not.
This is ridiculous.

Their job is to sentence fairly and appropriately for the crime committed, after considering all the factors, THEN apply the law as it stands.
Not find ways around it that'll see criminals get reduced sentences because of the judges personal dislike of legislation.

Anonymous said...

Since when? Since NZ got the activists posing as judges starting at the top of the hierarchy.

Not many informed, impartial judges still standing.

Andrew Osborn said...

The problem here is both with the judges who need to be brought into line somehow and the National Party for deliberately diluting the new law.

It's high time Seymour and Peters started to play hard ball with Luxon because it's obvious Luxon is a typical Nat - a competent manager but not a leader.

Hazel Modisett said...

We dont need more laws or prisons. We need judges that follow the Rule of Law.
In addition we need armed guards in malls & we need to repeal the law that denies NZers their inalienable right to self defence. If someone wants to attack me with a machete, I consider double tapping them in the chest with a handgun "responding with reasonable force". These crims are cowards & if they understand they are risking their lives by perpetrating violent crime, then I guarantee only the most hardened of them will continue & considering most of the ram raids & dairy robberies are undertaken by children & teens, I'm confident the crime rate will decline. We have become a nation of victims & are not even permitted to carry tasers or bear spray to defend ourselves as our nanny state considers us all to be criminals or too stupid to act responsibly.