Another case for three strikes

May 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A man with more than 100 convictions – and described as a danger to the public – has escaped being locked up for life after he committed an armed robbery of a Kapiti supermarket.

So how long did he get?

It was the latest in a long list of robberies, and it happened while he was on parole.

However, on Friday a judge accepted that treatment, including medication for depression, might yet reduce the risk that Lawson posed.

Lawson was sentenced to eight years’ jail on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, and has to serve at least four years and nine months before he can be considered for parole.

The fact he was on parole when he did this armed robbery suggests parole is not that great an idea for him. But the good thing is under , he will not be eligible for parole the next time he does an armed robbery.

Lawson had been out of prison for almost seven weeks when he robbed the Paraparaumu Countdown.

In 2001 he had been sentenced to 10 years’ jail for four robberies. He was said to like expensive and showy items, and after the robberies he bought a Jaguar car and a boat.

Paroled in 2008, his freedom had ended after a “sophisticated” burglary targeting the safe at an Ohakune supermarket in July 2009.

It not only earned him a recall to serve out the rest of his long sentence but also added another 18 months’ jail time.

If three strikes had been implemented earlier he would now be on at least his third strike and away for a much longer time.

The first robbery on Lawson’s list of more than 100 convictions had been for stealing the car that two associates used in an armed holdup of a jewellers in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn in 1994. He pleaded guilty to being a party to the crime and was jailed for 4 years.

He’s been offending with weapons non stop for around 20 years. Call me a pessimist, but I’m not sure he is about to see the error of his ways.

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45 Responses to “Another case for three strikes”

  1. Fox (206 comments) says:

    However, on Friday a judge accepted that treatment, including medication for depression, might yet reduce the risk that Lawson posed

    Seemingly a prime candidate for the new ‘judgethejudges’ website….

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  2. publicwatchdog (2,624 comments) says:

    Where are the ‘three strikes’ for ‘white collar’ crime and ‘white collar’ criminals?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  3. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Sounds to me like a case of putting him up against a wall and BANG!!!!! Then like in China send his family a bill for the cost of the ammo.

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  4. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    publicwatchdog (1,365) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 11:31 am
    ——————————

    Exactly, although not ‘violent’, white collar crime has the ability to destroy lives and have even been proven to cost lives, when people who have been left financially and emotionally devastated have committed suicide.

    Of course it will never happen. White collar criminals get an easy ride in our justice system and in the prison system, where they are often kept segregated and have access to facilities not generally available to other prisoners.

    Whilst white collar crime cannot and should not be considered anything like violent crime, it is deliberately under estimated in the judicial system and by society in general.

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  5. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding (1,035) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 11:38 am
    Sounds to me like a case of putting him up against a wall and BANG!!!!! Then like in China send his family a bill for the cost of the ammo.
    ———————————-

    Yep, that’s an excellent way to deal with violence involving weapons. Take a weapon and commit an act of violence to show him and any other would be criminal.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,924 comments) says:

    @publicwatchdog — i’d suggest that people view violent offending as more serious.

    Also, violent offending is easier to prove — the victim simply needs to point to the offender and say thats the guy who smashed my face/stole my phone etc.

    White collar crime is often very difficult to prove. A simple misunderstanding between 2 people could result in an accusation of fraud.

    But, in saying that, it is a disgrace that some white collar criminals get away with fraud so often. It appears to me that the more you steal the more you are likely to get away with it.

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  7. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    100 convictions?

    Someone should take him aside and say…”Give it up bro. As a criminal, you’re really shit eh?”

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  8. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Where are the ‘three strikes’ for ‘white collar’ crime and ‘white collar’ criminals?

    Those traditionally get handed out either on New Year’s Day, or on Queen’s Birthday Weekend…

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  9. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Pollywog – you’d never fit all that on the side of a bullet!

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  10. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Where are the ‘three strikes’ for ‘white collar’ crime and ‘white collar’ criminals?

    I have to agree with the crazy bitch on this one.

    The impact of white collar offending is often far greater. Particulary when they target the elderly.

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  11. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Those traditionally get handed out either on New Year’s Day, or on Queen’s Birthday Weekend…

    LOL :)

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  12. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    @RRM
    You could on an artillery round.

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  13. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Give it up bro.

    Racism,why assume he’s a bro?

    Seriously though.How can this POS be out and about with a record like that? It really does prove how crim hugging our Injustice System has become.

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  14. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Judith So I assume you would like to sit down with him over a cup of tea and explain that what he has done is naughty and he must not do it again.
    Yeah right!

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  15. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding (1,037) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 12:08 pm
    ————————–

    You know what they say about ‘assume’ don’t you?

    No, I would not sit him down over a cup of tea, or anything similar. But I do not believe in capital punishment, and I know there are other systems that work better than what we have, that do not involve the killing of people. My biggest concern has, and always will be for the victim/s. I prefer a system that recognises them, and allows them a voice in the process, that also provides them with compensation. Surprisingly, despite what you and others might think, when this is done, the vast majority of victims do not believe the offender should be put to death – even in cases of extreme violence.

    When you have the death penalty, you immediately put a price on, and devalue life.

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  16. Bob R (1,377 comments) says:

    Don’t worry Colin Espiner and Professor John Pratt aren’t going to change their minds on this.

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  17. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    does this guy know that people can work for a living?

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  18. MarkF (102 comments) says:

    @ kowtow 11:57

    This might be a clue; David Rawiri Lawson!

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  19. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    This guy is not only an excellent example of what three strikes is designed to combat, but is also an exception that proves the claim that violent criminals always give it up by age 40 is not always so. Judging by his history, he has to be at least that. Perhaps this 100th “last chance” before facing 14 years with no parole next time might just do the trick.

    Then again, Les Green – once known among the hoods as “the old man” – was still robbing banks with his trademark chromed magnum .44 pistol when he was over 60.

    God, if only it hadn’t been Miss Dim who raised the issue of white collar crims, and the damage they do…She’s right of course. And as someone else above correctly noted, they can do as much or even more damage, especially when their victims are elderly. My prescription for them is not 3S, but “no seg” when they go to jail…in other words, they join the general population and take their chances…but of course we can’t have that, there are their human rights to consider….

    Bob R: Ah yes, Professor Pratt…he is almost as clever and wise as PROFESSOR (He’s fussy about the title) Andrew Geddis…

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    dime (6,183) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    does this guy know that people can work for a living?
    —————————-

    This guy has been working for his living – and no doubt made a nice and tidy income that encouraged him to continue in his ‘work’ for many years.

    One prolific burglar I spoke to about to go to prison for 3 years, was quite delighted to be getting a break. Having earned more than $1.5 million from his ‘work’ in the past ten years (4 of which had been spent in prison) he welcomed the chance to have a rest.

    The fact is, they can only be sentenced for what they are convicted of – 100 convictions may consist of many minor ones. This guy could earn thousands with what he does, but has only been caught on a minority of his crimes.

    Most serial property offenders know how to ‘hide’ their proceeds so they do not have to pay any back.

    Sad but true. Pretty sure this guy will have a stash somewhere to come out to, unless he has an expensive drug habit.

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  21. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Ah dear old Judith…always supposedly an advocate for victims, but doesn’t seem to actually know many.

    I appeared before the Parole Board on behalf of two separate victim families earlier in the month. Sadly, it was something of a reunion; because the Parole Baord was seeing a dozen or so victim families the following day, we all happened to be together at a hotel in Christchurch. All the families were victims of a murderer. Without exception, none of them wanted a bar of “restorative justice”. For those whose members have been murdered – often brutally – the suggestion of restorative justice is seen as an insult. As Judith would know if she actually met with many victims.

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  22. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    mark F

    “Seriously though.” might also be a clue.

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  23. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,767) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 12:53 pm
    ————————

    You have no idea who or what I have seen/dealt with or anything else – such statements as the one above only emphasise the skills you have as a lawyer, and your ability to make something up when you don’t know the truth.

    You make lots and lots of assumptions – most of which are wrong. But obviously it makes you feel very important – perhaps you have a need to feel that way – clearly being seen as ‘important’ is desirable for you.

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  24. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    …and your ability to make something up when you don’t know the truth.
    You make lots and lots of assumptions – most of which are wrong…

    Bwahahahahaaaaaa…

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

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  25. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Elaycee (3,496) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 1:11 pm
    —————–

    Yes I’ve noticed its something you do a lot of too. A feminine version of Mr Garrett – how sweet.

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  26. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    @Judith: Jeez…. you’ve done it again! My wife and kids would be a reasonable indication that your latest ‘assumption’ is also off target.

    No surprises you’ve got this wrong, though…. perhaps you’re still getting ‘subliminal messages’ from those nasty gaming machines at Sky City!

    Pffttt….

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  27. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Elaycee (3,497) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    ———————

    You don’t have to be female to come across as feminine :-)

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  28. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    When this guy commits another armed robbery, and the sentencing judge finds that poor Mr Lawson didn’t have $5 to pay for his antidepressant medications – what’s the bet he decides that life imprisonment would be “manifestly unjust” and gives him another chance?

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  29. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Judith, show where I have “made something up”, and a box of chocolate fish will be winging their way down to you. They are going off a bit; been in the cupboard since the last guy called me out on here.

    And being the generous man I am, I’ll allow KB readers to decide whether you have established sufficient evidence to be rewarded. When you have given up trying to find a fabrication of mine, I suggest you go back to crocheting doilies, or whatever it is you do since you retired.

    tristanb: When the meds dont work, and he sticks someone else up, it will be 14 years not life…the Nats didnt have the bottle to go for the full ACT version of 3S.

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  30. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,768) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    ——————————–
    So you want me to break the law and tell you of the offenders I know – how typical of a Lawyer Mr Garrett. You know full well I cannot name the offenders I know/have known – which is why you asked the question. I am at a loss to know what you mean by reward? Surely you don’t judge your success by how many KB people give you the thumbs up? Oh dear, that is sad.

    I am not retired – another assumption by yourself. One of many.

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  31. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    The topic went ———> that way, bishes :-)

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  32. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    RRM: My apolgies for the digression…but this person has accused me of “making things up”….I can’t allow that to go unchallenged.

    Judith Dear: Where did I ask you to name your ‘clients’? I asked you to to substantiate your claim that I “make things up”. As to the reward, I would have thought that was obvious, but there I go again, making assumptions…this time about your ability to comprehend clear writing. The chocolate fish old thing, the chocolate fish…THAT is the reward if you manage to find evidence I have made something up.

    I take your point on the “thumbs up”; after all, you could go down the Senior Citizens with your tablet (not that one, the one with the screen) and get 25 thumbs for yourself….please feel free to suggest how it can be established that you have proved I have made something up.

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  33. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,769) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    —————————-

    It’s like shooting sitting ducks.

    Firstly, I am neither old enough to be a senior citizen, nor am I retired. I, in fact have three separate means of income, two of which involve putting in time and effort – therefore gainfully employed. You wanted an example of something you’d made it, there it is.

    You stated ‘I would know if I actually met many victims’ , and before that, many offenders, I’m not sure what you would call many – but figures over a couple of hundred are ‘many’ in my book – but as I pointed out to you – you request proof, something which you know damn well it is illegal for me to give on here – such is the ‘lawyer’ in you.

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  34. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    it will be 14 years not life…the Nats didnt have the bottle to go for the full ACT version of 3S.

    The ACT version of the policy included neither robbery nor aggravated robbery as strike offences.

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  35. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Oh dear Graeme…you’re not on that hobby horse again?

    I drafted the bloody thing! I DIDN’T transfer the draft to the ACT website (or SST’s for that matter) so have no knowledge of – and frankly not much interest in – the version(s) that appeared or have appeared on some website(s) four or five years ago. Frankly five years ago I only had a sketchy knowledge of what a website even was, much less how to construct one or add to its contents.

    If you were to argue that the original list of strike offences was somewhat arbitrary, I would have to agree – which is why I was quite happy with Power’s “rationalisation” of the list to include all crimes of violence punishable by seven years or more in prison. That had the happy side effect of virtually doubling the list from about 25 to 40 “strike” offences. Of course what I didn’t know at the time was Power was speaking with a a forked tongue – he had no intention of supporting ANY version of 3S…so the fact that he was responsible for virtually doubling the number of offences covered by it was all the more pleasing when it eventually passed.

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  36. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Oh dear Graeme…you’re not on that hobby horse again?

    I drafted the bloody thing!

    You did. I am talking about the copy of the draft bill I was sent *by your office*.

    I still have the email from your executive assistant:

    Hello Graeme

    David asked me to forward this to you. This is the ACT draft of the three strikes law.

    Regards

    [Name Redacted]
    Executive Assistant to:
    David Garrett MP
    ACT New Zealand

    Now, if the document I got from your EA – under cover of the words “This is the ACT draft of the three strikes law”, and with an attachment named “Three Strikes Law (Parliament draft)” – wasn’t the ACT draft bill, I don’t see how I can blamed for assuming it was!

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  37. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Racism,why assume he’s a bro?

    Everyones my bro or sis or cuz until they fuck me off.

    nothing to do with “race”.

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  38. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    If you were to argue that the original list of strike offences was somewhat arbitrary, I would have to agree – which is why I was quite happy with Power’s “rationalisation” of the list to include all crimes of violence punishable by seven years or more in prison.

    The current list of crimes that count as strikes is pretty reasonable. I’m not a fan of aggravated burglary being there, and indecent assaults can be very minor, but its a sensible, rational list. It doesn’t have all crimes of violence punishable by 7 years or more in prison, however, there are some missing.

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  39. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Fair enough Graeme…I certainly have no reason to accuse YOU of “making things up!

    But be assured, my original draft most definitely included murder, attempted murder, rape, and aggravated robbery…I remember the latter very clearly since there was a lot of it about at the time.

    Anyway…As I said, whatever its genesis, I was very happy with the “revised” version from Power’s office, which increased the number of strike offences to 40…it all seemed very strange at the time…but made sense later, when we realised what game he was playing. To borrow from Rowan Atkinson, he must have felt like a right Charlie when it passed, with a greater number of offences than we had originally proposed. As of course must have your mate Workman, who very helpfully pointed out that the proposed three year qualifying sentence would have gutted it completely. Very handy.

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  40. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    As of course must have your mate Workman, who very helpfully pointed out that the proposed three year qualifying sentence would have gutted it completely. Very handy.

    Wellin, seeing as I’m still trying to get some of those chocolate fish, I think I’ll point out it was 5 years :-)

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  41. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    You have my e-mail addy Graeme….send me your postal and several chocolate fish will be on their way to you…

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  42. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    He is a good boy really. The whanau should look after his rehabilitation.

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  43. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    “The impact of white collar offending is often far greater. Particulary when they target the elderly.”

    Don’t agree with this one. How about you steal my life savings and I hit you in the fact with a metal pipe. Which side would you rather be on? Money is replaceable. (in NZ who needs it anyway, the government willjust give you more). Compared to a smashed face, possible loss of sight, possibly brain damaged, scared to even go out of your house or possible even death.

    Yeah losing a few bucks sounds much more important.

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  44. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Onetrack: its not replaceable if you are 70 years old…there have been too many cases of professional vermin – lawyers and accountants in the main – who have made off with elderly people’s life savings and the victims promptly die, their comfortable retirement turned to shit by some asshole…The C block shower block for them I say…take their chances with the general population…where’s Judith, she knows all about this stuff…

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  45. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,776) Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 8:16 pm
    —————————

    I agree with your comment.
    One could argue that a few broken teeth will be replaced by ACC, and the bruises soon heal.
    A life’s savings, stolen, never to be returned, and the broken trust, along with the destruction of a planned life/dreams, can be ‘life threatening’ for some victims.

    I do not advocate violence by any means, however, never underestimate the power of white collar crime to cause harm, even physical harm (to health), in the right circumstances.

    There is no reason to keep such offenders segregated IMO. Some of them have made the most elaborate and elongated plans to steal from large numbers of people – usually their crime is not the result of one single quick spur of the moment act. These crimes are deliberate and well planned, and usually do not have an emotional aspect.

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