Life without parole to be sought

October 9th, 2013 at 6:29 am by David Farrar

Blair Ensor at Stuff reports:

Double child killer Jeremy George McLaughlin could today become the first murderer in New Zealand to be jailed for the rest of his natural life.

The Press understands the Crown will seek the toughest penalty – life in prison without parole – when McLaughlin appears at the High Court in Christchurch for sentencing this morning.

That would be a first. Many are unaware that the law which introduced three strikes also introduced the penalty of life without parole to be available for the worst murders.

The 35-year-old was found guilty at trial in April of strangling schoolgirl Jade Bayliss, 13, stealing items from her family’s Barrington St home and torching it in November 2011.

The jury did not know he had previously been convicted of killing Phillip Vidot, 14, in Perth years earlier.

Two dead children is enough. Let’s not risk a third.

Even if McLaughlin avoids the toughest penalty, he is likely to be jailed for more than 20 years.

Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway this week declined to comment about the case.

Human Rights lawyer Michael Bott, who has had no involvement with the case, said the Crown would probably rely on psychological reports, which would need to demonstrate that McLaughlin presented an ongoing risk to society.

“Most people would be perturbed by the nature of the crime in itself. It would be the level of risk that this person would present.”

Criminologist Greg Newbold said some hardened criminals deserved to be locked away for ever.

“I think there are some people who have committed crimes so horrific that they should never be released.

“They have forfeited their right to freedom permanently.

“He [McLaughlin] could well be such a person.”

I guess the question is that if McLaughlin doesn’t qualify, who ever would?

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129 Responses to “Life without parole to be sought”

  1. Keeping Stock (9,381 comments) says:

    I’ve also just blogged about this. To be eligible for LWOP, the offender has to tick one of the four criteria:

    - hold the offender accountable for the harm done to the victim and the community by the offending.
    – denounce the conduct in which the offender was involved.
    – deter the offender or other persons from committing the same or a similar offence.
    – protect the community from the offender.

    I reckon that there’s a pretty strong argument that McLaughlin ticks all four.

    My post includes a link to a story after he was found guilty back in April, and describes his callous behaviour after the murder; it makes pretty chilling reading. This sentence should only be used for the worst of the worst, but it is hard to mount a defence of McLaughlin that he is not among that category.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/a-test-case-for-sentencing-and-parole.html

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  2. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    The only factor that I can think of against a LWOP sentence is that his earlier crime was for manslaughter, not murder. However that’s may be largely a technicality as the circumstances of his manslaughter conviction are somewhat dodgy (there was a public outcry that he wasn’t convicted for murder and the law, I think, was changed). In any case, if he does get a LWOP sentence, expect to see it appealed to the Supreme Court and back.

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  3. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    DPF Said…

    “I’ve decided that everyone ever charged with murder is innocent.
    There’s obviously one very successful serial killer running around that has managed to kill the Swedish backpackers, the Lundys, the Bains, Ben & Olivia and oh year probably Mona Blades also.”

    Still think that :)

    Incidentally, I think the death sentence is appropriate for the worst murderers.

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  4. peterwn (3,335 comments) says:

    I consider that all prisoners should be considered by the Parole Board every 10 years wither eligible for parole or not, and if appropriate send the case back to the High Court for an amended sentencing. In mos6 cases I suspect there would be no change, but at least it would act as a safety valve.

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  5. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Excellent.

    Toxic waste needs to be disposed of securely, to avoid posing an ongoing hazard.

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  6. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    DPF: the Crown would probably rely on psychological reports

    I rather rely on something different: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6).

    Would have saved at least one child’s life in this case.

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  7. Michael (913 comments) says:

    His previous killing involved bashing the person with a cricket bat, and then running them over. Several times.

    I hope he has to spend 60 miserable years behind bars wishing there was a death penalty.

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  8. duggledog (1,625 comments) says:

    What a joke NZ’s system of punishment is. It’s all in the ridiculous name ‘Corrections’. Pathetic. You don’t ‘correct Mongrel Mob members.
    Why isn’t that baboon who killed the baby in Ngaruawahia getting life without parole as well? I’d say 95 % of kiwis would like to have the key thrown away. Double bunk them, build more prisons, send me the bill. It’s better than having people like that come back into the community at some point. Absurd.

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  9. Longknives (4,962 comments) says:

    How do we know those ‘evil’ Police didn’t frame him like they did Bain, Watson, Lundy, Pora etc etc ?
    I’d like to hear from Judith (Kiwiblog’s resident Legal expert) on this matter….

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  10. laworder (298 comments) says:

    duggledog wrote

    What a joke NZ’s system of punishment is. It’s all in the ridiculous name ‘Corrections’. Pathetic. You don’t ‘correct Mongrel Mob members.
    Why isn’t that baboon who killed the baby in Ngaruawahia getting life without parole as well? I’d say 95 % of kiwis would like to have the key thrown away. Double bunk them, build more prisons, send me the bill. It’s better than having people like that come back into the community at some point. Absurd.

    Absolutely!
    You dont “correct” psychopaths or paedophiles either, and McLaughlin appears to have all the qualifications of the former

    The cost aspect of LWOP could be addressed by outsourcing to Malaysia or Thailand or some other country with low labour costs and a need for foreign exchange

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  11. laworder (298 comments) says:

    RRM wrote

    Toxic waste needs to be disposed of securely, to avoid posing an ongoing hazard.

    This!!
    Unfortunately we dispose of ours by dispersing it in the community – and keeping the locations of whereabouts it is scattered a secret from said community.

    Imagine if we did that with radioactive waste, the greenies would go ballistic, and quite rightly. Pity they cannot see their own hypocrisy on this

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  12. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    A lengthy non parole period is preferable. When he is a geriatric and poses no risk he should be given parole to a rest hone rather than a prison.

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  13. duggledog (1,625 comments) says:

    TVB – you happy to have said geriatric in the same rest home as you? In the next room?

    Peter Jenkins, I’ve said that many times before. Outsourcing prisons to China would quickly send a signal once word got out amongst the criminal fraternity. 95% would endeavour to keep their noses clean.
    From drink driving to rape and murder, most of these clowns we deal with hardly give the possible consequences a second’s thought because the punishments are well known to be ‘do-able’.
    If you get caught.

    6 months licence suspension for DIC, when you can easily purchase a work licence or get Aunty to drive you round? Do-able’.
    Beating up or murdering someone when you can say you didn’t mean to and receive 3 years for manslaughter, or WCS 13 years and out in 10? ‘Do-able’

    Some people like Peter Williams need to come down from the Arts Channel and have a look at reality programmes like Police 10-7, 40 shows a year, no shortage of material. This country is like the wild west

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  14. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    Knee-jerk reactions, while understandable in some circumstances, are never sustained as useful.

    That said, I know of no other case, recently or currently before the courts, that would justify LWOP more than this unfortunate (for the victims) example.

    Petewn, makes excellent points. His suggestion is realistic and would probably, if it is possible, be attractive to a sentencing Judge.

    “life” is a life-time sentence; parole is discretionary-for the Parole Board and the Courts; recall is certain for anything other than a parking or minor driving offence.

    LWOP now, represents a 2013 response. By 2050 the world will be very, very different, so LWOP may become irrelevant, and unnecessarily expensive for the community..

    My only reservation about LWOP for McLaughlin (allowing for the fact that I have no knowledge of him other than what has been published – which may or may not be accurate and complete) is that the case is apparently being handled by Stanaway of Peter Ellis infamy.

    Take this case out of Stanaway’s hands and send it to Mike Heron in Wellington, and I would feel comfortable with whatever the crown seeks – and gets.

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  15. lilman (973 comments) says:

    To every Police officer,lawyer ,judge and Prison warden that has had or will have anything to do with piece of excrement ,I can only say a huge well done and thanks.

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  16. Nookin (3,571 comments) says:

    “Take this case out of Stanaway’s hands and send it to Mike Heron in Wellington, and I would feel comfortable with whatever the crown seeks – and gets.”

    Is this the same Mike Heron who advised Judith Collins that the Binnie report should be reviewed?

    See http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8070186/Collins-points-to-alleged-Bain-report-errors

    “Both the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson and Solicitor-General Michael Heron shared those concerns and agreed the report should be reviewed”

    Aren’t we getting a little selective about our prejudices nowadays?

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  17. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    If we are going to have life without parole, why not go the whole hog and restore capital punishment? Life without parole is very expensive, you have to feed and clothe and house and supervise the prisoner for his whole life at the expense of the taxpayer. You are not letting him out, so you are subjecting him to what you might call a living death. So why not bring back capital punishment for murder?

    And one thing about life without parole. The prisoner is now very dangerous. He knows he is not getting out. He can do anything he wants because you can’t punish him any more. So that’s where you get murder of other prisoners by lifers.

    I think capital punishment is the sensible and humane policy. And of course you don’t get recidivism and you don’t get the possibility of the long-term prisoner escaping. All in all capital punishment is a sensible solution for murderous criminals.

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  18. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    Nookin…

    ” … and agreed the report should be reviewed”…

    Are you SURE Herron advised Collins to have Fisher do his pathetic hired gun job?

    But stay with the thread

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  19. wat dabney (3,849 comments) says:

    Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6).

    According to this biblical principle, someone would then have to kill the person who ‘shed the blood’ of this child-killer.

    And then that person in turn would have to be killed.

    And so on, until there’s only one person left in the whole World.

    At least he’d have the talking donkeys for conversation.

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  20. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    Scott says *** “:…I think capital punishment is the sensible and humane policy. And of course you don’t get recidivism and you don’t get the possibility of the long-term prisoner escaping. All in all capital punishment is a sensible solution for murderous criminals. ” ***
    ***

    So how does NZ go about renouncing its commitment to the International Convention?

    Having defined possible methodology, what chance?

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  21. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    The ‘corrections’ system seems to be getting less about correcting anything and more about punishing people who have committed unlawful actions.
    It’s just getting sad with private prisons, where(going by evidence available elsewhere) maintaining a stable prison population for the profit of the corporate supporting infrastructure is more important than helping the people who have been locked up.

    It seems like the prison system is diverging from what we should be considering to be lawful action. I guess karma ends up catching up eventually(or god if that’s what you believe in).

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  22. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Antarg –

    I’m happy with a “punishment” system for people like this.

    Rehabilitate those we can, throw the rest in the trash.

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  23. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Why are we so ready to write people off? Chances are that violent people have been victims of violence themselves.
    Actually addressing the reasons for their violent actions is what they need for rehabilitation.
    Sure there’s people who might not want rehabilitation and prison might be the place for them(or solitude away from everyone).

    Putting people into a violent prison environment is not going to fix anything. If anything, it’s only going to create a stable prison population, something that suits the supporting corporate infrastructure just fine.

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  24. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    The guy is dogshit…to the gallows.

    Rot in hell scumbag.

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  25. alex Masterley (1,535 comments) says:

    Life with a 23 year non-parole period.

    The crowns bottom line was 22 year non parole so Justice Panckhurst added a year.

    Can’t see the guy getting out as he will be so institutionalised as to be incapable of re-entering society again.

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  26. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Thanks for your wise words Antarg..they make me want to vomit

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  27. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Speaking the truth is unpopular around here eh? ;)

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  28. Dave Mann (1,244 comments) says:

    Its obvious, surely, that poor Jeremy McLaughlin is the real victim here. Somehow he has found himself stuck on a planet where its considered a bit odd to brutally kill children and it seems strange that society should seek to punish him for this. If we must be so unkind as to lock him away for just doing what comes naturally to him, then I hope we can find it in our hearts to do it nicely and in a caring way, with lots of good food, amenities, TV, a gym etc and access for the rest of his life to lawyers to appeal on his behalf. Its the fair and humane thing to do. Poor man. He just needs help and who are we to judge him? Let he who has not violently killed two children in their lives cast the first stone. Oh wait……

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  29. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    I guess that this sentence answers the queries of many. The efforts of David Garrett & others were totally in vain.

    The touchy feely wankers who front up the justice system in NZ will continue to ignore any attempts to introduce them to the real world & the intentions of those who write the laws.

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  30. brad123 (18 comments) says:

    I do wonder what kind of murder it will take for a NZ judge to hand down LWOP (Aside from the mandatory 2nd or 3rd strike murder required LWOP). This guy has killed two young children in pretty horrific situations on 2 separate occasions. Although the first homicide he was convicted of manslaughter, as others have commented above this was really a technicality and there was outrage at the time that he wasn’t convicted of murder. Does anyone here think the Crown will appeal the sentence and if so would they have a strong case for LWOP?

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  31. Mobile Michael (475 comments) says:

    William Bell – non parole 33 years for a triple murder.
    Bruce Howse – 28 years for double murder of his step children.
    Graeme Burton – 26 years, for separate second murder
    Joseph Thompson – 25 years, serial rapist.

    I really think McLaughlin is worse than Burton as the victims are both children, as bad as Howse – so 28 years would be my starting point.

    Either way, I stand by my earlier comment. Hope he is miserable in Prison and never gets out, and spends his life wishing he could die.

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  32. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    Outsourcing the worst of the worst prisoners to China does have appeal. And this person would be one of those.

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  33. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    I see Mc Laughlin’s Aunt , Aurora Smith outside the Courtroom believes her nephew to be innocent . I wonder if she feels the same about Philip Vidol.?
    Is this the beginning of the signing up of Mc Laughlin to another Miscarriage of justice Project.?

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  34. Redbaiter (10,443 comments) says:

    “The touchy feely wankers who front up the justice system in NZ will continue to ignore any attempts to introduce them to the real world & the intentions of those who write the laws.”

    If you’re going to try making real comments on issues instead of copying and pasting tired old jokes or trolling with dull and monotonous attempts to be funny, I suggest you take some English lessons. That sentence doesn’t make sense and is completely incoherent.

    BTW, if you’re saying the justice system is too lenient and it is this way because it is controlled by out of touch bureaucrats who are resistant to the changes the public wants to see, then its been said a hundred times before.

    All in all, a pretty fifth rate contribution to the debate.

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  35. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    A prime candidate for life without parole?

    Rather a prime candidate for the death penalty. Why should citizens pay to keep this guy in food and board, provide for his health care, and protection from other criminals?

    Antarg in his 10.46 post argues all people can be changed, then at 11.09 parrots that he is speaking the truth. Well he would think that, but few other citizens will agree.

    Perhaps Antarg would add to the taxpayers’ bill with teams of psychologists and handholders to work on this double murderer. He also assumes that psychopaths can be changed, which at the very least is highly debatable. McLaughlin deserves only a quick, humane execution, which he denied his child victims.

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  36. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Ajahn Brahm(Buddhist monk) has talks available on youtube.
    In one of them he talks about work being done in prison and how even those sent to prison practically forever, could still find their way back from there, just by being shown some compassion.

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  37. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Breaking news…wet bus ticket..23 years minimum

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  38. Dave Mann (1,244 comments) says:

    McLaughlin deserves only a quick, humane execution

    Sorry, I don’t understand your logic. Why humane?

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  39. laworder (298 comments) says:

    We need to write more people off, and make sure they never find their way back to anywhere

    Jack5 is right in saying that attempts to change psychopaths are “highly debatable” – in fact not only do they not work, in some cases they have actually made them even worse. Compassion is wasted upon the psychopath as it is interpreted as weakness – they have neither conscience nor empathy, and lack the neural capacity for them. Evidence increasingly suggests that this is a biological condition with a significant genetic component.

    Google the work of Dr Robert D Hare or ideally read his book “Without Compassion” to find out the reality. Dont try reading the book at bedtime though, you wont sleep.

    The same applies for paedophiles, only more so. They have biological drives – an orientation – towards children, one which cannot be treated with any guarantee of certainty or safety. We need to sequester them away from society in a humane manner, but one that also ensures that they can never get access to children for the rest of their natural lives.

    If prisons, public or private, contain these sorts of offenders successfully and without unnecessary cost to the taxpayer, then they are successful. Anything else is a bonus.

    Yes, there are a substantial proportion of offenders that can be rehabilitated, but this needs to be done early and ideally long before they ever see a prison in the first place. And some ( I am thinking of victimless offences here like cannabis use) should never be put in a prison.

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  40. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    @Jack5 ‘…add to the taxpayers’ bill with teams of psychologists and handholders to work on this double murderer…’

    The cost to the taxpayer to keep someone in jail is about 5x-10x what it is to pay someone to be on the dole.
    The taxpayer’s best result is to treat prisoners humanely and rehabilitate them, so they don’t cost any more than necessary.

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  41. laworder (298 comments) says:

    If anyone wants to see all the research on the biology of paedophilia and other pathologies I can provide ample links and stuff

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  42. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Antarg posted at 12.13:

    The cost to the taxpayer to keep someone in jail is about 5x-10x what it is to pay someone to be on the dole.

    It would cost a damn sight less if the someone was dead, Antarg.

    Do you really think it is just that such a vile murderer should be allowed to bask outside in the community on the dole, supported by tax money provided by honest working people? You would be pretty much alone in that.

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  43. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    There are no economies to be found in the death sentence. Although in many cases only a death sentence seems appropriate, the practicalities of applying such a sentence inevitably mean it will be expensive and applied unfairly, not to mention the cases where criminals will be posthumously pardoned.

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  44. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Milkenmild posted at 12.24:

    There are no economies to be found in the death sentence.

    Given the costs of keeping a killer in prison for 23 or more years, with health care, education perks, legal aid for endless appeals, etc, you are obviously wrong, Milkenmild.

    What posthumous pardons? With the criminal no longer alive to provide the pivot for publicity and organise the piss-ups, there will be few if any campaigns for trial upon retrial.

    Milkenmild, if you are thinking of organising a campaign for a retrial for McLaughlin, be prepared for a storm of hostility.

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  45. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    @laworder
    I don’t think anyone is arguing against imprisonment for those who are expected to continue to cause harm to others.

    The tendency to judge people rather than what they have done is one of the limiting factors in resolving problems. It seems to make more sense to fix problems than to perpetuate them, where possible.

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  46. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Antarg posted at 12.33:

    It seems to make more sense to fix problems than to perpetuate them, where possible.

    We are agreed on that, Antarg. My approach is undoubtedly more certain in its effect, though.

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  47. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Jack5
    I have no difficulty in accepting the justice of a death penalty in theory. Its application involves insuperable obstacles however, that make a death penalty untenable in practice.

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  48. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    @Jack5
    Would you be the one to order or activate the execution?
    Would that make you any better than the one you were killing?
    How would you feel if evidence produced later found that person was falsely convicted?

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  49. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Re milkenmild’s 12.40:

    What insuperable obstacles, milkenmild? Surely not in the means of execution. Surely not in the executioners – I would favour a firing squad of six, with one member having a blank cartridge, and a concrete block wall.

    Antarg asks how I would feel as one of the execution party if the person was later found not guilty? No worse than I would feel if I saw a known murderer walking free, Antarg.

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  50. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    The insuperable obstacles include the probability of executing innocent persons, the time and cost of lengthy appeal procedures, and the likely misapplication of the death penalty in favour of the powerful and privileged.

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  51. Redbaiter (10,443 comments) says:

    “There are no economies to be found in the death sentence. Although in many cases only a death sentence seems appropriate, the practicalities of applying such a sentence inevitably mean it will be expensive and applied unfairly, not to mention the cases where criminals will be posthumously pardoned.”

    Two completely ineffective arguments that have long ago been destroyed yet are repeated endlessly by anti DP campaigners as propaganda.

    Full rebuttal here-

    http://www.truebluenz.orconhosting.net.nz/newfile2.html

    DP not expensive. No risk of accidental execution if DP restricted to cases where guilt is obvious. (Shooter of Ronald Reagan for example)

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  52. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Some good stuff there…

    Firstly, I am not that surprised LWOP was not given in this case…although I agree with others that it would have been richly deserved. The simple reality is NZ Judges have not yet accepted the reality that there ARE irredeemable human beings, and that LWOP is the only sentence which is appropriate for them. In this they are out of step with their brothers in other Commonwealth countries, including mother England herself.

    McLaughlin’s case is striking similar to that of one Stephen James Hunter, sentenced to LWOP in Victoria earlier this year. Hunter had also killed twice, both young women, the crimes committed some years apart. Other than the sex of the victims – which ought to be irrelevant but perhaps is not – the only material difference between the cases is that McLaughlin’s first killing was deemed to be manslaughter, whereas Hunter’s were both murders.

    Apparently the POS plans to appeal…it’s something of a long shot, but appeals work both ways, and while it’s rare, it’s not uncommon for sentences to be INCREASED on appeal. Although the aggravating features are different, I see little difference on the “scale of evil” between this case and that of William Bell, who got 33 years, reduced to 30 on appeal. Interestingly (assuming the news sites are correct, which is a big assumption) the Judge this morning imposed two years MORE on the NPP than the prosecutor had sought as an alternative to LWOP.

    As for the calls for CP, I have opined on a number of occasions on that issue here. Suffice it to say “it aint gonna happen”, at least not in my lifetime. In my childrens’ lifetime however, maybe it will come to be seen as ridiculous to keep a POS like this alive for 20 or 40 years at taxpayers expense. Pendulums do swing.

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  53. Dave Mann (1,244 comments) says:

    I hesitate to introduce a note of sanity to this debate, with all the high minded talk about compassion, rehabilitation and karma etc, but has anybody considered that this McLauchlin character might just be a stinking piece of sub human excrement who deserves to be made to suffer for his actions in the most painful way possible? And wouldn’t this also serve to send a message to others about consequences and stuff? Just asking…..

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  54. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Dave
    The deterrent effect of capital punishment is largely dismissed by expert studies. Most people who murder do not take account of the likely consequences of their actions in any rational or calculating way.

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  55. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    McLaughlin has to live with what he’s done every moment.
    The compassion comes from understanding that he’s torturing himself every time he thinks about it. That’s his karma.

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  56. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    I dont want to hijack this into a pro and con capital punishment (CP) debate but Red is right that the “it costs more than imprisonment” argument simply doesnt stack up – other than in the US, which has always been an object lesson in how NOT to apply CP, right from the investigation and trial, through to the bizarre “only in America” methods of carrying it out.

    Our DP system was very like the Brits: a trial, if guilty a mandatory appeal, if that was turned down an appeal for clemency – nominally to the sovereign, but in reality it was a decision made by the cabinet. If THAT failed, the prisoner was executed fairly promptly – within one month in the UK. No 20 years on death row and 200 appeals to different courts.

    Interestingly – and again at the risk of thread jacking – Newbold and others who oppose CP often refer to the supposedly dreadful psychological effects on those who were required to carry it out here. If that is so we differed greatly from the UK…in that country there was always a steady stream of applicants to be “on the list”, and several British hangmen later wrote books about their experiences. Pierrepoint, the most famous of them, came to the conclusion at the time he wrote his that CP had never been a deterrent – but he certainly never suffered any psychological trauma from hanging many hundreds, and died peacefully in his bed as an old man. Very late in life he changed his mind again about the efficacy of CP, given the massive change in the profile of the “average murderer”.

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  57. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Other than the US, DG, which countries’ current systems would you follow in applying the death penalty?

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  58. laworder (298 comments) says:

    Antarg wrote

    McLaughlin has to live with what he’s done every moment.
    The compassion comes from understanding that he’s torturing himself every time he thinks about it. That’s his karma.

    Very very unlikely. Given that he is almost certainly a psychopath (and I would be comfortable betting several hundred that he is) he is having absolutely no trouble living with what he’s done at all. He probably cant understand what all the fuss is about, and is only torturing himself about having been caught and convicted. Above all, he is NOT like other people. To reinforce this point I reiterate and widen what David Garrett said earlier;
    The simple reality is that there ARE irredeemable human beings, and that LWOP is the only sentence which is appropriate for them

    It’s clearly not just the judiciary who fail to understand this

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  59. Nookin (3,571 comments) says:

    Redbaiter says
    “No risk of accidental execution if DP restricted to cases where guilt is obvious. ”

    Serial killer A is convicted of the rape and murder a number of young girls. There is no direct evidence. The crown relies on circumstantial evidence. The jury is out for 15 hours, seeks a number of directions and it is clear that there is dissent until the jury finally agrees.

    Killer B is convicted of the murder of a former business partner who ripped him off causing bankruptcy. Witness saw him do it.

    Applying your criterion, who gets the chop?

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  60. laworder (298 comments) says:

    mikenmild wrote


    Other than the US, DG, which countries’ current systems would you follow in applying the death penalty?

    Japan and Singapore are two possibilities

    However personally I agree with DG that CP is not a viable option currently, and prefer to focus on campaigning for LWOP, perhaps coupled with investigating outsourcing arrangements for the worst offenders such as Mc Laughlin

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  61. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Outsourcing? To where?

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  62. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Might it not be expected that having a more compassionate society, that has more respect for common law, would perhaps decrease the rate of violent crime?
    Treating people with kindness, no matter what they’ve done, is a reflection of a functional society.

    Blindly following legalese rules that call for execution and LWOP is something you expect from feudal societies living in the dark ages.

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  63. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    :-P It always amuses me how many of the freedom fighters become statists when the death penalty is on the agenda!

    Last year the Government sent me a statement telling me I owed $200-ish in tax, so I paid in full.

    Then a couple of weeks later, the Government sent me another statement telling me they now owed me $7-ish due to tax overpayments, please find a cheque enclosed.

    This is why I don’t want a death penalty in NZ.

    It’s not about the rights & wrongs of any given case.

    It’s not about what any given killer “deserves.”

    The state is simply not good enough, and not reliable enough, to be given the power of life & death over people.

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  64. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Antarg posted at 1.51:

    Might it not be expected that having a more compassionate society, that has more respect for common law, would perhaps decrease the rate of violent crime?

    You mean as in peaceful Norway, without the death penalty, and with Anders Behring Breivik? Norway’s maximum jail term is 21 years, with a potential five-year sentence if the criminal is judged still a danger to the society.

    In the background of this discussion on McLaughlin is the question of free will v. determinism and this has exercised many, many brighter minds than ours, for example Dostoevsky’s.

    In the case of McLaughlin, committing a second brutal crime, he was either acting on free choice or not.

    If he chose, for a second time, to murder, he surely warrants the ultimate penalty for his brutal decision.

    If, because he is a psychopath (and thus unreformable), McLaughlin was destined to murder a second time, then society needs protection from him, and not for two decades, but for ever. That can be achieved only by the highly expensive of keeping him locked up under guard at a cost similar to keeping him in a luxury hotel, or by executing him. IMHO, the latter is the only rational choice. That would prevent guards and fellow prisoners being exposed to the danger of associating with McLaughlin.

    RRM posted at 2.12 that:

    The state is simply not good enough, and not reliable enough, to be given the power of life & death over people.

    So only criminals should have that right, RRM?

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  65. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    So only criminals should have that right, RRM?

    Criminals don’t have that right – that’s why we lock them up for doing it.

    But how else can it be?

    By any natural sense of “justice” Jeremy McLaughlin deserves to suffer a frightening and painful death for what he’s done.

    But I do not trust the state to decide who deserves death, and I never will.

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  66. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mikey: Japan and Singapore are countries whose CP systems I know little about, so I would be loathe to “recommend” their system even if – which as I have made plain is not the case – I still advocated CP for our worst killers.

    However if we were ever to go down that route, it seems to me we couldnt do too much better than the Mother Country. There were something like 1000 executions in that country in the 20th century, and the grand total of TWO are now thought to, or known to be, suspect. (For the inevitable commenter who raises Hanratty as a third, I suggest you google before commenting. DNA evidence unearthed – literally – a few years ago establishes his abili was bullshit, and he was rightly convicted, and therefore rightly executed according to the law of the time)

    While 2/1000 is of course two too many, and none of us would want to be one of them, I think we need to keep that number in perspective. Without wishing to be callous, they were two more innocent victims, like most of the 400 odd we kill on the roads every year.

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  67. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    “If, because he is a psychopath (and thus unreformable), McLaughlin was destined to murder a second time, then society needs protection from him, and not for two decades, but for ever. That can be achieved only by the highly expensive of keeping him locked up under guard at a cost similar to keeping him in a luxury hotel, or by executing him. IMHO, the latter is the only rational choice. That would prevent guards and fellow prisoners being exposed to the danger of associating with McLaughlin.”

    There’s probably some corporate CEOs and bankers displaying sociopathic tendencies who can’t be reformed either.

    Of course it’s possible he can’t be reformed.
    It’s also possible he didn’t have the chance to address the issues around the earlier offence. Perhaps there were prior issues from his childhood as well?
    If people blame themselves, hate themselves, for something they’ve done previously, they might feel they’re useless and should be in jail.
    How do they get back in jail?
    If ‘corrections’ isn’t dealing with the issues, what’s stopping people from getting into this kind of situation?

    Norway is apparently treating Breivik very well, providing him with an education and working to rehabilitate him.

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  68. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Criminologist Greg Newbold said some hardened criminals deserved to be locked away for ever.
    “I think there are some people who have committed crimes so horrific that they should never be released.
    “They have forfeited their right to freedom permanently.

    For once, I agree with Greg Newbold. In the absence of the ability to administer punishment courtesy of Ms Remington, this piece of human flotsam (aka Jeremy George McLaughlin), should never be back on the street.

    Ever!

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  69. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Elaycee: Newbold is the only criminologist in the country who “tells it like it is”, and is thus ridiculed and shunned by his peers in our academically incestuous little nation…outside this country he is very well regarded by his peers, and his scholarly papers are often published.

    He has long held the view he espouses in the quote in your comment…his concern was – and I have no doubt remains – the dreadful possibility of getting it wrong. And that is where we differ greatly from the UK. As I have said, of the 1000 or so executions in the 20th century, only two (that of Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley) are accepted to be definite or probable errors.

    We have a number of them, chief among them is of course one AA Thomas. If we had had a mandatory death sentence for murder – as we did prior to 1961 – he would almost certainly be dead. And let’s not get into a debate about his guilt or innocence, which is in fact irrelevant to this discussion – just about everyone other than the Police accepts that he was convicted on perjured and planted evidence. You can’t be hanging people on that.

    Coming back to McLaughlin, 23 years is a long NPP, although he may well still be dangerous at the end of it – he will only be 58 years old. When he appeals, I hope the Crown cross appeals on the grounds the sentence is manifestly inadequate…but I think that’s pretty unlikely. At the very least, the CA Judges will almost certainly take the opportunity to make some obiter remarks on what kind of case may attract LWOP, and that will be all to the good. Perhaps they will increase the NPP, and that will serve the bastard right.

    Antarg: You are an idiot. While there are indeed psychopaths in the business world – 5% seems to be the accepted figure – they don’t go around killing people. come back when you get your first set of long pants.

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  70. Chuck Bird (4,910 comments) says:

    The DP debate detracts from a law change that would make LWOP a default position. That does not mean every murderer would get LWOP but it would be a starting point. Another change i would like to see for murderers is that the MNP could be appealed by the Crown but not the murderer. That of course would not mean that someone convicted of murder could not appeal against the conviction – just the penalty. Why should they get two bites of the cherry?

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  71. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Because the penalty imposed might be manifestly excessive in the circumstances. We have levels of appeal to correct errors in the court system. Sentences can be too harsh as well as too lenient.

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  72. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Antarg posted at 3.11:

    …There’s probably some corporate CEOs and bankers displaying sociopathic tendencies who can’t be reformed either. ..

    Your choice of sociopaths’ fields shows you are from the Left, Antarg. Teaching, social work, and union organisation undoubtedly also contain sociopaths.

    Few sociopaths are violent criminals. Do you want to widen the criterion for capital punishment from murder, Antarg? Perhaps to corporate fraud? Bit drastic, eh?

    Antarg also in this post said:

    If people blame themselves, hate themselves, for something they’ve done previously, they might feel they’re useless and should be in jail.

    Sounds like you feel sorry for McLaughlin, Antarg.

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  73. Chuck Bird (4,910 comments) says:

    “Sentences can be too harsh as well as too lenient.”

    True, but not for murder.

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  74. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Would death by torture be too harsh for you?

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  75. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    DG speaking of mistakes your total of 2 could be low http://politicalscrapbook.net/2011/09/fiveuk-wrongful-executions/

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  76. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “McLaughlin has to live with what he’s done every moment.”

    “The compassion comes from understanding that he’s torturing himself every time he thinks about it. That’s his karma.”

    More wise words from Antara the hand wringing crim lover. The only thing said scum thinks about and tortures himself over is the fact he got caught and how could he do it better next time to avoid capture.

    Some people deserve to die..he is one of them.

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  77. Chuck Bird (4,910 comments) says:

    @mikenmild

    If you read my comments you would see I am strongly opposed to DP.

    I was referring to MPP.

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  78. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Jack5, I used examples of people who have the most ability to abuse the trust placed in them.
    Anyone in a position of trust should be held to account.
    The apparent increase in corruption at high levels is worrying, suggesting there are people getting away with unlawful actions, mainly dishonest and fraudulent behaviour. There was an incident in DoC where a report was changed, where no-one has taken responsibility and stepped down yet. Other local government officials have been shown abusing their positions as well, with reports showing law enforcement were unwilling to take any action.

    There are a lot of people that I feel sorry for. I hope McLaughlin is one day able to accept what he’s done and find a place in society. While there might not be much hope, some is better than none.

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  79. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    David Garrett –

    Japanese CP system (as it’s described on Wikipedia) seems to have several good features over the UK/US systems.

    I especially like how the final step is that the Minister of Justice has to sign effectively a death warrant… (and he can choose not to). I think it must remind the public that executing criminals isn’t a natural phenomenon, it is something society chooses to do and must be comfortable with.

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  80. Redbaiter (10,443 comments) says:

    Nookin- “Applying your criterion, who gets the chop?”

    I suggest you take some lessons in comprehension. Then maybe you wouldn’t waste people’s time asking for answers that have already been answered. The answer is nobody because neither of the situations you outlined bears any resemblance to the example I have already given. Dwerp.

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  81. Michael (913 comments) says:

    The Death Penalty is denouncing the killing of a person, by killing a person.

    Life in prison is a better punishment. 60 years of misery, followed by eternal death. As opposed to 5-10 years of hope, followed by eternal death.

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  82. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    PaulD: Thanks for that link…but the inclusion of Ruth Ellis as supposedly someone “wrongly hanged” immediately degrades its value…the trial notes make it perfectly clear she intended to kill her former lover…while you can mount an argument that dimished responsibility could or should have reduced the offence to manslaughter, there can be no argument that she was hanged for a killing she did not commit.

    Bentley and Evans are the two I was referring to…the other two of the five were unknown to me, and thank you again for the link.

    But even if we accept all five might be people who shouldnt have hanged, that still only makes 5/1000…I argued in my book that such tiny numbers – while very tragic – need to be viewed in the context of the (then) 600 odd people killed on our roads every year, many of them totally innocent.

    The reason I have changed my view of the desirability of CP is not because of a few possible/probable mistakes in the UK – there are none here – but because of the perverse verdicts which would occur if we brought it back…People like Antarg would NEVER convict a person of murder knowing that CP was even a potential sentence…and sadly our society is now full of Antarg’s….

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  83. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    That is another good practical argument against the death penalty DG; decent people would be overwhelmingly against it.

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  84. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    RRM: In effect, the cabinet had to sign the death warrant both here and in the UK. The appeal for clemency was nominally to the Governor General/the Queen, but the Executive Council – the cabinet sitting with the GG – actually made the decision.

    I believe the Japs use “long drop” hanging though, just like the Brits…I often wonder what it is about the yanks that seems to compel them to come up with bizarre and drawn out rituals of execution…Pierrepoint took about 30 seconds to dispatch his victims; lethal injection – with all the theatre that goes with it – takes about half an hour!

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  85. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    laworder (260) Says:
    October 9th, 2013 at 12:12 pm
    We need to write more people off, and make sure they never find their way back to anywhere …

    In what context makes that an acceptable comment to make?

    We need to write people off (kill them) … now that will really show the kids how killing people is wrong.

    The last most famous man that made statements like yours, died in a bunker.

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  86. Engineer (75 comments) says:

    I believe that the death penalty would get more public support if it was reserved not for murderers across the board, but instead for the very worst vile sorts of filth such as McLaughlin etc.

    Even Weatherston, bad as he was, would not in my book qualify for the death penalty.

    But McLaughlin and Howse and Dean Bell would.

    Executions of offenders in England such as Derek Bentley (through the law of parties or felony muder), and Ruth Ellis (crime of passion), garnered huge amounts of public sympathy (probably rightly so) and eventually led to the abolition of death penalty across the board.

    However if the Poms had punished only the most horrific murders with hanging, they could have retained the punishment with public support.

    Not all murders are the same, and with the law of provocation being done away with, I can imagine how an ordinary person could get lumped with the charge under certain circumstances.

    So my view is yes to the death penalty, but only for extraordinarily evil crimes, of which this one obviously qualifies.

    But if we were to apply it for all murderers, I would oppose it.

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  87. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    MM: I am curious…do you think there is EVER a case for CP? How about for the murders of Sophie Elliot and Mary Hobson? Straightforward simple cases where there was absolutely no doubt whatever who the killer was (because in both cases there were unimpeacheable eyewitnesses)…Please confirm that if you were a juror in the cases of either Weatherston or William Bell, you as a “decent person” would not vote for conviction, even if the death sentence was discretionary rather than mandatory…If you do so confirm, you make my point perfectly…

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  88. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    David Garrett at 7.03:

    …sadly our society is now full of Antarg’s….

    Agreed there are too many, DG. Does this mean the jury system is becoming inappropriate or even becoming unworkable?

    But how many Antarg’s are there?

    The Greens are still a small minority, and even almost one in five of them seem to support capital punishment.

    From the National Business Review 18 August:

    In a Curia poll for TV3’s “ The Nation” of 624 respondents, 38 per cent were in favour of the death penalty, 55 per cent were against it, and 7 per cent were undecided.
    35 per cent of Labour voters favoured the death penalty and National voters polled at 44 per cent.

    Least likely to be in favour were Green Party voters at 19 per cent, but the most in favour of capital punishment were New Zealand First voters at 84 per cent.

    Regardless, it’s time to fight back against the Antarg’s. Our line in the sand: no way will we let NZ become Antargtica.

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  89. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    DG: No, I don’t believe in the justice or efficacy of capital punishment.

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  90. Engineer (75 comments) says:

    I believe the Japs use “long drop” hanging though, just like the Brits…

    I have read the Japanese only hang multiple murderers convicted of the worst types of murder. Their prison regimes are generally relatively short….but very sharp.

    In the US, in most states, this guy would be looking at LWOP if he was luck —-and quite possibly the death penalty.
    Even juveniles convicted of a single murder get LWOP in the US.
    http://jlc.org/current-initiatives/promoting-fairness-courts/juvenile-life-without-parole

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  91. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael (232) Says:
    October 9th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I believe that Burton should be excluded from any discussion on the Death Penalty.

    He does more good to NZ Society inside jail than he does when dead

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  92. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    On the other hand it would have been good if they’d executed David Bain…. he would have immediately become old news, and Kiwiblog would not be subjected to endless debates about his guilt or innocence to this day…

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  93. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Jack5, I hope you can find some compassion and wisdom someday(If you’re looking for a way to deal with anger, I’d suggest mindfulness or walking meditation).

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  94. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Engineer: Welcome to the discussion…I agree that the death sentence should only ever be a discretionary sentence…especially since the removal of the provocation defence (ACT was the only party which opposed that change) which has been part of the common law for centuries, and which to the best of my knowledge, all of the former Dominions retain…Simon Power knew better…

    To be fair, we no longer have a mandatory life sentence for murder, although only in exceptional cases will a sentence be less than life (One old guy killing his wife of 50 years at her request because she is terminally ill is one such case; there have been a couple of similar ones)

    But as I have said, it’s all utterly academic anyway…it would never happen….not in my life time, not even if that is a long one…

    Dirty Rat: How exactly do you figure Burton “does more good to NZ society in jail” ?? He has already tried to kill a fellow inmate; next time it could be a guard…that of course is the major drawback – aside from cost – of LWOP vs. the rope…

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  95. Rowan (2,609 comments) says:

    A shame that this POS didn’t get the sentence he deserved. Hopefully it will be appealed by the crown and increased.
    This sentence does exist in Australia where there are a handful of deranged individuals who have been sentenced ‘never to be released’, use this sentence for the likes of Jeremy McLaughlin and our most serious offenders and a shame it can’t be used retrospectively in some cases

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  96. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Antarg’s (8.06) post epitomises ad hominem argument.

    Someone disagrees with him on capital punishment, that person (in this case me) must be angry and without compassion.

    If we want ad hominem argument, we could say Antarg lacks compassion for the victims of this monster, compassion for their families, and their friends, and for the public who feel threatened by the McLaughlins of the world.

    As for anger: Joe and Jane in the street are entitled to a little righteous anger about the second brutal killing of a youngster by this criminal.

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  97. Chuck Bird (4,910 comments) says:

    “MM: I am curious…do you think there is EVER a case for CP? How about for the murders of Sophie Elliot and Mary Hobson? Straightforward simple cases where there was absolutely no doubt whatever who the killer was (because in both cases there were unimpeacheable eyewitnesses)”

    David, with all due respect think about what you have said.

    Are suggesting we should have different penalties in case where a person most likely committed the crime with reasonable doubt and a tougher penalty where it appears the person is 100% guilty dues to eye witness or a confession?

    In the case of Sophie Ellion where provocation was a defense, It is possible a jury would have gone with that if the CP was available.

    I doubt if CPt will happen in my grandson’s life time but I would not have believed what would have happened in 60 years times. I was born for all purposes before TV. The first one I saw was 10″.

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  98. Nookin (3,571 comments) says:

    Engineer @7.21 pm

    I appreciate that Dean Bell may not necessarily have been on everyone’s selection list, on top of which the Warriors have not performed well of late. That, sadly, does not necessarily consign him to death row. Maybe you had him confused with William Bell. I hope so. If not I fear for the next sports administrator who is closely aligned with a losing team. John Hart can thank his lucky stars you weren’t on the NZRU after THAT world cup loss.

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  99. weizguy (95 comments) says:

    The death penalty is never appropriate in a civilised society.

    That aside, No matter what you might like to believe:
    1. Numerous studies have shown it to be more expensive that LWOP.
    2. Numerous studies have demonstrated that it has little, if any deterrent value.
    3. “…such tiny numbers – while very tragic – need to be viewed in the context of the (then) 600 odd people killed on our roads every year, many of them totally innocent.” is not an argument, it’s the worst kind of whataboutery – unsurprisingly the same kind of logic failure you see coming from the NRA.

    The death penalty is not about justice, it’s about revenge, and while we can all understand the desire to lash out at those who have committed horrible wrongs, surely we’ve evolved enough to respond with reason and compassion, rather than rage and brutality?

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  100. weizguy (95 comments) says:

    David G

    Why would we want to hold onto provocation? Do we want to live in a society where we give a lesser sentence to someone who cannot control their anger? I’m just disturbed that parliament didn’t have the courage to repeal it when it was used in its “homosexual panic” form.

    Further, plenty of anachronisms have been part of the common law for centuries. How is that an argument for their retention? After all, slavery was part of the common law for centuries – its existence in common law, and later adoption in statute, provides no rationale for its continuation. Unless I’m missing a step in your argument?

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  101. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    weizguy: You are either very stupid, very poorly read…or both. You certainly haven’t read well here…the ONLY reason CP is “more expensive than LWOP” is if you have a system of virtually unlimited appeals, as in the US…If you adopt a system such as the British and we had – ONE appeal, and an appeal for executive clemency, my 8 year old can work out that is going to be much cheaper…by a country mile…than incarceration for 20 or 30 years

    On deterrence you are on stronger ground…but again you havent read widely enough. There are “studies” to prove anything you like on this issue…and from many different time periods and cultures. A good starting place would be “A life for a life?” by Sir Ernest Gowers, who conducted the British Royal Commission on CP in 1953…That book alone cites different studies of countries and states who have abolished and re-introduced CP…with widely differing results. Obviously there have been dozens or hundreds of similar studies since 1953.

    But please do tell us what a “compassionate” sentence should be in your view for McLaughlin…in case you dont know all the facts – which is quite likely given what you have written – the salient facts are these:

    1. He has killed twice, the first time a male in Australia, when he was 21

    2. His latest victim is a 14 year old girl, killed in her own home. He is now aged 35

    3. According to the Judge, the evidence of his guilt is “compelling”, and his version of events, “absurd”.

    4. He continues to deny the offence.

    So, what is “compassionate” sentence for that man?

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  102. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Weizguy: If I had read your previous post I wouldnt have botherd with the last one…If you don’t understand the reasons for the provocation defence – and the fact that it was WOMEN who were most often the beneficiaries of it, it’s a complete waste of time talking to you…What Uni are you at? Or are you perhaps still at school? It’s holiday time, so I guess Mum may have let you stay up…

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  103. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Chuck: given that the discussion is all academic (because it’s never going to happen) What I proposed in the book I wrote 14 years ago was, I guess, a two tier system of punishment for murder. Firstly, CP would only ever be a discretionary sentence, not mandatory. Secondly, it could be imposed only if there was effectively no doubt at all rather than the current “beyond reasonably doubt” standard. From memory I also proposed that there had to be two pieces of incontrovertible evidence: an eye witness, and totally sound DNA evidence. I had been a lawyer for only seven years or so then, and now realise that those latter two requirements are totally impractical: more often than not there won’t be an eyewitness (who I have come to understand are unreliable anyway), and as we have just seen with Lundy, DNA is problematic, even 14 years later. Ergo – as Newbold pointed out at the time, virtually no-one would qualify under the standard and conditions I proposed at the time.

    But yes, I DO think that for a death sentence to be confirmed – if not just imposed – the standard of proof needs to be effectively “beyond any doubt”. On that standard, Bell, Weatherston and Burton would have qualified. And despite my revision of views, I would have no problem calculating the correct drop for any of them and pushing (the lever wasnt pulled) the lever to end their lives.

    Well, I THINK I would have no problem, but despite popular belief I am a sensitive chap, and perhaps I would go to pieces like Horace Haywood – the last High Sheriff of Mt Eden and the man responsible for supervising the hangings of the 1950’s was supposed to have.

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  104. weizguy (95 comments) says:

    David

    There’s a surprise, you jump straight to ad hominem. Are we playing logical fallacy bingo?

    Your model, if implemented in the US, would have resulted in multiple posthumous pardons. I’m sure those who would have been executed incorrectly would feel much better that your preferred system saves money.

    So you don’t disagree with my statement that “Numerous studies have demonstrated that it has little, if any deterrent value.” My understanding is that there is very little evidence that it reduces crime and that any arguments that rely on deterrence as a virtue of the punishment are evidence-light. The meta-analyses are particularly useful:
    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13363
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10610-008-9097-0#page-1

    Where did I say that McLaughlin should have a “compassionate sentence”? I said that we should respond with “reason and compassion.” Suggesting that these statements are the same is a failure of comprehension, or simply an attempt to create a dishonest strawman.

    I don’t know the details of the case, but I think a life sentence with the addition of a lengthy non-parole period, which would take us to the earliest point that he might no longer be a danger, is entirely appropriate. At that point, the parole board can make a determination of whether it is safe to release. However, I am aware that you think you are better equipped than both Judges and the Parole Board to make these judgements.

    I understand the historical reasons for provocation and disagree with them wholeheartedly. I’m also aware that, despite your claims to the contrary, women are not “most often the beneficiaries”. In fact, the requirements for provocation often led to women failing to meet the requirements of the defence because they were more likely to wait until a moment where their partner’s size and strength advantages were less of a factor.

    Is it holiday time? I wouldn’t know, I’m not even in the country. Try to address the substance of the arguments, rather than attempting to litigate the character of the person making them.

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  105. Rowan (2,609 comments) says:

    McLaughlin is appealing his sentance, hopefully it is reviewed and increased to live without parole.

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  106. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Jack5, sorry you thought that was ad hominem. That was not the intent.
    I hope that no-one thinks having compassion for the perpetrator means there’s any less for the family and friends of the victim.
    Harbouring ill will for anyone only makes you angry, possibly hateful, and reduces your wellbeing. When you forgive someone, it is for your own benefit.

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  107. Dave Mann (1,244 comments) says:

    @Antarg: You’re taking the piss, aren’t you? You must be writing all this crap just to stir the pot…surely? You don’t honestly think like this, do you? :)

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  108. laworder (298 comments) says:

    Judith wrote


    In what context makes that an acceptable comment to make?

    We need to write people off (kill them) … now that will really show the kids how killing people is wrong.

    The last most famous man that made statements like yours, died in a bunker.

    Did you read the post properly? Did you read anything else I wrote here?
    I stated that I am not wanting capital punishment!

    My statement “We need to write more people off, and make sure they never find their way back to anywhere …” is completely acceptable and civilised – it clearly states that we need to accept that more people of the likes of McLaughlin are irredeemably evil due to being psychopathic etc and need to be sequestered away from humanity for life. That is the point I have been trying to make to Antarg and others throughout this debate and in fact most of the others I have on Kiwiblog. I’m a bit disappointed you hadn’t noticed.

    When society and the judiciary come to terms with the fact that a substantial chunk of the prison population (and some outside it) are not ever going to be able to be changed regardless of what techniques we use and need to be sequestered we will at last be dealing with the problem realistically and in a way that will protect society and manage risk.

    Hitler simply killed people out of hatred, not because they posed any danger. By the way congratulations on Godwinning the thread :-)

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    see http://www.sst.org.nz

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  109. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ laworder

    I have read now your post fully and I still don’t agree with what you said.

    You state we need to basically remove more people from society for good. The emphasis is on the MORE.
    The fact is violent crime is dropping, so how does that equal with the “MORE”. Are you suggesting that there are more people with psychopathic tendencies in society now, than before? The statistics certainly do not support you on that one.

    I disagreed with your post and made reference to the bunker because you are using the emotional hype of one case to spread propaganda, and then use that to push through your faulty legislative requirements. Just like your organisation did with the ‘defense of provocation’.

    There will always, no matter what we do be some people in society that will be a danger, and cannot be helped nor remedied. That is a very very small percentage of the rest who mainly through emotion and circumstance commit murder once.

    Psychopathic behaviour is often exhibited long before anyone is seriously hurt or killed. Our focus should be on detecting these people BEFORE they kill. Whilst psychopathy can never be cured it has been successfully managed in cases where it has been diagnosed early enough. It’s fine to lock them away forever to prevent more victims, but it is much better to prevent there being a single victim in the first place.

    I have dealt with many murderers in a professional capacity. The vast majority who committed their crimes whilst still young, and in times of anger/emotional torment and so on. Many were settled, in full employment, and after having spent long periods in prison had come out determined to make up for their wrongs and make a success of life. All were regretful for what they had done and had long term issues from the guilt they felt for taking another persons life.

    Yes, some should be locked away forever, but not all, and not even the majority.

    I just get sick to death with the bullshit and hype that comes from your organisation, keep it real and you might get more support, because we actually have many similar objectives.

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  110. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    @Dave Mann
    I used to think the way many are talking here about the death penalty being reasonable.
    I was self-centred and I’m sure there’s a lot of people who think I was a bit of a prick. However, to learn something you need the experience, so I am richer for it. Sorry to anyone my poor behaviour caused problems for.

    You need to examine your own mind through meditation before you can figure out what’s going on and actually make a change. Just blindly following along with your own thoughts(the inner monologue), you’re always going to be limited in perspective. Being able to use your awareness to examine the inner monologue allows you to understand what’s going on.

    http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

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  111. Longknives (4,962 comments) says:

    How is life on Planet Mars Antarg?

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  112. laworder (298 comments) says:

    Judith, funnily enough I suspect we are closer to agreement than you think….

    The one off murderers with no other track record are not the ones I want sequestered. It is those with long track records of violence leading up to the murder, plus other chronic offenders – rapists with long histories, ditto paedophiles with same, and also drunk drivers with many convictions way over the limit. Also those with long histories of violence.

    The reason I say MORE is that we currently let too many offenders like this out to offend again, with tragic consequences regardless of whether it is murder as in this case, or the death or injury of someone in a repeat DIC crash, the ruining of yet another childs life as they become an additional victim of a paedophile released back into the community, etc etc. Too often theses repeat offences occur whilst the offender is on bail…

    The “one-off” offenders surely do not make up the majority of the prison population?

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    see http://www.sst.org.nz

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  113. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Oh my Lord! All with become perfectly clear, and the world will be a much better place, if only we all meditate! Antarg, I learned and practised meditation when you were probably just a gleam in your Dad’s eye…and he would have been at primary school at the time I suspect…But keep it up my boy…it is definitely most beneficial. “Twice a day is more than twice as good” as my teacher 30 years ago used to say. But do try and stay connected to the sadly somewhat harsh and cold world in which we all live.

    Peter J: Your para. beginning “When society and the judiciary….” nails it perfectly. I happened to catch one of Nigel Latta’s “Darklands” programmes the other night on William Bell. Nigel unequivocally labelled Bell a psychopath – although I understand from discussions at our recent forum in Wellington that that term is less popular among the psychiatric fraternity these days. He also asked himself “Would a better environment have led to Bell not behaving the way he did?” His answer was ” “Absolutely not. All the environment did in Bell’s case was make an already broken thing much worse.” That of course is directly contrary to the view of a certain Supreme Judicial figure who thinks all babies are born “blameless”

    Latta went further, and opined that if Bell had had a “normal” upbringing he would still have killed, though not perhaps a triple murder committed with the savagery at the Panmure RSA. So in our views (yours and mine) we are in good company.

    Rowan: Graeme E or someone more knowledgeable than me on criminal law will be better placed to comment, but I think the problem with a Crown cross-appeal is that they have to argue the sentence was “manifestly inadequate”. Although all of us but the wispy ones on here agree McLaughlin’s sentence is on the light side, I don’t think 23 years NPP could be argued as “manifestly inadequate”. I would be very interested in hearing from Graeme or FES on this question.

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  114. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    PeterJ: I recently got some interesting figures under the OIA on “three strikes” and imprisonment. Of the 3000 odd first strikers, 1951 of them were sentenced to prison – which of course is entirely to be expected given the nature of the “strike” offences, and the fact – as we know – that on average offenders have appeared before the Court 10 or 11 times before they get sent to prison.

    Of the 21 second strikers, 20 were sent to prison – again exactly as one would expect. One of the 20 must have either had some exceptional circumstances, or a very good lawyer!

    The net result is that of the 8000 odd prison muster, almost a 1/4 are “strike” offenders. Again, this is exactly as we predicted We are of course still waiting for the “tripling in prisoner numbers” Workman predicted as a result of 3S passing in the form it did.

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  115. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Rowan: Graeme E or someone more knowledgeable than me on criminal law will be better placed to comment, but I think the problem with a Crown cross-appeal is that they have to argue the sentence was “manifestly inadequate”. Although all of us but the wispy ones on here agree McLaughlin’s sentence is on the light side, I don’t think 23 years NPP could be argued as “manifestly inadequate”. I would be very interested in hearing from Graeme or FES on this question.

    It used to be the case that if you appealed your sentence, you were running the risk that it would be increase, however, now that the Solicitor-General has the ability to appeal sentence, they don’t do this any more, basically figuring that if the Crown thought the sentence inadequate, it would have tried to do something about it.

    If the Crown really does think that this is a case where life without parole should have been imposed, and if they consider the judge got it wrong by not imposing that, then I would say 23 non-parole would be manifestly inadequate. I’m not saying I agree it is inadequate – I know next to nothing about this case – but if this is truly a case where LWOP is the just sentence, then I’d say any non-parole period at the level our NPPs are set at would be inadequate.

    Whether the Court of Appeal would disagree is something I don’t know, because, well, it’s never come up!

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  116. Chuck Bird (4,910 comments) says:

    There should be no appeal of sentence for those convicted of murder. If they get anything less that LWOP they should consider themselves lucky.

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  117. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Of the 21 second strikers, 20 were sent to prison – again exactly as one would expect. One of the 20 must have either had some exceptional circumstances, or a very good lawyer!

    My first thought is that the person might have spent so long in pre-trial detention that it was felt that another sentence would be more beneficial.

    Imagine a minor-ish indecent assault, one that might get, as a second strike, 18 months’ imprisonment, which would have to be served without early release. Now imagine that there were 15 months of pre-trial detention. A judge in such circumstances might consider that a full two-year sentence of intensive supervision would serve the public better than three months in prison with six months of release conditions.

    But feel free to file further OIA requests and let us know!

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  118. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    @David Garrett
    You talk about the harsh and cold world in which we all live. Shall we expand on that a little?
    It seems that there’s a lot happening in the world right now and there’s something of a crossroads being negotiated.
    The world financial system has been a pyramid scheme for 60+ years and is getting more difficult to maintain.
    The petrodollar requires oil backing to maintain value, while corporate structures control the majority of the system.
    (ref. yourstrawman.com)

    One way forward has a class based system, where corporate control of government is fully institutionalised as Fascism. In this world the unions keep fighting for their ever decreasing slice of pie from mundane jobs, while the elite fight amongst themselves for the spoils. Perhaps there’s violent uprising or something in the process…

    Another possible way has a major change in the financial system, so inequality is removed from the system altogether.

    How could this be achieved? People think every system of government has been tried.
    If you think the following idea has potential, or problems, feel free to comment.

    Monetary focus is changed to community focus, enabled with crowd sourcing through technology. Institutions have to be able to demonstrate their value to the public to continue being financed.
    Legalese(Black’s Law Dictionary) removed due to being fraudulent.
    Passive income through tax, interest, stocks and shares are eliminated. Corporations become non-profit or co-operatives.
    The strawman system is maintained, but in the hands of the individual assigned that strawman. Existing investment capital is distributed to strawman finances equally, which are limited to the equivalent of a living wage until an individual can demonstrate adherence to common law. Someone could live out their life as a child if they can’t demonstrate an ability to follow the law.
    Land returns to Maori law, not owned but rather allowed to caretaker individuals or communities based on need.

    This idea could be expected to take some years to implement. Thoughts?

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  119. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Antarg: My thoughts? Get off the drugs; increase the meditation to thrice daily; wait about 20 years….

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  120. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    David: I was hoping for some feedback related to the subject, rather than ad hominem. Thank you anyway. :)

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  121. weizguy (95 comments) says:

    David

    “We are of course still waiting for the “tripling in prisoner numbers” Workman predicted as a result of 3S passing in the form it did.”

    No you aren’t. You keep repeating this, when you must know it isn’t true (just like you continued to tell everyone that “77 Kiwis would still be alive” if three strikes was law while Labour was in power 1999-2008).

    As soon as the select committee received the JUSTICE SECTOR FORECASTING on three strikes, it realised that three strikes in its original form was a disaster. Kim Workman didn’t make the numbers up, he simply reported the best information that Parliament had at hand. As a result of the forecast numbers, huge changes were made to the qualifying offences and the mandatory sentencing. The forecast no longer predicted a tripling of the prison population and the law as it is would no longer have prevented the deaths of the 77 kiwis you claimed – you still held onto the “77” figure in the period leading up to the passage of the bill, despite the fact that you must have known (being part of the select committee) that the numbers had changed fundamentally.

    I’ve called you out more that once on this, so I can’t help but think that you’re being dishonest.

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  122. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Weizguy – it is difficult to conceive of you being more wrong. The select committee consideration of the three strikes bill substantially increased its effect, it lowered the threshold for its application, and greatly increased its scope. The Bill as introduced covered almost no-one (something only counted as a strike if it received an actual sentence of 5 years or more. Most of the first strikes we’ve had under the law probably wouldn’t have even counted as strikes at all.

    By way of example, the bill as introduced would have imposed life without parole on anyone convicted of murder who had been previously convicted of a strike offence for which they received a five year sentence (which was National’s election policy). The bill that came out of select committee imposes life without parole on anyone convicted of murder who had been previously convicted of a strike offence whatever sentence they received for it, even if they avoided prison completely.

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  123. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (3,867) Says:
    October 10th, 2013 at 10:50 am
    There should be no appeal of sentence for those convicted of murder. If they get anything less that LWOP they should consider themselves lucky.

    This has to be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen posted on KB. The reasons are obvious.

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  124. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    John Campbell needs congratulating on his excellent item on Wednesday capturing sensitively the distraught and grieving Mother and families of Jade and Philip.Jut how anyone can find redeemable qualities in Mc Laughlin is beyond me. His Aunt Aurora ‘s apparent supportive comments for him defies belief..!
    Greg Newbold is right there are a category of crimes so horrific that the offender should face LWOP.

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  125. Rowan (2,609 comments) says:

    Chucky @ 10.50

    Own goal, do the names AA Thomas or Teina Pora mean anything to you, even you have stated publicly that they you believe they are not guilty. Maybe we should bring back the death penalty for these murder convictions, then there will be no appeals!
    Would that make you happy Chuck?

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  126. Rowan (2,609 comments) says:

    If there has to be a set non parole period then I think McLaughlin should get a similiar period to Soham killer Ian Huntley who was sentanced to a minimum of 40 years, he had a previous manslaughter conviction, his victims were both children and he has a high chance of reoffending, so better to throw away the key and have no minimum period.

    David G
    Where was the Nigel Latta episode you mentioned being on the other night? I can’t find it on TVNZ ondemand or google, would be interesting to see it.

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  127. weizguy (95 comments) says:

    Graeme – I’m finding that hard to reconcile that with the way that the forecast numbers changed as the bill did. I’m absolutely happy to be corrected, but I watched the development of the effect on incarceration rates closely, and the changes throughout the passage of the bill certainly caused the estimates to go down from the tripling of the prison popn (as quoted by Kim Workman), to something significantly less scary.

    Can you suggest a reference that I can use to find out?

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  128. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Something that doesn’t sit right about my earlier post(Oct 10, 11:07) is something not clarified about giving strawman finance access to adults.

    As adults take on responsibility, they should be leaving behind childish things, so the strawman should be destroyed.

    This took some reflection on my own motivations and the realisation that having temptation like that would subvert the process of becoming an adult.

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  129. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    Just to add, if the police decide to arrest me for something, I’d like to be put in a cell with Jeremy.

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