A schoolyard bully

3 News reports:

The ACT Party is challenging a criminologist who says the sentencing law is unfair.

The law is an ACT initiative and means a violent criminal gets a maximum sentence on a third conviction with no parole – even if they plead guilty.

Victoria University criminologist John Pratt has raised the case of 21-year-old Hastings man Elijah Whaanga, who was handed his second strike last month for two street muggings and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Mr Pratt told Radio New Zealand Whaanga is “nothing more than a schoolyard bully” and hitting him with three strikes would be unfair punishment.

A schoolyard bully?

This confirms my view of most criminologists, Greg Newbold excepted.

But ACT president John Boscawen, a former MP who took the three strikes law through Parliament, says that’s rubbish.

“The so-called schoolyard bully is in reality a violent young man with over 72 convictions,” he said.

“He is exactly the type of criminal three strikes was intended to target.”

Mr Boscawen says Whaanga’s first strike was for two aggravated robberies, and his second and final warning was for another two aggravated robberies.

72 convictions? Yeah, just a schoolyard bully.

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