Franks on New York crime drop

February 3rd, 2012 at 1:36 pm by David Farrar

blogs a review of a new book:

ACCORDING TO CONVENTIONAL criminological wisdom, crime can be significantly lowered only by eliminating its “root causes”: poverty, inequality, and racism. Policing, in this view, can only respond to crime after the fact by making an arrest; preventing crime from occurring in the first place lies in the domain of economic and welfare policy. What makes New York such a powerful natural experiment is that it is, in all respects but one, Zimring shows, nearly the same city as it was in 1990, when its homicide rate was five times higher. The previously assumed drivers of crime—poverty, income inequality, drug use—have not diminished; and family breakdown—conservatives’ preferred root cause—has worsened. 

This has parallels to the debate on the child abuse green paper currently happening. Rather than focus on what law changes the Government can make to help lower child abuse rates, many are saying that there is nothing you can do unless you address poverty and/or income inequality.

They are wrong.

Stephen further blogs:

The only element of the reform I saw not touched on in the review is the contribution of the NY  courts. They cooperated. Justice became much more swift and certain. They provided 24 hour a day sittings to get rid of delays and backlogs. Instead of declining to sentence because Rikers Island city  jail complex was full, they sentenced anyway and left it to the prison authorities to handle the consequences. When I was there a prison system designed for 14000 had over 20000 prisoners. The drop in crime has cured that. The muster is now generally comfortably below the design capacity. But as stressful as it must have been for all concerned, I’m sure if we asked the thousands of offenders who were saved from being murdered had the lawlessness of the 1990’s continued, the hardships of the peak imprisonment period were a small price to pay.

New Zealand used to be the opposite. Rather than have the level of offending determine the prison population, the authorities would let the capacity of the prison system determine sentencing. The Government made changes to bail and parole laws so we would not have over-crowding in prisons!

I recommend people read the full book review.

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89 Responses to “Franks on New York crime drop”

  1. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    “I recommend people read the full book review.”

    Sign of the times.

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  2. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    Contrast this with

    Monique Watson (234) Says:
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Wonder if this lovely lady hails fron Famers Cres?
    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/02/whatcha-goin-to-do-nikki.html

    We need to bring this style of policing here
    would be far more beneficial than all the resources spent on booze buses and speeding

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  3. RightNow (6,999 comments) says:

    Bed Rater – it sure is, why can’t I just read the movie synopsis on IMDB ffs?

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  4. m@tt (631 comments) says:

    I recommend reading the following:
    New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s. ISBN 0814747175.
    The Rise and Decline of Hard Drugs, Drug Markets, and Violence in Inner-City New York”. ISBN 0521862795.

    New York experienced a huge spike of violent crime in the starting slowly in the 60’s and peaking in the early 90’s mostly driven by drug related issues which have largely been tackled through social means. Picking an artificially high peak for the initial comparison and saying it is only different because of policing action it is rather disingenuous.

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  5. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    m@tt

    Thanks for that, I thought we were being asked to swallow that child abuse and poverty actually lowers crime rates. Garbled nonsense by Franks.

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  6. mudrunner (91 comments) says:

    There are several points here:
    Early positive reaction to minor offences reduces potential for more serious offences. The ignoring of the broken window process as relevant by the author is interesting and concerning.
    The reaction to and treatment of offences should be prompt and effective. I am tired of reading that several months after a relatively minor offence “…the Police have decided to prosecute”. The courts process then meanders on. Cumulative delays distance the offenders in their mind from the crime and the punishment. I know the process is not integrated but some strong KPIs around the whole process would be welcome.
    I can’t accept that the abuse of emergency staff by drunks and their fellow travellers is behaviour to be suffered, accepted and not dealt with immediately and through the hangover stage. That others should have treatment delayed so that the hassle of the drunks can be removed is not acceptable.
    The occupation of parks over the last few weeks and the failure of the local body politicians, the tenderness of the police and the whimsy of the legal processes is another symptom of the same problem.
    The dismissal by so many criminologists of the New York lessons only reflects their ivory tower approach to real life. Do they really want to help reduce crime or increase the debate and entrench their own positions?
    Too much of our policing is too nice.
    But it’s not the police, they can’t act without the whole lot of us making it happen, local and national government, police and judiciary. As the book’s author suggests to use overcrowding of the jails as an excuse for not punishing them is a cop-out.

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  7. tvb (4,516 comments) says:

    Stephen does not know the first damn thing about crime. He has never dealt with criminals, he has never dealt with the victims of crime, nor appeared in the Courts, talked to social workers, nor even frequented where criminals hang out, nor the first damn clue about gangs. I respect him as a commercial lawyer and political issues but not this area. I note he does take an interest in criminal matters but his answers are superficial and merely scrape the surface. The Justice Department is doing a big study in the drivers of crime but sentencing has a very marginal effect on reducing criminal offending.

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  8. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    M@tt and Nostalgia-NZ, I disagree with your throw-away lines.

    The problem we have is when we allow people on the left to control language in the way you’re attempting to.

    Problem 1: Allowing the left to define poverty as a relative thing – not about whether you have enough to live on, but about whether someone else has more than you do. As soon as we do this we either accept poverty can never go away, or we are forced into very substantial redistribution of income

    Problem 2: Allowing the left to declare that nothing can be done about crime without eradicating poverty.

    Put those two things together, and we’ve now concluded that nothing can be done about crime without massive income redistribution. Which is simply not correct.

    Try another logic path. Many people are poor. Some of those poor people commit crimes, but most do not. Therefore, poverty is not, as such, a cause of crime, because many poor people don’t commit crimes. If we can identify the difference then we can encourage those who do commit crimes to instead become those who don’t commit crimes.

    Yet another logic path. Some people who commit crimes are not poor. Therefore it doesn’t follow that the cause of crime is poverty, as crime would still exist without poverty.

    In both my logic paths, all the things Franks has pointed to make sense. Clear impacts for even minor crimes. Rapid enforcement. An expectation that committing crimes does not pay, and that in fact it will eventually result in poor outcomes. As he’s pointing out, the quantitative evidence also suggests that the theory is true – it did work in New York.

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  9. laworder (292 comments) says:

    tvb wrote

    Stephen does not know the first damn thing about crime. He has never dealt with criminals, he has never dealt with the victims of crime, nor appeared in the Courts, talked to social workers…,. etc

    Wrong on most counts. I have witnessed him personally dealing with the victims of crime, and appearing in a Court on behalf of someone, and talking to a social worker, and know that he has also done several of the other items on your list.

    Regards
    Peter J
    Webmaster for http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  10. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    This still has to be my favourite explanation for the large drop in crime in 1990’s America – it has more factual/statistical backing than most of the other reasons plus it really upsets the bible thumpers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk6gOeggViw

    If longer prison sentences or a higher incarceration rate worked then it’s worth asking why America isn’t the safest country in the world:
    http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

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  11. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    TVB: “The Justice Department is doing a big study in the drivers of crime but sentencing has a very marginal effect on reducing criminal offending.”

    This is a really critical point.

    There are three main elements that make up ‘deterrant’ (which is only one element in reducing crime).

    1) The likelihood of being caught
    2) The likelihood of being convicted
    3) The severity of the sentence

    The third is probably the least effective – there is really no concern about how severe the sentence is if I’m too smart to get caught (remember even the most stupid crims don’t tend to see themselves as stupid). Increasing the probablity of 1) and reducing the time between 2) and 3) are probably the best return on investment.

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  12. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    tvb: I hope you have a large rag (remove one from around your toe) to wipe the egg off your face….Steve Franks spent the early part of his career – in the 1970’s – defending criminals…the most noted of which was the late unlamented Rufus Junior Marsh. Marsh kicked an old man to death – smashed his skull so badly brain matter came out of his nose – as part of the process of getting “patched” by one the scum gangs. Steve was junior counsel on his defence team, and helped to get Marsh convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. At that stage of his life Steve believed the “criminals are victims too” bullshit you clearly subscribe to.

    Fifteen years later, shortly after his release from jail, Marsh killed for a second time; this time a young woman who was actively involved in what are now called “social justice” issues… I dont think Steve has ever quite got over a feeling of guilt- or at least disquiet – for having assisted Marsh to return to the community earlier than he might have.

    Stephen Franks has first hand experience of criminals…the worst kind. He also has a towering intellect. I can’t quite work out whether “Nostalgia NZ” is serious – the post is so poorly written – when he refers to “garbled nonsense by Franks”, but if so, it says a great deal more about that anonymous commentator than about Stephen Franks.

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  13. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    PaulL

    Why do you assume on the left? Have I said I am, or indeed that I’m on the right?

    As to your conclusions
    ‘Problems’ 1 and 2. I don’t agree with any of the conclusions of your definition of what you assume I think poverty is. Nor do I think nothing can be done about crime without eradicating poverty.

    One thing about this diversion into New York as somehow significant, is that we are a different race and different cultures. I couldn’t really say that I am impressed that because crime dropped in New York (despite that it remains a dangerous place) there is something to be learnt from it that could be applied in NZ. Common sense would say look within first, then if necessary look to other societies more like our own that have less poverty, crime and other factors we’d hopefully all like to see the tail end of.

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  14. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ: I assume you’re on the left because you seem, over a number of comment threads, to have some wooly woofter ideas, which seem left wing to me. And you commented here in relation to child abuse and poverty as if they were the primary causes of crime, which is also a popular left wing idea. Although how you thought Franks suggested that more child abuse and poverty would reduce crime I don’t know, I must have missed that paragraph in his posting.

    New York is significant in that it’s one of the few jurisdictions where this has been tried. Your argument seems to be that they’re not like us, so therefore the results are meaningless. Where I would instead say that there is a theory out there that some of these measures work. It’s been tried in a couple of places and seems to have worked in those places. It might work here, although it’s also true there are elements of our society that are different. So we’d need to be careful assuming it would work, but that’s quite different from assuming it won’t work. Again, that’s deciding to do nothing, that there’s no problem that needs solving. That is demonstrably not the case.

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  15. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    PaulL says:- “Allowing the left to declare that nothing can be done about crime without eradicating poverty.”

    No one on the left does as far as I know. “The left” is merely stating the obvious, in that crime is far more prevalent among those with a low income and poor education, so by far the most constructive approach to tackle crime would be to try to improve their lot.

    And there are other simple measures that would reduce crime that are being ignored due to society’s foolish conservatism, such as the decriminalization of drugs. (other than alcohol)

    Sure increasing prison sentences and dealing more promptly with minor crime has an effect on crime rates, as do a lot of other speculative factors but they don’t address the root cause of crime, they simply sweep it under the carpet.

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  16. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Nostalgia,

    I think it is fair to say that most of the righties here at KB think you are a lefty. Most of what you say tends to lead us to that conclusion. Not saying that you aren’t allowed to be what you want, just that is the impression we get!

    On topic,

    There is no reason for poverty to be connected with crime. It isn’t a cause of it and it shouldn’t be quoted as being such. Interestingly, crime usually drops during a financial depression.

    Crime has many causes, but to blame poverty is an excuse for the left’s ‘income redistribution’ argument. It doesn’t work in practice, but that, of course, has yet to stop them advancing the theory.

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  17. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Richard29: You are quite correct. Whether the punishment is time out, the cane or death by hanging, the primary factors in behaviour modification are certainly of apprehension, certainty of punishment, and immediacy. As an aside, one of the reasons that using the US experience in any discussion of the efficacy of the death penalty is a total waste of time and utterly misleading, is that none of the requirements of effective punishment are found in the American experience of capital punishment.

    It is reasonably well known that New York is the state which has seen the greatest reduction in violent crime since the countrywide trend began in the US in the early 90’s. New York is not a “three strikes” state, and this is often seized upon by the liberal left as “proof” that 3S has nothing to do with reductions in crime.

    The reality is that New York does have so called “sentence enhancement” laws – of which 3S is a variant – but they are far more complicated and harder to explain than 3S. American criminologists who are prepared to see the wood for the trees conclude that it is this COMBINATION of more intensive policing and sentence enhancement which has resulted in New York City moving from being one of the most dangerous cities in the US in the 80’s to one of the safest now.

    As Steve Franks points out, all of the so-called “drivers of crime” so beloved of the liberal left have remained largely the same, and there are still about 8 million souls in the Naked City….but whereas there were about 2500 murders per year in the 80’s there are about 400 now. The major variable that has changed in 25 years is a 180 degree shift from “criminals are victims too” policies to ones reflecting a “you are responsible for what you do” ethos.

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  18. Fentex (1,038 comments) says:

    New York is not a statistical outlier in the lessening of violent crime. The trend the developed world over has been for violent crime to reduce – regardless of jurisdictions hardened policies and increased sentences.

    In the U.S violent crime peaked in the mid-seventies and has been falling ever since at roughly the same rate everywhere across the nation.

    I recall reading once that a strong signifier of the amount of violence in society is the proportion of young, physically mature (meaning teenage to early twenties) males – I find it hard to believe that a post baby-boomer lull could be the only cause for a forty year drop in violence but have long had it in the back of my mind as beginning roughly now and for the next decade the U.S will have a bulge of such young men in it’s population and are curious to see if the long standing trend changes there (the U.S is unusual in the developed world for having greater internal population growth than others).

    I am deeply skeptical of claims about suppressing violent crime from jurisdictions like New York because of the wide spread reduction everywhere that suggests correlation rather than causation.

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  19. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    David Garrett 4.14

    If there is any point suggesting poverty and crime are not linked (if proven) because of the fall in crime in New York which applies to NZ in someway? Steve Franks dosen’t show that in the shortened version above. He might have done else where I don’t know. But he was certainly trying to draw a parallel of some sort.

    But this next bit loses me.

    ‘I’m sure if we asked the thousands of offenders who were saved from being murdered had the lawlessness of the 1990’s continued, the hardships of the peak imprisonment period were a small price to pay.’

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  20. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Herein lies the problem with so much so-called conservative thinking:

    ACCORDING TO CONVENTIONAL criminological wisdom, crime can be significantly lowered only by eliminating its “root causes”: poverty, inequality, and racism. Policing, in this view, can only respond to crime after the fact by making an arrest; preventing crime from occurring in the first place lies in the domain of economic and welfare policy.

    And this from mine host:

    Rather than focus on what law changes the Government can make to help lower child abuse rates, many are saying that there is nothing you can do unless you address poverty and/or income inequality.

    At worst, DPF is just making this up, or perhaps he is misrepresenting the views of others, but certainly I have never read such simplistic solutions from anyone other than the lock ‘em up and throw away the key brigade, found largely on sites like this!

    Yet, this is the premise the author of the book in question seems to have started from, as well, going by the two reviews I have seen, and Frank’s introductory quote.

    From my reading, much research posits that reducing income inequality and poverty, not to mention institutionalised racial discrimination, are a factors to be addressed in driving down crime rates, but by no means not the only factors.

    Of course, people of the Frank’s and Farrar’s persuasion would latch onto a work that dovetails so conveniently into their particular world view, but, and I haven’t read the book, I find the conclusion a bit facile.

    I’m old enough to remember Auckland’s own broken windows scheme, a period of high profile policing under a tough guy named Gideon Tait (from memory). It just sort of faded away, in the end. The cops came round kicking us all out of bars or off street corners or menace our parties etc.

    So we would break a few car windows on the way home!

    I doubt stop and frisk is as influential as the author would like us to believe (simple answers to complex problems are always wrong, according to Mencken), and I expect the answer is rather more nuanced. I also have read that stop and frisk is extremely unpopular due to the racial profiling inherent in its application. The same applies here, where it has been employed for as long as I can remember – not so much the frisking, more searching the car, but it does happen.

    But I do wish these right wingers would stop promoting their favourite staw man conspiracy theories at the drop of a hat.

    PS I made up the bit about breaking car windows, but I bet I had ya’ll fooled!

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  21. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Scott Chris: If the left really were “stating the obvious” about the so called link between poverty/unemployment and crime, they would say “it is demonstrably clear that there is no link” Consider the following – and rebut each point if you can:

    1. As FES has noted, crime usually goes DOWN in times of economic depression. Here in NZ the lowest ever crime figure per 100,000 of population in the 20th century was in 1932 – the year of the Queen Street riots. Those rioters were not looting the 1932 equivalent of flat screen TV’s and i-phones, they were literally starving and freezing. Despite the looting, crime overall was historically low. Check the figures for yourself.

    2. During the last of the Clark years der fuhrer proudly noted that unemployment was so low that “everyone who wans a job in New Zealand has one”. She was right. If the “unemployment causes crime” theory was right, crime should have been plummeting at the same time. In fact it rose by more than 40%

    3. During the GFC of 2008-10 unemployment in California increased to 16 (yes SIXTEEN) percent. There were similar albeit smaller sharp rises in unemployment rates across the US. All the woolly headed liberals direly predicted a sharp reversal of the declining crime rate which had been occurring since the early 90’s. It didnt happen. Not anywhere. And no US state has anythig like the welfare safety net we have.

    In the light of all the above, please do explain to us how unemployment and poverty is the direct cause of crime.

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  22. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    Fair enough, I probably may give that impression.
    If there is a name for a person who likes to decide issue by issue and not by allegiance, I could put my hand up.
    You will also understand that a broad section of the population are undecided, and that the vote ‘take’ is falling, probably showing apathy toward politics and politicians, a sort of disconnection, and a growing number who see them ‘all’ as the same.
    Sort of sound evasive?

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  23. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    If there is a name for a person who likes to decide issue by issue and not by allegiance, I could put my hand up.

    And if you land, issue by issue, on one side much more than the other, then it would your left hand being raised.

    What ‘right’ ideas do you think you hold?

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  24. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Scott Chris: Have you gone home from your government job, or are you still checking the stats?

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  25. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    David Garrett says:- “In the light of all the above, please do explain to us how unemployment and poverty is the direct cause of crime.”

    I didn’t say unemployment leads to crime.

    I said crime is prevalent among those with a poor education and a low income.

    Presumably if we tackle the former, the latter will take care of itself. And yes, there are many out there with a poor education who are not criminals and some who are well educated criminals, but if you have a genetic propensity to commit crime and are given few choices in life with a rotten upbringing and a rotten education, then the spiral will inevitably be downward.

    Lefties simply want to give these kids a fair go.

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  26. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    but if you have a genetic propensity to commit crime

    So the high Maori crime rate, to take an example completely at random, is due to genetic differences?

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  27. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    PaulL 4.35

    ‘Willy woofter ideas.’
    How entertaining.
    Franks said the ‘drivers’ of crime had not diminished but the crime rate had. ‘The previously assumed drivers of crime—poverty, income inequality, drug use—have not diminished; and family breakdown—conservatives’ preferred root cause—has worsened.’
    So the problems (drivers) had worsened but the crime rate had fallen, that’s what he said. Safe to assume he wasn’t advocating in the blunt and impatient way I put it above.
    At no point have I said nothing should be done. As you say we are a very different society, in one area in particular – until probably recently we haven’t had crime gangs 100s of years old, broadly ingrained codes of silence and so on. And I don’t disagree that relative and safe speed within Justice system is good.

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  28. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Scott C: Is that really the best you can do?? I note you conveniently ignored my second point….are you saying that under nine long years of the Clark junta the children of the poor were not taken care of? What other benefits should der fuhrer have introduced?

    Unemployment was certainly low; about 4% from memory, which in any country in the western world is considered full employment. You, like me, will remember in the early 2000’s – ever supermarket and every gas station had “vacancies – apply within” signs on the door….I recall complaining to a supermarket owner about poor service from someone who couldn’t speak any English at all…his reply: “Mate, in this job market we take anyone who walks in the door”

    Why then did crime – particularly VIOLENT crime – continue its inexorable increase during this time of Labour led bountiful plenty and enhanced welfare beneficence?

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  29. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    “The left” is merely stating the obvious, in that crime is far more prevalent among those with a low income and poor education, so by far the most constructive approach to tackle crime would be to try to improve their lot.

    and

    From my reading, much research posits that reducing income inequality and poverty, not to mention institutionalised racial discrimination, are a factors to be addressed in driving down crime rates, but by no means not the only factors.

    See here’s the thing and it’s more a comment on the entire leftist philosophy of which their perspective on crime is but of the many arenas where their lamentably mistaken perspective sets the entire society back wherever and whenever they get into power, anywhere in the world.

    The thing is, lefties cannot it seems, bring themselves to the view that humans are responsible for their own actions. The entire lefty philosophy is centred around changing the environment in which humans live, rather than on targeting those who either cause the problem (as in crime) or are victims of the circumstance (as in those in poverty).

    This means lefties always but always, try to boil the ocean. They never try or suggest anything but doing that, on any given issue. If it’s crime then lefties suggest rather than targetting like a laser those who do it and making them stop, in whatever way, the ONLY repeat ONLY solution is NOT that but rather, boiling the ocean as in, changing the whole environment in which these people live. The fact not all people living in those environments are criminals gives, as someone said above, the complete lie to their idiotic and impractical solution, but they don’t listen and they don’t, apparently, care.

    The fact that boiling the ocean is impossible doesn’t stop the idiots trying to do it with OUR money everytime the idiots get into power. Of course it never works, not ever, how can it. It’s not possible. But they keep trying to do it.

    This fact is so profoundly obvious and always has been that I really cannot believe that any lefty supporter out there has a 3-digit IQ, yet many do. It’s almost impossible to fathom why, until one understands the profound blindening effect of the helping the victim mentality which drives all thinking lefties. They really think its the kind thing to do. But isn’t it interesting that these particular lefties with 100+ IQ are so profoundly confused with real-world facts such as, boiling oceans is impossible, fruitless and incredibly wasteful they let this emotional brain-fart override their common-sense-wake-the-fuck-up-and-smell-the-fucking-roses-FFS factor which everyone else can see as plain as day and always, in fact has just known it as a mere part of simply living in the world.

    It’s a profound shame for the confusion is strong in the media and this prevents the debate from finding the solution, which could easily happen if only the entire society thought of nothing but targetting like a laser those people and directly addressing them with all sorts of solutions. If the entire society always thought like that no matter which side was in power, the real solution(s) would be hit upon in no time flat, be it for crime, for poverty or for any other social ill. Instead, we get a mindless pointless tug of war, when just as the right direction has been happening for a few short years and starting to take effect, the lefties get in, undo it, and start boiling the oceans again, which puts us ALL back to square one.

    I bet crims really love lefties.

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  30. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    Kimble says:- “So the high Maori crime rate, to take an example completely at random, is due to genetic differences?”

    Not that I know of. It could be, but I suspect it is more to do with having your hunter gatherer cultural system completely fucked over by another culture. (it was inevitable, I’m not blaming anyone)

    I think the correlation between subsumed cultures and a high crime rate is well established.

    Edit: David Garret, I’m not a defender of Helen Clarke. I didn’t vote for her.

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  31. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    David on this topic you have a lot of insights and clearly it’s one of your life interests.

    If we did target these crims like a laser, what are your ideal solutions for dealing with this, just as bullet points if you wouldn’t mind, albeit we know you have a lot more thinking behind each one of those.

    It’s just I don’t really know if stuff like broken windows works. It seems right from a human-nature-I-get-how-it-could-work perspective, but does it? I also like 3S provided the thresholds for qualifying crimes are set right for you seem now and again to get some anomalies in the US but no surprises there, for the US. I guess ours are set much higher, obviously. There’s only been a few here with strikes, hasn’t there.

    But it gives even the idiot crims something to note. Even crims can count to three. Luckily you didn’t propose a 5S. I imagine some crims might have needed a calculator to work it out then. So well done there. No seriously, what’s your thinking on those thresholds here in NZ. Are they about right or not?

    What about other stuff? You’ve obviously read Newbold. I haven’t (crime is not my passion) but what sort of things does he mention?

    Thanks in advance.

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  32. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    I bet crims really love lefties.

    Nope.  Rare to meet a crim who is politically aware, let alone involved.  Most concentrate on their favourite subject: themselves.  

    As I have said before, the one common factor amongst almost all criminals is a complete and unrelenting selfishness.

    Oh, and, Nostaliga, never think that ‘income inequality’ is any driver of crime.  It isn’t.

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  33. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    I have a friend who lectures an an NZ university who is interested in their being a genetic propensity to commit crime. I don’t like the idea myself, but one thing that never comes up in my discussions on the topic with her is the idea that any genetic propensity to commit crime might be race/ethnicity based.

    As I have said before on KB, the idea that Maori, or any other race/ethnicity, is genetically inclined to commit crime is just plain wrong.

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  34. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Crime dropped in the US in the nineties because all the babies from the seventies who would have grown up to be criminals got aborted. Policing in New York helped make it more pronounced in that city, but the general trend was down to Roe v Wade.

    I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

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  35. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Nope. Rare to meet a crim who is politically aware, let alone involved. Most concentrate on their favourite subject: themselves

    Yes that was a joke FES. The rest of it wasn’t tho.

    Hey, you know crims, so what are your thoughts re: wiping out their behaviour completely, if you could do anything at all?

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  36. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Reid: Big question “what would I do?” Let me answer it like this. There is pretty general agreement across the spectrum that poor early homelife and poor education gives rise to poor outcomes generally, including with regard to crime. As Steve Franks points out, in 35 years or so we went from being one of the safest societies to the point where the homicide rate in south Auckland was at one time worse than New York City. How did that happen?

    Well, the lefties will scream “correlation not causation”, but the change in OUR society (the lefties are always telling us not to talk about the US) roughly coincided with the rise of what used to be called the “permissive society”; the traditional family unit was said to be just another way of living, not necessarily superior to other models; the focus moved very firmly from ones responsibilities to ones “rights”; automatic respect for ones elders, teachers, the police, and other authority figures was eroded or disappeared altogether. Most of us would agree that much of that change was good, but it came at a price.

    Well, we can either make a 180 degree turn: reinforce the primacy of two parent families; require at least superficial respect – for example – for teachers, failing which you get expelled; make calling the police “fucking pigs” the serious offence it once was; teach that all rights carry concomitant responsibilities….or – and because the first is not going to happen – we can ensure by punitive means that those would impinge on the rights of others are prevented from doing so. That is the choice we are the process of making right now.

    Do we have the thresholds for 3S right? Well I am of course hopelessy biased, but I would say yes we do. Although the lefties try and say otherwise, there is little similarity between our 3S law and that of – say – California’s, other than of course the name, and the fact that judicial discretion is curtailed almost completely at stage three. For reasons which have been well canvassed numerous times here and in other places, the kinds of horribly disproportionate outcomes that can happen in the US simply cannot happen here. The law was deliberately drafted so one cannot go to jail for stealing the apocryphal “candy bar”.

    I dont want to bore readers by adding any more, but the information on how our 3S law differs from California’s is very easy to find.

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  37. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    So, I’m not convinced in this suggestion that because crime is correlated with poverty and disadvantage, that it is caused by it (which it would have to be if the hypothesis that removing poverty and disadvantage will reduce crime).

    Basic correlation/causation confusion. When things are correlated, the options are:
    1. Coincidence. I’ll ignore this, I don’t think it’s coincidence, but I’ll note that it could be
    2. Poverty causes (or is a cause of) crime
    3. Crime causes poverty
    4. Crime and poverty both have a third factor that causes both of them

    For the first, it’s possible. I have nothing, I look around me, other people have something, I decide to take it from them. But then, why is much crime committed by poor people against other poor people? Seems counter intuitive. And even if this were true, then surely the certainty that you’d get caught and punished would still make you much less likely to commit crime?

    For the second, it’s also possible. Committing crime probably means you spend time in jail occassionally, and at least have a criminal record. Which would make it hard to get a job and amass wealth. And criminals often have crime perpetrated on them by other criminals. So this is also plausible.

    For the third, definitely. Consider perhaps stupidity. I’m stupid, I am poor because I can’t earn much money. I’m stupid, I commit crimes, because I don’t understand the consequences. Or, consider alternatively mental illness. I have a mental illness, I can’t hold down a job, and I also commit crimes because of my mental illness. Or perhaps I’m a substance abuser – again, I’m poor because I can’t hold down a job, I also commit crimes when under the influence.

    Irrespective of all of these, I don’t see why making sure that committing crimes has a penalty doesn’t help people to change. If I commit crimes because I’m poor, then punishing those crimes might make me stop. If I’m poor because I commit crimes, then making that criminal lifestyle less attractive might make fewer people take up that lifestyle, and therefore they’re less likely to be poor. And finally, if I have a third factor that makes me commit crimes and be poor, then still punishing those crimes might make me seek treatment for my third factor, or give opportunity to give treatment for that third factor.

    I’m not saying this is the only way to fix crime, but I am saying that it’d be a useful start, and it’s at least something that is directly controllable, rather than boiling the ocean as reid notes.

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  38. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Blair M: that argument has been totally debunked….Here are at least a couple of the reasons: 1) Criminal offending peaks in the years between ages 18 and 30. Ergo, if the “readily available abortions reduced crime” argument was true, there should have been a marked decrease in crime in the US 20 -25 years after 1973. In fact the precise OPPOSITE occurred; the peak years for criminal offending in the US were the early 90’s; 2) In California (I am not so familiar with other states) abortions were always relatively freely available, even for the poor. That state’s criminal stats over time dont differ significantly from any other – violent crime peaked in California in 1991 – the year before 3S was introduced.

    Everyone quotes Steven Levitt of “Freakonomics” fame on this point. In fact if you read his whole paper – as I have – he ascribes six factors to explain the precipitate drop in offending in the US. Readily available abortions is bottom of the list, and described as a “very weak” causative factor. The top two are more intense policing and longer sentences. In that order.

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  39. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    It could be, but I suspect it is more to do with having your hunter gatherer cultural system completely fucked over by another culture.

    Yeah, that hunter-gatherer cultural system was working so well. Shame it had to wither and die.

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  40. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    conservative… liberal
    free market …government control
    red neck…. green
    We have had right wing protectionist conservative and
    liberal free market left wing governments
    Seems to me since the demise of first past the post
    there is way more room to have views outside of the strict left/right dichotomy
    At the end of the day its the ideas that are debated not political allegiance

    Poverty is subjective
    crime is mostly not (drugs and sexual preference no harm to others no crime)

    “we haven’t had crime gangs 100s of years old, broadly ingrained codes of silence and so on”

    stormtroopers, mongrel mob, black power etc around since the sixty’s and are a Continuation of gangs hundred of years old. Tribal warriors. Crips bloods etc in the usa are from around the sixties as well

    Family group conference does ? if the family is toxic.
    Slap with a wet bus ticket might frighten well brought up kids does the opposite to crims.
    We send a message to criminals that there will be little or no repercussions for their actions.
    Its not my fault im poor im cultural oppressed I did no go to school dad raped me Its all society fault just feeds the justifications of the feral.

    True rights only come with corresponding obligations.
    Some seem to focus on rights to the detriment of obligation.

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  41. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    a genetic propensity to commit crime

    I wouldn’t be surprised. Yes agree re: it can’t be race, why would anyone think it could be, duh. The very fact crime has always existed everywhere throughout humankind since before we even lived in caves.

    I mean I bet when we were all those small mammal things which were one of the few species that survived the asteroid strike that killed the lizards and turned them into pretty and delicious poultry, some of us were stealing anothers nuts for the winter and doing all sorts of mean things.

    So crikey, how the hell can it be race. So what could it be. Well.

    Risk taker. Adrenaline junky. Lack of empathy (could that be genetic?).

    Angry/Uncontrolled impulsive violent/Controlled violent when it needs to happen/Ruthless/Cruel – does it nastily /Vicious does it nastily all the time/Sadistic – likes doing it nastily all the time/Pure unadulterated evil

    seems to be the spectrum for the physical ones – I could see genetics coming in there.

    then you have the dishonest ones – not sure

    sexual deviants – pedos I would suggest are a standout for genetic analysis. What the hell is it in someone that does that? Rapists/Sados come into sadistic violence

    what else is there.

    Interesting thought. Perhaps if/when they find the sequences some law enforcement corporation will patent that gene segment just the same as they’re busily doing for all the diseases this very moment and then a division of Blackwater will own the rights to the angry gene forever and ever. Golly. I feel safer already.

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  42. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    OK..time to throw some petrol on the fire….one of the reasons Greg Newbold is so despised by his fellow criminologists is he says there IS a very clear correlation (and causation) between our increased crime rates and Maori urbanization from the late 60’s…In fact I have heard him say if you removed all Maori from New Zealand our crime rate would be back to 1950’s levels.

    That, obviously, is not going to happen…it also doesnt explain exactly WHY maori commit more crime proportionally than pakeha do (the lefties of course say that isnt so, and it’s all about institutionalized racism in the police and justice system)

    Is the “warrior gene” argument really so out of left field? Could that be the reason the Maori Battalion were feared throughout North Africa and Italy in WW II ? What is total war but legalised murder?

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  43. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    The maori were not hunter gatherers they farmed (flax rimu taro kumara karaka gords etc)and lived near fortification very similar to pre and post roman times in Europe up to about 1000ad
    A more correct description would be stone age
    As pre colonization maori lived in a society where it was legitimate to attack etc other tribes their propensity to continue this behavior is more proberbly culture remaining from pre contact times as apposed to some thing they have caught from us

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  44. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    David thank for your thoughtful response.

    I agree with all you say. I myself here many times have sheeted home the destruction of the family unit and the enervating values of today’s society to leftist, specifically feminist, propaganda which has been shrilly screeching its poisonous evil at us since the 60’s.

    “Family life was and always will be the foundation of any civilization. Destroy the family and you destroy the country.”

    A lot of people don’t realise feminism came out of Soviet Russia. If anyone doesn’t know that, research it if you’re interested. There was a marxist institute somewhere in Germany (I think?) which re-located to Berkely in the 1920’s and guess where feminism in the 60’s all started from?

    Hulun did a lot to advance the cause here, of course. Stuff like your primary aged child can get an abortion without the parents knowing about it. She did that. It’s in law. And no-one said or continues to say anything, but that’s just one tiny infinitesimal part of the whole evil curtain which she drew over this land during her execrable reign. And the media never did a freakin thing, did they. Not once. No, it’s human wights. That’s what it is and if you don’t agree why it’s just you’re a simple beast who doesn’t properly understand humanity.

    They slice the elephant, don’t they. It’s inter-generational. They don’t care even if no advance happens in their lifetimes if conditions are unfavourable. They’re patient, but when conditions are good as they were with Hulun, they go for it. Understanding the long multi-generational view is the key to seeing it for what it is. Look at the forest, not the trees.

    My overall point David is that I can’t see a way to reverse this and restore the primacy of the family unit although of course I would dedicate my life to doing that if I thought I could even make a fractional difference, it’s that important and please know and believe I would do that, in a heartbeat, if the equation worked. It’s just, this relies on millions of people here and billions round the world also, all waking up from their slumber through which they’ve allowed this to happen and how the hell does one do that? I’m afraid I personally aren’t brainy enough to think of a solution, unless it’s kidnapping Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch and all the media moguls and holding them inside a volcano and making their networks tell the truth about the whole thing, lest we hurt them and doing that for about twenty years. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve got that in the planning phase at the mo but I’d be interested in your thoughts for my risk assessment matrix for the operation is full of radio-active, skull & cross-bone and poison symbols at the mo and I can’t quite work out why. I expect this is what politics is like, all the time so I’m hoping you’ll have some good ideas.

    Do we have the thresholds for 3S right?

    I was actually thinking, are they too high, should we lower the boom a bit?

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  45. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Curiously

    None of the poseters on here have admitted to a criminal past. Obviously, they don’t have a criminal record…or maybe they’ve never been caught. Those that have committed crimes, why did you do it?

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  46. gump (1,662 comments) says:

    David Garrett said:

    Blair M: that argument has been totally debunked….Here are at least a couple of the reasons: 1) Criminal offending peaks in the years between ages 18 and 30. Ergo, if the “readily available abortions reduced crime” argument was true, there should have been a marked decrease in crime in the US 20 -25 years after 1973. In fact the precise OPPOSITE occurred; the peak years for criminal offending in the US were the early 90′s; 2) In California (I am not so familiar with other states) abortions were always relatively freely available, even for the poor. That state’s criminal stats over time dont differ significantly from any other – violent crime peaked in California in 1991 – the year before 3S was introduced.

    Everyone quotes Steven Levitt of “Freakonomics” fame on this point. In fact if you read his whole paper – as I have – he ascribes six factors to explain the precipitate drop in offending in the US. Readily available abortions is bottom of the list, and described as a “very weak” causative factor. The top two are more intense policing and longer sentences. In that order.

    ——————————–

    Debunked?

    Levitt stands by the claims from his original 2001 paper that linked falling crime rates to the availability of legal abortion. Furthermore, he published a formal rebuttal to his critics in which he re-calculated the statistics to address the shortcomings and variables that ware missing in the 2001 study. He concluded that the new results were nearly identical to those of the original study.

    He ascribed the short peak of offending in the early 1990s to the rising influence of crack cocaine in the late 1980s. Here’s a link that summarises his argument:

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2005/05/15/abortion-and-crime-who-should-you-believe/

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  47. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    What muddies the waters is the inherent racism of European, ex-colonial societies that always leads to excessive lock-up rates for non-whites, especially indigenous peoples or, in the case of the US, their ex-slaves.

    So in the US, the rate of illegal drug use between whites and non-whites is almost equal, 13% and 14% respectively, but those jailed for drug crimes are 90% non-white.

    It’s as if we replace overt oppression of slavery and colonization with jailing for the flimsiest of reasons, instead.

    Maybe us white fellas are just getting what we ask for!

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  48. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Reid: I will tell you something funny about the strike offences which are listed in s.86A of the Sentencing Act….There are 40 of them, which is about double my original list, which was basically a pretty arbitrary list of crimes which fit my defintition of “nasty violent offence for which one should so substantial time.”

    The Nats “rationalised” the list – thereby increasing it – to include violent offences which carried a sentence of at least seven years. That was fine by me. What I didnt realise was that at that time, there was no intention of actually PASSING the law, they – the persons driving it for the Nats at that time – were just playing games with us. Long story short, when they eventually agreed to support the Bill at second reading, they could hardly say “hold on, our list has too many crimes on it” !

    So I am not unhappy with the threshold….my main concern is the potential misuse of the “manifestly unjust” provision which can allow a third strike offender to serve the full sentence without parole. Whether that happens remains to be seen…

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  49. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    The warrior gene clearly exists, it’s real. Absolutely no doubt about it and Maori have it in spades, that’s completely obvious.

    How many of us know of Maori families who do nothing but squabble amongst each other. As years go by, one or other cousin or sibling is always having battles with each other, as adults. Not always fists hardly ever in fact but always aggression and sometimes a bit of scruffling actions. Not all Maori families I know do that, many do.

    So if you had that strongly running in your genes to the extent you definitely needed it simply to survive as few as say 9-ten generations ago, in addition to having the usual small village-small town-large town growth trauma going on which happened to many indigenous colonial populations but not with the warrior gene operating on top of that adjustment trauma as well, if you had all that going on in your gene pool, it’s quite conceivable to me that the expression of that would influence to some extent what we see today. That’s an interesting proposition.

    It’s a shame you clearly felt you needed to couch your post in terms whereby you mitigated potential misunderstandings David. Imagine if you’d said that on The Standard. They’d go nuts, which is quite insane, isn’t it.

    I mean, it’s a scientific question isn’t it. Dependent upon understanding the precise influence of genetics which is some way away yet some people would claim it’s racist to even discuss such. Aren’t they just completely mental. That’s like saying the universe is racist because the speed of light is limited by the dynamics of the E=MC2 equation and light should not be oppressed like that because oppression of any kind is always cruel no matter what and no matter where. (Stamp.)

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  50. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    Ross

    I doubt that many who comment on this forum have not committed multiple crimes. That does not translate into threads full of evil doers…rather it refers to the sheer number of possible offenses legislated for.

    Every time someone drops their bundle the sheep of the electorate scream for the”gummint” to do something about it. The only things governments do is pass laws & try to get themselves re elected.

    We have competent criminal lawyers who comment here & I’ll wager dollars to donuts that they wouldn’t be conversant with every law on the books….what chance the general public?

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  51. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    gump: I have tried to follow the link to Levitt’s article….it doesnt work….it gets to a page showing Levitt and the start of the article but then goes blank. Are you able to send it to me by e-mail perhaps? (I am not very internet savvy)

    My address is: d.garrett@xtra.co.nz

    But you can tell us; does he still ascribe the drop in crime to six factors, and is “readily available abortions” still the bottom of his list? Is more intensive policing and longer sentences still at numbers one and two?

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  52. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    What I didnt realise was that at that time, there was no intention of actually PASSING the law, they – the persons driving it for the Nats at that time – were just playing games with us. Long story short, when they eventually agreed to support the Bill at second reading, they could hardly say “hold on, our list has too many crimes on it” !

    Tee hee David. Care to name the “persons?” Understand if not. Let me guess, was McCully on the team? Please say yes.

    my main concern is the potential misuse of the “manifestly unjust” provision which can allow a third strike offender to serve the full sentence without parole.

    Sorry can you explain? I would have thought serving the third sentence without parole was a pretty good final reminder but you say no? Or are you saying it’s a loose loophole?

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  53. mikenmild (11,758 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    That was an interesting point about the ‘warrior gene’. I don’t go along with the point about the Maori Battalion though. All NZ soldiers of the twentieth century were of a a generally fine quality, as shown in numerous campaign from South Africa to Vietnam, irrespective of race. I think it was Keith Sinclair who described them as the ‘Prussians of the South Pacific’!

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  54. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The broken window policy that was put into place in New York at the time worked.

    Just like in the mid seventies when Gideon Tait started Task Force in Auckland, their job was to lock up the drunks in the bars before they went out side and got a hiding, gave a hiding or went home and kicked mum about.

    It cleaned up the streets immediately.

    Basic – Deal with the small stuff otherwise it escalates into more serious crime .

    This isn’t rocket science, this coupled with a judicary thats on board would stop the likes of that clown yesterday, Kara.
    If he had been sentenced properly he would not have 170 odd convictions because he would have been in the pokie for most of the time. Obviously the police are doing their job with him so someone isn’t on the same page.

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  55. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    PaulEast: You will see some dickhead earlier commenting negatively about the Gideon Tait era…but he does raise an interesting point when he says that whole “team policing” (I think it was called) thing “just faded away”…as a cop from that era, perhaps you can tell us why that happened? My vague memory is it was portrayed as racist, and Tait was forced into early retirement? Is that right?

    Reid: Not McCully. I cant say any more for fear of being sued for what I might say about the person concerned. Those who followed the issue closely will know just who I am talking about.

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  56. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    What muddies the waters is the inherent racism of European, ex-colonial societies that always leads to excessive lock-up rates for non-whites, especially indigenous peoples or, in the case of the US, their ex-slaves.

    Luc you claim this as a given and frankly, I agree with you. It is quite clearly impossible for anyone of any race to totally empathise with anyone of another race anywhere in the world. This has never happened in all history, has it. Re: today, just as a pakeha feels out of place in a roomful of Maoris, vice versa applies and go through all the races in NZ.

    Fact.

    Noted and agreed.

    Does the race who controls the power structures have more say than the others, be they Maori, PI, Asian or Other?

    Of course. Duh.

    Does this happen the world over?

    Yes.

    So, this is natural?

    Yes.

    But what about the lessor empowered races?

    Well, to the extent society benevolently treats them is the usual measure of civilisation. How’s NZ rating there vis-a-vis the rest of the world on that scale Luc, including of course by comparison to our much much much richer and much much much better resourced and much much much more powerful neighbour. What do you think?

    Shame some people don’t acknowledge that more, isn’t it. But never mind. I’m sure Hone will be acknowledging the hell out of it when he “greets” Key in his TV3-sponsored live breathless media extravaganza starring Mihi Forbes as Agitator#1 and HONE, HONE, HONE as Agitator#2 this coming Monday.

    But that’s not racism is it Luc, that’s justice, isn’t it.

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  57. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Reid: sorry, forgot the “loophole” bit.

    The legislation provides that on third strike, the offender must serve the maximum sentence prescribed in the Crimes Act for that offence without parole, “unless it would be manifestly unjust in all the circumstances…” There is already caselaw on the meaning of the phrase “manifestly unjust” which is used in other contexts, so properly applied, it should only ever be used in rare cases…for example if an offender had two strikes in their twenties, then married and had kids, and led a blameless life for 20 years, but got into a fight and the other guy died when he hit his head on a table while falling – not uncommon. The offender would properly be convicted of manslaughter for which the maximun sentence is life. Without the “manifest injustice” proviso, such a person would have to be sentenced to LWOP (Life Without Parole). That in my view would be unjust in those circumstances, and a proper case for use of the proviso – or loophole if you like. Whether its use will be confined to such a case remains to be seen.

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  58. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    DG

    They just stopped called it task Force in public afer about 1980 81.

    I think Tait just retired , I’ve got his book here somewhere , I beleive he finished up in Chch he was gone before I started in 1979

    http://www.laworderreferendum.org.nz/Tait.htm#task

    The link above shows a graph which shows the drop off in crime .

    Task Force just got called Team Policing units. I was on one 82 – 84 We weren’t racist, it was that our major problems were in certain areas. K Road Thursday night @ The Rising Sun, they had a late licence until 11.00pm. Most of the South Auckland Pubs

    Glen Innes was another violent pub scene. It was just that there were no pubs with two hundred really pissed people in Remuera.

    It was nothing for 30 of us to make 50 plus arrests on a Friday Saturday night. It was a time of booze barns were there were hundreds drinking hard. These arrests for rat shit stuff but they were off the scene until they straightened out.

    One day cricket matches would have 100 arrested at them. The idea was to stop disorder early and it worked.

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  59. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    PaulEast: “there were no pubs with two hundred really pissed people in Remuera”…classic! Almost as good as an explanation as that given to a Judge by Willie Sutton, a famous American bank robber who, when asked by a Judge why he kept robbing banks, said “Because that’s where the money is” ….

    A variation of your answer is the reason Maori are disproportionately in jail ..”because they commit disproportionate amounts of crime” … The real question is “Why, and what do we do about it?” (Cue claims of “colonization” and “oppression”, which translfates to “we cant do anything about it, we just have to suck it up”

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  60. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Whether its use will be confined to such a case remains to be seen.

    Thanks for the explication. Tricky.

    I have to say which I freely can since I’m not a lawyer, that with Elias as CJ I have zero confidence in any judicial wisdom occurring during what I predict will in hindsight be judged her execrable reign in NZ Judicial History but OK. At least now I won’t be surprised if/when the worst happens re this.

    WTF is wrong with some judges that they can’t accurately read human nature [and sometimes even the law] in that their decisions and their bail decisions and sentences are clearly mental? Should ticking the “I’m a lefty” box on the application form be an automatic disqualification for consideration?

    If Key had any balls, he’d declare a Republic, fire Elias, re-declare ourselves a democratic Monarchy under the Crown, re-instate the PC and by Wednesday it’s all normal again, sans Elias. Simple.

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  61. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Reid: I of course could not possibly comment on such an outlandish suggestion…or set of suggestions…

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  62. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    So nice to see you patting each other on the back like a bunch of lefties at a tree hugging contest.
    Or is it greenies?
    Don’t rub yourself up the wrong will ya? Bloody willy woofters as PaulL so precisely pointed out.

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  63. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    reid
    add scrap the treaty to that republic
    dg
    From what i have seen on the web maorifacation does not reduce crime
    sorry I can not give current links hard drive crashed recently
    A return to the policy’s of Maori leaders like peter buck as in acknowledging the benefits of western civilization and aligning the future towards integration into modern society rather than the present looking to the past and elevating the society of a stone age that was would give far more positive results to maori

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  64. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Is this the same guy who was “just trying to get the full picture” yesterday?

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  65. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    reid/david garrett,

    As I said, I don’t accept the genetic propensity argument when used in a race/ethnicity argument. I do accept that Maori (and other minority races/ethnicities) do figure more prominently in the crime/imprisonment stats, hence I have no issue with the accuracy of Newbold’s statement as related by David.

    However, I think it is the social aspect that is more prominent, with race being mostly irrelevant to the issue (other than the social situation a child would find themselves in from birth), with most of the blame, in my view, going on the ghetto-isation that comes about from social welfare dependency. When you look at the features that seem to be common among many criminals (but by no means all), single parent families and welfare dependency are right up there. The fact that Maori society has broken down to that extent is not just the fault of Maori, but also of the policy of successive governments, both Labour and Nat, that has encouraged welfareism whilst trying to be seen as being against it.

    The problem is replicated around the world, in pretty much all of the English speaking countries.

    As always, I will disagree with reid on the position of Elias CJ: Dame Sian is one person among 5 on the bench. Her influence is 1/5 of the SC, and therefore if the SC does something that the public don’t like, she is not the only person responsible. Of course, sometimes the public don’t like it when the SC makes good law, but that cannot be helped.

    I do like the Broken Windows policy of NY City, as raised by PaulEB. I have no problem with it, so long as the court processes are not short circuited in order to get more convictions. Plus, I think there would be operational problems as there has been a significant reduction in criminal lawyers in the last couple of years due to Simon Power’s policies, and that is only set to continue as rates are cut by a further 10% later this year.

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  66. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    I think you know that your final point falls on deaf ears, unfortunately.

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  67. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    it’s really funny being called an idiot by David Garret. I mean, FFS, does he understand the meaning of irony? Does he ever look in the mirror or reread what he writes?

    He is a cardboard cutout character, sort of a Kiwi Archie Bunker, and certainly the type H L Mencken would have had in mind..

    My point about the Tait era – and it wasn’t intended to be critical, or the opposite – was that we still found ways to do our thing and took those wild-eyed cops into account when out partying.

    It was just illustrating by way of personal anecdote why I doubt the authors (remember her?) thesis that stop and frisk was solely responsible for the additional drop in New York crime. People adapt and change anyway.

    Now Paul, when I passingly remarked that the task force faded away, the fact is that times change. We all get older, wiser, maybe a little richer, but trends always move on. So the fading would have been on both sides.

    I do remember Tait’s time ending in some controversy, I can’t remember the details, but I don’t think it was as successful as Tait thought it would be – and incidentally, I had a lot of time for the man. He spent time in Waihi when it was a man’s town and got a helluva reputation. i wouldn’t then have regarded him as racist, but I would say he probably had the conventional view of Maori, for the times.

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  68. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    Nice to be on (almost) the same side as you, for once, regarding race issues.

    But tell me, what’s your alternative to welfarism?

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  69. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Luc: I am so wounded by your arrows! I am so dumb…silly silly me….

    Just purely out of curiousity…do you know anyone who has actually met me? I dont mean someone who yelled at me on backbenches (and then ran away when the show was wrapping up in case the big bad wolf came and engaged them – there were always lots of them) but actually MET me?

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  70. kowtow (8,776 comments) says:

    Lucy ,I think you have a nerve coming on here and calling DG an Archie Bunker. Far as I’m concerned ABunker was one of the good guys and you are an absolute ARSE.I wish they’d replay All in the family.The ABunker types are the real men.

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  71. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    # ross at 7:34 pm
    “Curiously None of the posters on here have admitted to a criminal past. Obviously, they don’t have a criminal record…or maybe they’ve never been caught. Those that have committed crimes, why did you do it?”

    It’s a valid question.

    One of the posters here has an assault conviction from a bar fight in Tonga, once stole the identity of a dead baby in order to procure a passport illegally and as recently as November last year was in front of the courts on drink driving offence:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764532

    David – what might have prevented you from doing these things? You are a smart man and a lawyer so I’m guessing you didn’t act out of ignorance of the law. If you prescribe to the Act parties philosophy on personal responsibility then you can’t really blame the bar fight and drink driving charge on being the helpless victim of an alcohol problem. What motivated you to commit these crimes and in retrospect what could have made the difference for you? Would harsher sentences have acted as a deterrent? Likelihood of prosecution? Warrior gene?

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  72. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    Out come the dickheads…

    FES: I was reading a biography of Sir Apirana Ngata recently…he was adamantly opposed to maori being eligible for welfare of any kind, believing it would be the ruin of the race….I am vaguely aware that “maoridom” (which has always seemed to me a stupid term, suggesting that all maori think alike) have very mixed views on Ngata, but interesting nonetheless that the dire consequences he predicted have all come to pass – low educational achievement; low living standards; poor health….

    God knows what the answer to institutionalised welfarism is, but I am fairly sure that if there ever was one no government of whatever stripe would implement it…

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  73. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Of course, sometimes the public don’t like it when the SC makes good law, but that cannot be helped.

    Exactly FES. They just don’t get it.

    We just don’t know what’s good for us.

    Hey don’t get me wrong re: Elias, agree she is but one, but she assigns the Justices to the cases and that’s where the power lies and over the next 5-10 years you just watch how that power plays itself out, on particularly important cases, were one a radical feminist, emplaced so as to advance the agenda.

    Let’s wait and see.

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  74. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Couple of comments

    born and bred in Liverpool in poor part, high crime (stealing was an art form), high single parent family, very high non racially based crime i.e. it wasn’t the blacks, whites or any in between who did the crime – all did. It had unemployment and crime stats that still beat the worst in NZ. Crime ran in families. Shitty or criminal parents more often had criminal kids. As a greater proportion of single parents are actually shittier parents (they tend to be less competent and/or more selfish thus the way they end up getting knocked up) then a greater proportion of their kids ended up criminals. I grew up amongst these kids – we used to think shop lifting was normal. We also knew and they knew it was wrong.

    In terms of the reaction to policing and punishment – the criminal kids use to piss themselves laughing at the whole “it’s not your fault” movement that had started even 40 years ago. Oddly enough (cue irony), if one got caught stealing and had the s**t kicked out of him he tended to be a lot more careful and occasionally stopped but being caught by the police was not seen as a deterrent. Harold Wilson’s electorate in Liverpool was Huyton, not a bad area but certainly not a posh area. The Huyton coppers were renowed for their brute force approach – I guess they had instructions to keep crime down – you did not talk back to a Huyton copper. Crims avoided Huyton. Not that I condown smacking someone with a truncheon for mouthing off it does show the point that there is a deterrent factor.

    Warrior gene for Maori? Doesn’t explain the much higher crime in other racial groups. Much more likely to be cultural I suggest.

    Finally, as anyone rearing/training a child or animal knows the response to wrong behaviour needs to be able to be linked to that behaviour and so delaying the response removes the learning of any action and reaction so pretty much removes the deterrent factor.

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  75. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    The young maori party or a modern version of it would help maori far more than the treaty grievance industry
    King history of NZ ch 21
    Makes a very good starting read on the policy and direction these young turks were heading

    I firmly believe that Maoris problems are rooted in culture rather than race
    culture can be changed.
    to that end I see little Maori leadership.

    The sooner Maori start walking forward rather than back the sooner they will lift themselves out of the gutter

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  76. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    reid,

    no, Elias doesn’t really have much choice in assigning the justices to the cases at all. There are 6 SC judges and 5 must sit on the bench that hears a case. So Elias really couldn’t skew the pitch on a case, even if she wanted to. In practice, and I don’t know this for sure, but I would expect that there is actually little or no choice simply because of who is available at any one time.

    David,

    I have a lot of respect for Sir Apirana and his views. Your recitation of his predictions are so unfortunately correct, and, as you note, he was right. I also agree with you that no government has the guts to change much, but I wish they would.

    With regards any solution, that would take too long for this time of night, so will have to be addressed another time.

    Slijmbal,

    You make some very good points, and the fact that they are from a different country with different ethnicities but the same problems is something that I hope KB readers take note of.

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  77. kowtow (8,776 comments) says:

    Richard 29 You know what? We’re all fucken criminals.

    Ever driven your car at 51 kph in a 50 zone?
    Ever crossed the road near to a ped crossing?
    Just never got convicted, thank goodness.
    There but for the grace of God………………

    Criminality is a question of being caught. Sure there’s degree and all that but FFS it’s about the 11th commandment isn’t it , mate be honest. Now I’m not talking about selling drugs or stomping on some ones head but as Our Good Lord said He Who is without sin throw the 1st stone. Could you honestly stone someone with a clean heart?

    No you couldn’t you fucken hypocrite you couldn’t,so shut the fuck up.

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  78. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Say, David

    Just purely out of curiousity…do you know anyone who has actually met me?

    Don’t take my comments personally, after all what’s an idiot to a caricature?

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  79. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    From Griff

    I firmly believe that Maoris problems are rooted in culture rather than race

    This seem a little confused, after all, isn’t one rooted in the other, but, never mind about that.

    But I find it so unnecessary to profess “belief” as opposed to presenting evidence to support a viewpoint.

    One line of evidence to support my view that the plight of Maori is directly caused by our colonisation is that indigenous peoples the world over who were subjected to similar or, mostly, far worse fates than Maori suffer similar or worse societal outcomes – disproportionate imprisonment, lower paying jobs, inferior health, greater child abuse stats etc etc.

    The institutionalised welfare F E Smith and David Garret bemoan was a very convenient tool for the governments of the colonisers to be seen to be addressing the problem without engaging the real taboo, the cause.

    I wonder if this view finds any favour with those two gentlemen.

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  80. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Forgot to mention one could almost break down criminals I knew in to broadly different types. There were the ‘broken’, low intelligence or drug types who basically did it because of stupid reasons e.g his ‘mates’ did and who invariably got caught as they did not function well and then there were the predators – typically intelligent or shrewd and knew how to game the system. They had no empathy and were basically evil to various degrees. Most criminals I knew fell into the 2nd group and were suprisingly shrewd or intelligent but played dim or the victim to the lawyers, social workers etc as it worked. They also sneered at their naivety. Based on that I have formed a low opinion of the views of these professions as a group with respect to criminals as it belies common sense.

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  81. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @Luc – the theme that it’s all due to colonisation comes across as part of the ‘it’s not your fault’ mindset, which I don’t believe from personal experience. There is an implication from this argument that the poor natives were ‘ruined’ by nasty colonists. The picture painted of a relatively violent Maori culture pre european migration really doesn’t support that. Similarly, the zulus were busy committing their own little genocides in South Africa before the evil white man came (not supporting apartheid of course). I then add to that plenty of areas in the UK and plenty of parts of Europe were crime/poverty etc were high and there was no colonisation and it was a relatively homogenous racial pool and this argument seems to be taking some level of correlation and leaping to causation

    It’s more arguable that it’s a consequence of urbanisation as there’s a greater correlation with urbanisation than race or colonisation.

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  82. tvb (4,516 comments) says:

    Points taken on my comments on Stephen’s background. But I find his analysis of the problems of crime superficial and reactionary. He is a very good and respected commercial lawyer.

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  83. Griff (8,197 comments) says:

    luc

    “This seem a little confused, after all, isn’t one rooted in the other, but, never mind about that.

    But I find it so unnecessary to profess “belief” as opposed to presenting evidence to support a viewpoint.”

    To say Maoris problems are only founded in race leads to (at risk of invoking Goodwin law)limited options to combat this problem.
    Maori lived in a violent society were there was no Rule of law other than might.
    To say that they are worse of now is without proof and goes against the known state of pre contact Maori
    Their life expectancy was about thirty years, their diet limited, they were in a permanent state of tribal war and slavery and cannibalism were a normal part of their society
    pre treaty they had a very good attempt at racial suicide wiping 30 to 60 % of their own population of the map in a mere thirty years.
    All the modern aroha and huis and talk of mana do not change these facts.

    Noble savage No just savage.

    Many are leaving our shores not to escape colonial oppression but to escape their own culture.
    This may not be provable in statistics Yet I personally know of at least three family’s that have left for this reason.

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  84. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    A observation before this thread flys with the swallows. I note a couple of contributors give general discriptions of offenders, almost as though it is a comfort thing – often rounded off with a suggestion that the best policing might be a ‘clip round the ears.’ I suppose this is to ease a frustration and anxiety about something not so easily understood in others – particular those we don’t personally know but would like to label in some convenient way for peace of mind I suppose. I suspect offenders are as broad ranging in personality as any group. Their commonality being only that they got caught. Street gangs would attract the dispossesed or those that have seen violence as normal, but also the slightly or indeed more fearful who seek the camoflage of a ‘patch.’ No doubt there are also true tough guys that nobody messes with. A number will also have drug and acohol problems and who become almost by accident offenders, others are simply followers in a life they haven’t yet fixed for themselves. There will be the abused who have by turn become abusers. There will be determined, non drinking money makers who might never ‘give up’ on crime. And I think the list goes on and on though I should also think of the ‘little boy lost’ who finds himself foul of the law and who is not dragged back but goes on to adopt a life that becomes normal for him. There are also the ‘white collar’ men, possibly addicted to money, women or a number of things.

    By accident I recently interviewed somebody for a job. He had been ‘recommended’ from a source from within his industry. In fact I was to find the ‘recommendation’ was an effort by an ex employer of his to distance himself from this man who revealed himself as a sex offender. It was really an ambush type situation that I would never have willingly entered into had I known all the details about him. He was very very bright which was immediately obvious, but also defensive as I found out that I had wondered what a person of his age was doing ‘on the bones of his arse.’ I’ve read about situations that this man explained to me, I have no idea if he was being truthful or not, but claimed to have been abused himself as a child. He said it almost matter of factly as though it was an acceptable excuse, not that he needed to offer me an excuse when I was generally wondering how the hell I’d got in a situation which I hadn’t intended or expected.

    He wasn’t offered a job and lamented that it was because he’d been up front. Personally, I think being up front is good in interviews but both because I hadn’t anticipated in my wildest dreams that I was going to get this man’s problems heaped on a plate in front of, but being offered the ‘excuse’ he gave went right against my belief that a person shouldn’t hand on their problems, that what might go wrong for them should stop with them. I’ve gone a long way to reach the point about ‘challenge.’ I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a man I knew who thought showing his son something of his former gang life style might prevent him going down that track, but which it now appears has failed. So I arrive at the point of encouraging a man who has had a life time of problems not to hand them on, to in fact do the opposite – it might be a courage thing and could be the reason those off the rails are not ‘challenged’ about the nature of their lives, where they have come from and where they want to go, what they expect for themselves in the future and more importantly that the expect for their families.

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  85. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    How many of us know of Maori families who do nothing but squabble amongst each other. As years go by, one or other cousin or sibling is always having battles with each other, as adults. Not always fists hardly ever in fact but always aggression and sometimes a bit of scruffling actions. Not all Maori families I know do that, many do.

    Sounds like my Italian family.

    It is quite clearly impossible for anyone of any race to totally empathise with anyone of another race anywhere in the world. This has never happened in all history, has it. Re: today, just as a pakeha feels out of place in a roomful of Maoris, vice versa applies and go through all the races in NZ.

    That is such a generalisation. My maori mates and I seem pretty comfortable in each other’s homes and company. My mates are a diverse lot of Maori, from those who cannot stand tribalism and have no interest in maori culture, to those that are heavily involved in cultural activities. What they have in common and probably why they are my friends is that they are self-sufficient, responsible guys whose interests happen to correspond to my own.

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  86. David Garrett (7,556 comments) says:

    tvb: Firstly, well done for having the good grace to take the smack arising from your ignorance about Steve Franks’ experience in the criminal law. But you use that interesting word “reactionary” about his opinions on crime and criminal justice.

    “Reactionary” means a belief that the past can somehow be regained, and reactionaries have long been the object of amused ridicule by chardonnay (or is it sauvingnon blanc now?) socialists loftily opining with amusement on the hopes and beliefs of ordinary people. The conventional wisdom among this class is that it is impossible to turn the clock back, and if we dont like how our society has developed then we just need “strategies” and “interventions” designed to allow us all to “embrace change” blah blah blah. But if there is enough will, it IS in fact possible to turn the clock back, and return to conditions prevailing in earlier and better times.

    New York city is the prime example. In the 1980’s there were more than 2500 murders every year in the city. When I visited Times Square in 1978 I got offered heroin and hookers at 4.30 in the afternoon. No-one but the very bold or the desperate went there after dark.

    Rudolph Guiliani refused to accept the status quo, and found a police commissioner who promised he could “take the city back” for ordinary decent citizens. Academics across America rolled their eyes and smiled, and muttered about interference with human rights. Commissioner Bratton, with Guiliani’s backing, took the city back from drug dealers and habitual thieves, back snatchers and rapists. It was conducted like a war for a city – which in fact it was. Street by street, block by block, the city was cleaned up.

    By the mid 2000’s murders had dropped to hundreds not thousands annually, minor offenders were arrested and swiftly dealt with by the courts rather than being ignored by police (remember the show “Hill Street Blues” from the 80’s?); drug dealers hookers and “adult” theatres cleaned out of Times Square. Now, families go to Times Square any time of the day or night. The clock has been turned back.

    Steve Franks and I – and thousands of others – believe we DONT have to accept that in our once beautiful safe country my daughter should be told that she mustn’t go for a walk on a summers night. We DONT accept that a homicide rate of about 1 per 100,000 per year – twice what it was thirty of forty years ago – is OK because it is still less than some other countries’. If that is being “reactionary”, so be it.

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  87. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Blair M: that argument has been totally debunked….Here are at least a couple of the reasons: 1) Criminal offending peaks in the years between ages 18 and 30. Ergo, if the “readily available abortions reduced crime” argument was true, there should have been a marked decrease in crime in the US 20 -25 years after 1973. In fact the precise OPPOSITE occurred; the peak years for criminal offending in the US were the early 90′s; 2) In California (I am not so familiar with other states) abortions were always relatively freely available, even for the poor. That state’s criminal stats over time dont differ significantly from any other – violent crime peaked in California in 1991 – the year before 3S was introduced.

    What you said is not making a lot of sense to me, because that is exactly what I was pointing out. Crime peaked in the early nineties, when a child of 1973 would have turned twenty. 1973 was not some magical year when everyone got abortions – merely the start of a trend which increased over the years. As the abortion rate increased over the ’70s, the corresponding crime rate in the ’90s decreased. Those criminal twentysomethings weren’t there in as great a number any more.

    The illegality of abortion until 1973 was a restrictive factor in their proliferation, even if they were “relatively freely available”. I don’t know if this theory is correct, but I do find the correlation compelling. It doesn’t influence my qualms about abortion on demand, but I can’t deny the importance of legal abortion in reducing the crime rate, as one of several factors.

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  88. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    I suppose the point is to say to people that if they can have less crime without doing anything to reduce income inequality or poverty, why would anyone bother to do anything about the latter. Just keep on voting right wing after the GFC … .

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  89. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    The legislation provides that on third strike, the offender must serve the maximum sentence prescribed in the Crimes Act for that offence without parole, “unless it would be manifestly unjust in all the circumstances…” There is already caselaw on the meaning of the phrase “manifestly unjust” which is used in other contexts, so properly applied, it should only ever be used in rare cases…for example if an offender had two strikes in their twenties, then married and had kids, and led a blameless life for 20 years, but got into a fight and the other guy died when he hit his head on a table while falling – not uncommon. The offender would properly be convicted of manslaughter for which the maximun sentence is life. Without the “manifest injustice” proviso, such a person would have to be sentenced to LWOP (Life Without Parole). That in my view would be unjust in those circumstances, and a proper case for use of the proviso – or loophole if you like. Whether its use will be confined to such a case remains to be seen.

    Not quite correct:
    1. The manifest injustice “loophole” only applies to the absence of parole, not the sentence length. Anyone convicted of Manslaughter as a third strike must receive life imprisonment no matter how manifestly unjust that may seem (e.g. the fight with the bad fall, some would posit a Bruce Emery type, I’d usually use the (actual) case of someone who failed to properly supervise an aircraft mechanic, etc.).
    2. Manslaughter is a special case at the third strike level (something I pushed for in a supplementary submission, though don’t know enough about whether I can claim credit/share blame for the change). Third strike manslaughter doesn’t have to be life without parole, indeed it cannot ever be life without parole even for the most serious (third strike) manslaughter. For third strike manslaughter, an offender must be sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of at least 20 years. If this is manifestly unjust, then the non-parole period must be 10 years.

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