A schoolyard bully

May 30th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

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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32 Responses to “A schoolyard bully”

  1. lilman (914 comments) says:

    I would be happy with 2 strikes.

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  2. RRM (9,605 comments) says:

    Only 21 and a hardened piece of shit already?

    Just shoot it now.

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  3. Lance (2,540 comments) says:

    I remember a British program on TV where a character was going to give someone a ‘spanking’ with a pick axe handle and a razor.
    So maybe a ‘school yard bully’ is code for ‘extremely violent thug intent on GBH’

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  4. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Are you suggesting that Pratt is well named?

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  5. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    LMAO easy to write something off as “hes just a school yard” bully when you havent been one of his victims!

    what a dick

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  6. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    The third strike will take him to 14 years with no parole which will be a big jump up from what he would expect to get before the 3 strikes law was passed. There is something that could be said for the recidivist drink driver also getting a 3 strikes warning after the 3rd EBA conviction. That is you serve the maximum term of 2 years with no early release on the 4th conviction say within 5 years of the third conviction.

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  7. ldypen (29 comments) says:

    Bloody hell.. John Pratt must have attended some really tough schools!

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

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

    He did? Since when?

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  9. Don the Kiwi (1,634 comments) says:

    Pratt – what an appropriate name.

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  10. Ashley Schaeffer (432 comments) says:

    Fortunately for the neanderthal, there’s a real easy way to avoid getting a third strike – start playing nicely with others in the schoolyard.

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  11. wreck1080 (3,787 comments) says:

    I’m curious, after 3 strikes you get sentenced to the maximum length for that crime.

    But, are you eligible for parole when sentenced as such?

    And, are those 3 strikes wiped after you are released?

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  12. gravedodger (1,527 comments) says:

    While not wishing evil on anyone, I wonder how the Pratt would feel if his next victim is someone the POS takes to the next level and someone Pratt really cares for.

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  13. B A W (98 comments) says:

    While I hope he does not get a third strike both for the victim and to save govt money the reality is that there is a simple way of staying out of trouble. Stop being bad.

    Now perhaps the third strike is a bit to hard but the reality is that this guy is running as hard as he can to get some jail time.

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  14. OneTrack (2,754 comments) says:

    “Victoria University criminologist John Pratt ”

    Another academic, sitting in his ivory tower, opining on life,…

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  15. freedom101 (478 comments) says:

    A third strike is inevitable. Let’s hope the victim suffers no long term harm. Then we can at least look forward to this beast being locked away. Well done ACT. Good work.

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  16. gump (1,538 comments) says:

    I support the three strikes legislation.

    But I worry that Whaanga now has less incentive to moderate his future behaviour i.e. if he is looking at going away for 14 years, there’s less reason to show mercy to his victims.

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  17. laworder (273 comments) says:

    gump wrote


    I support the three strikes legislation.

    But I worry that Whaanga now has less incentive to moderate his future behaviour i.e. if he is looking at going away for 14 years, there’s less reason to show mercy to his victims.

    On the face of it that is a reasonable concern. However it has not been borne out by overseas experience. Offenders of this sort are generally too stupid and too impulsive to calculate consequences in this way. That is why he has fallen afoul of it twice already. He is one of those for whom deterrence has no effect and therefore it becomes more imperative to incapacitate him.

    This is exactly the type of offenders the NZ three strikes was designed to catch, and without the wasteful by-catch that has resulted from some US versions of three strikes.

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  18. oob (194 comments) says:

    But I worry that Whaanga now has less incentive to moderate his future behaviour i.e. if he is looking at going away for 14 years, there’s less reason to show mercy to his victims.

    I worry about that too.

    I hope Whaanga doesn’t have John Pratt’s home address.

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  19. RRM (9,605 comments) says:

    …without the wasteful by-catch that has resulted from some US versions of three strikes.

    :-) I like that. By-catch.

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  20. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    wreck: If you do your 14 years and come out and commit another strike offence, you again get the maximum penalty available for that offence…which, as Peter J has said above, is part of the point; if you keep acting in this way you keep getting locked up for a very long time. Whaanga is William Bell early in his career – the difference is that unlike Bell, this mongrel won’t get the chance to amass 102 convictions. Unless he radically alters his behaviour, He will be in jail.

    gump: this same point – and of course it is an obvious one – was raised in California, although the argument there was more that second strikers desparate to avoid a third strike arrest and conviction would shoot it out, this increasing police homicides. In fact the opposite happened, and homicides of police decreased, although the population increased by about 20% over the ten years since 3S became law.

    Looking at the bigger picture though, Pratt is very well aware that many of the claims he made on Nat Rad are straight out bullshit, and/or simply have not happened. He said for example that the prison population would “hyperinflate” as a result of 3S (Workman said it would triple in 3 years). Again, the opposite has occurred, and over the last three years, the prison population has stayed about the same, even at one point decreasing somewhat.

    In other words, Pratt and people like him are quite simply prepared to lie and make things up when the evidence doesn’t fit their ideologically driven predictions or hypotheses.

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  21. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    if he is looking at going away for 14 years, there’s less reason to show mercy to his victims.

    Well, if he steals from them, it’s a normal sentence and not a strike. If he robs them, it’s 10 years. If he aggravated robs them it’s 14 years. If he manslaughters them, it’s life with 20 years non-parole. If he murders them, it’s life without parole.

    Plenty of reasons for a rational second striker to “show mercy” when considering a third strike.

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  22. wiseowl (798 comments) says:

    Heard the interview with this Pratt and wasn’t long before I was saying to myself , another do gooder lefty progressive.

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  23. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    wiseowl: It’s actually much worse than that…the man holds himself out to be the country’s pre-eminent criminologist…and he knowingly tells lies….Oh, please do sue me Professor….”make my day” as a man once said…

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  24. Kieran_B (81 comments) says:

    I’ve been talking to somebody in the Hawkes Bay court system about this case, and they tell me Whaanga is simply a violent thug. His convictions (and subsequent strikes) weren’t for simple muggings – they were for the savage beating he inflicted upon his random victims before he stole whatever he could get from their unconscious bodies. One victim was a young teenage boy who lost almost all his teeth in Whaanga’s attack, and won’t be able to get permanent replacements until his jaw stops growing in six years time. High school will be really fun for that kid.

    This outrage from the media/academics/the greens & labour is sickening. Schoolyard bully indeed. Some of these people commenting on the situation could use a through reading of the court documents before they make Whaanga the poster child for injustice.

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  25. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    If Pratt does another ag rob he may qualify for PD quite apart from any application of the 3 strikes law. If he uses extreme violence then that may happen.

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  26. Slipster (79 comments) says:

    Well done ACT. Now, can we show them some more support next elections?

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  27. Griff (6,966 comments) says:

    DG
    You saying that is a change from your normal justifiable garded attitude.
    Suggesting you have uncontestable evidence of his bullshiting .
    Some effort is justifiable in attempting to rehabilitate most convicted criminals.
    There are some mongrels who are a lost cause. Socialist involved in the rehabilitation side of justice lose site of this in thier focus on attempting to help.
    There is a point were you must place society’s safety above the slim chance of rehabilitation.
    Along with your three strike law we also should spend more effort in trying to pick up and socialize the next generation of ferals before thier behavior problems mature into rampant criminality.

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  28. Dennis Horne (2,117 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler (2,952) Says: May 30th, 2013 at 5:28 pm. Well, if he steals from them, it’s a normal sentence and not a strike. If he robs them, it’s 10 years. If he aggravated robs them it’s 14 years. If he manslaughters them, it’s life with 20 years non-parole. If he murders them, it’s life without parole. Plenty of reasons for a rational second striker to “show mercy” when considering a third strike.

    Graeme, if these people were rational would they behave the way they do? One thing they seem to have in common is the inability to assess risk. Might they not think if it’s 14 years for aggravated robbery then killing the victim to avoid recognition is worth the risk?

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  29. RRM (9,605 comments) says:

    tvb – I can confidently predict that Pratt won’t be doing any further aggravated robberies! ;-)

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  30. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Griff: Yes, indeed… my open and umabiguous accusation that Pratt tells lies was quite deliberate…where would you like me to start? Perhaps with the claim made yesterday that ACT passed a law knowing that “hyperinflation of prisoner numbers would result”…he well knew – or someone who claims his knowledge ought to have known – that predictions by the Justice Dept based on the past 30 years of offending/imprisonment stats projected forward 50 years – but with 3S added into the model – resulted in a few hundred extra prison beds over 10 years being required, and a maximum of 725 after 50 years…and that is assuming no deterrent effect.

    Given that the prison population was and is about 8,000, a less than 10% increase over 50 years can by no stretch of the imagination be construed as “hyperinflatiion of prisoner numbers”…his mate Workman predicted that the prison population would triple in three years – i.e. by now – as a result of 3S….I could go on, but I will save the rest for when the affronted professor sues me for calling him a liar…

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  31. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    Elijah Whaanga should consider himself lucky he has not (already) been subjected to the punishment summarily delivered in the part of the world I’m visiting… because here this happens:

    Crime committed.
    Prisoner convicted.
    Taken down to the beach at dawn.
    Low tide.
    Tied to a wooden chair.
    Hood optional.
    Shot.
    Family then rung up and told to collect body – after paying for the costs of execution including the bullet.
    The incoming tide cleans up.
    Problem over.

    But in NZ…. Noooooooooooooooo – the panty waists and crim cuddlers somehow want us to believe that 72 previous convictions equates to: “school bully”. How pathetic.

    So thank you, Mr Pratt for confirming the theory that many ‘academics’ are totally detached from the real world and should simply STFU.

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  32. Honeybadger (171 comments) says:

    In some cases, such as this one, it should be two strikes…..
    and Elaycee, I do so like that punishment!

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