Will Labour abolish three strikes for repeat serious offenders?

August 26th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Labour voted against the three strikes legislation, and off memory were committed to abolishing it in 2011.  Does anyone know if this is still their policy? They are saying nothing publicly, which makes me suspect it it – but they know it will be unpopular, so keep quiet on it.

The Herald reviews law & order policies, yet doesn’t mention the three strikes law once. Will a change of Government mean repeat serious violent and sexual offenders continue to get parole?

Once the review was completed, Labour would consider several changes which improved the court experience for sexual assault victims. It would look at changing cross-examination rules to make sure victims were not “put on trial”. Specialist courts could be established which trained judges, lawyers and staff in the dynamics of sexual violence and dealing with victims. And the definition of consent could be amended so the burden of proof was shifted from the Crown to the accused. This provoked some public discomfort as critics felt it could impinge on a person’s right to be presumed innocent.

Yep under Labour you will be presumed to be a rapist, ad will have to prove consent, if there is no dispute that sex occurred.

 

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40 Responses to “Will Labour abolish three strikes for repeat serious offenders?”

  1. Viking2 (11,413 comments) says:

    Idiots abound. Where do these people get their thinking caps from. I guess its their violent Trade Union background, years in pub brawls and generally being disreputable human beings.
    Slags all of them

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  2. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    I think three strikes is a daft idea.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 27 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. backster (2,152 comments) says:

    I haven’t heard if Labour still have a policy of a minimum price per unit of alcohol and how much that will be?……I have heard (today) their policy on Emissions Trading…set up another bloody commission to decide how much to charge….God help us.

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  4. polemic (460 comments) says:

    David Garrett where are you??

    Three Strikes etc that’s your specialty isnt it!! :grin:

    http://www.act.org.nz/posts/statistics-show-three-strikes-is-needed

    by the way I have been around here for years and not as new as you think (I just don’t comment much)

    But I agree with you completely on this issue !!

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  5. Lance (2,635 comments) says:

    Because the public just love it when some innocent victim is maimed or murdered by some oxygen thief with 30 or more violent offenses to their name.

    I personally know of one perp who blind side punched a waitress I knew because she didn’t serve him fast enough. He had 110 offenses to his name… I shit you not.. most of them violent.
    The fucker got community work.

    At 110+ offenses the shit head just doesn’t get it.

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  6. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I hope they do abolish it, and look more at first time offenders — strike them before they become repeat offenders. Three strikes leaves three sets of victims – if we concentrated a lot more on first time offenders, instead of slapping them with wet bus tickets, we might not have subsequent crimes.

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  7. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    And abolish family group conferences while they are at it. Doesn’t work, never will.

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  8. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    Labour and Greens have always favoured violent criminals in your neighborhood.

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  9. mjw (392 comments) says:

    Maybe they will replace three strikes with a last last last chance?

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  10. Nigel Kearney (984 comments) says:

    We should do more after the first offence, but that is not an argument either for or against the three strikes policy.

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  11. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Judith says:

    And abolish family group conferences while they are at it. Doesn’t work, never will.

    I presume you have some rigorous statistics to support this sweeping statement?

    As opposed, say to this rigorous study covering 15 years of evaluation which concludes that:

    Evaluation studies conducted in a number of countries have shown that, where conferences have been implemented, they have been successful in achieving positive outcomes.

    In fact, such weaknesses as there are in the system appear to occur precisely because of the point you make in your earlier assertion – not enough is done soon enough, when the offender is still malleable:

    The concern is that conferences are often used fairly late in the child protection process because of their status as a high tariff intervention. Family problems may have become more entrenched by the time a conference occurs, and there is a belief that it would be desirable to harness the capacity of the extended family much earlier on.

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  12. flash2846 (274 comments) says:

    Had ‘three strikes’ been in by 1999, I would not have been stabbed in the back and almost died. (offender: 7 violent convictions, no jail until then)

    Had ‘three strikes’ been in by 2001, my son would not have been killed (offender: 23 convictions, no jail until then. Also $23000 worth of his fines were written off on sentencing)

    Had ‘three strikes’ been in by 2005, my good friend then fourteen would not have been driven to a Rotorua forest and raped. (offender not caught for that incident but other similar offences. He had we think around 15 convictions by then and no jail time)

    I could go on but I am sure my point is made. Once you have been affected by serious crime, you cannot change it, you have to live with it.

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  13. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    DPF: I find Labour’s silence very worrying..On my “three strikes” file I have a statement from Andrew Little dated October 2013 saying they would be “looking at” repealing it…As I have said before, if the bastards got in – and didn’t need NZ First – I think they would quickly repeal 3S – even though it remains very popular and successful – knowing that the noise would die down by the 2017 election.

    We now have close to 5000 first strikers and 39 second strikers…of those 39, 9 are “at large” and thus in a position to commit a third strike offence.

    To the idiots who say “it’s a bad law, repeal it” I say “Please explain why..” Lance has referred to someone with 110 previous, most of them violent… If 3S is left alone, scumbags like that simply will cease to exist, for the simple reason that they will be in jail for most of their lives and not in a position to hurt anyone else.

    Careful readers will note the complete absence of “poor young man doing 20 years for stealing a pizza” type stories either in the MSM or elsewhere…There are – and always will be – no such stories because the legislation is designed to ONLY catch serious violent offenders…it is simply not possible for it to catch anyone other than those types. Under 3S violent criminal careers will struggle to make double figures.

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  14. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Rex Widerstrom (5,318 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Just experience in the field Rex. I frequently had offenders that had gone through the family conference process and carried on offending, getting more prolific and eventually ending up under the ‘big boys’ system, where of course they start with a clean slate!! Which is also a huge mistake!

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  15. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    ..And as per usual, Judith is talking out of her arse…On average, an offender appears before the court ELEVEN TIMES before being sent to prison. In other words Judges bend over backwards to avoid sending people to jail…by the time an offender does go inside, he will have had the full suite of non custodial sentences, including “intensive supervision” (Perhaps our Judy could tell us what that means).

    People often forget that 3S doesn’t change the outcome for first time violent offenders at all – they get whatever they get, with parole, just like before. The only difference is they get a warning that they have racked up a “strike”, and what that means if they come out and keep doing it.

    Contrary to the bullshit spun by Workman and his ilk, the prisons are not overflowing with 3S offenders, in fact until quite recently, prisoner numbers were fewer than before 3S…the muster is now about the same as it was in 2010, after 3S being in force for more than four years. And yet Workman is still considered a credible source by the MSM.

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  16. peterwn (3,243 comments) says:

    Labour 2011 justice policy would have been driven largely by Charles Chauvel. Now that he has joined Helen in NY, Labour’s justice focus seems to have changed to other priorities. There would not seem to be many votes to be gained from loosening the three strikes law – but if Labour is in power and the first ‘third’ strikes start coming through, lobbying from the likes of Kim Workman will probably spark a review.

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  17. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    peterwn: Have you ever met anyone who was opposed to it? Out here in the country I am surrounded by people who support it whole heartedly – no matter which party they support – but I recognise that is a very small sample.

    Labour would repeal it simply for ideological reasons…regardless of how well it was working. I actually disagree with you re the third strikers…they will by definition be thoroughly bad bastards, and while Workman will whine about how things could be done better, I don’t think many will listen to him. By 2017 – so long as it is left alone – I predict we will have 5-10 third strikers, and at that point the law will become pretty much un-repealable…except if we get to the position where the Greens take over as the major opposition party, and that is looking increasingly likely…then, God help us…It wont just be violent thugs on the street we have to worry about…

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  18. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    So in essence, 3 strikes hasn’t made any difference to prison numbers.

    However, if one is a violent criminal, rapist etc, and there is a certainty of life should one be caught, wouldn’t it make more sense logically to dispose of evidence; ie kill and dispose of a rape victim, or violently resist arrest, perhaps killing the policeman sent to apprehend you, knowing it would make no difference to the sentence you will get?

    What’s the point of having an independent judiciary and legal system with its accumulated wisdom and precedent if basically it is obliged to overlook situations, and sentence without being able to examine the individual merits of each case becasue it has to kowtow to whatever crackpot political ideologist happens to be the fashion of the moment?

    Isn’t that a subjective tendency to overlook ‘One Law’ and the individual rights to justice before the law, which although apparently a big issue for certain types, suddenly becomes conveniently disregarded for political capital?

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  19. Lance (2,635 comments) says:

    @Inthisdress

    So you seem to be saying the offender has and should be assumed to have absolutely no self control whatsoever and a looming threat will have zero impact on their illegal behavior.
    Oh that’s right… it’s everyone else’s fault.

    Also the three strikers law is only the max sentence for that crime… not life you fool.

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  20. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    inthis dress (where do they get them): I could respond to the points you make, but I get the feeling you are one of the minority who would never be convinced, so there’s probably no point.

    Perhaps I will just address your first, because many advance that proposition…the “offenders facing a third strike will kill to avoid arrest” argument was raised in California when their law came into force. In short, there is no evidence of that occurring, and homicides of police – who were predicted to be the most likely victims in those circumstances – actually went DOWN in the years after the law came into force.

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  21. Mark (1,480 comments) says:

    mjw (325 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Maybe they will replace three strikes with a last last last chance?

    Judith Collins is a supporter :)

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  22. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    Lance I stand corrected, ‘Life’ is not on the cards, in NZ, but my view about how much self-control I think a a violent person has isn’t really the point – rather – that if they have done violent things twice previously we can assume their capacity for self-control is probably beyond the fear you or I might feel if the punishment is going to be a big one. Rather, they might seek to try their hardest not to be caught, and this may include disposing of innocents. This is a far cry from suggesting their crime is anyone else’s fault though.

    Mr Garrett, apologies if the tone of my query implied I am unable to understand reasonable arguments, I suppose having to resort to gratuitous personal snipes must be tempting when one feels they are ‘playing to the gallery’. But it isn’t really an excuse for rudeness. In other situations which cite the Californian experience it is asserted that three strikes had no noticable impact on crime numbers or incarceration rates, as the trend downwards (cop-killings or otherwise) went in similar declines in states which used three strikes as well as those which didn’t.

    However, some noticable points of difference included Judges’ remorse at having to be limited by inappropriate sentencing guidelines, and burgeoning prison costs in states which used ‘Three Strikes’ while rehabilitation went out of the window. Now The American system and the New Zealand systems may be comparing apples and oranges, but my view is (at the risk of playing to the gallery) that the judiciary should be allowed to operate free of the the kinds of demogoguery that often is associated with witch-hunts, McCarthyism, or political self-aggrandisement.

    I’m sure you are operating with the noblest of intentions, but aren’t you concerned about the implications for personal liberty that may arise if one tinkers with the judiciary for political reasons?

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  23. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    In this Dress: Your information is wrong on almost every count.

    Violent crime decreased by 60% in the five years after 3S was passed in California. 25 other states also have three strikes laws…Almost all the others have “sentence enhancement” laws – of which 3S is but one variant – of one kind or another. New York for example – which saw an even greater reduction than Calif, – has “broken windows” policing AND a sentence enhancement law that is more complicated than 3S.

    “The judiciary” is, in a nutshell, why William Bell was able to rack up 102 previous convictions before murdering three people, and why Lance is able to cite another who had 110. If the judiciary were doing their job we would not have needed 3S.

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  24. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    And just for the record cross dresser, 3S was NOT “tinkering with the judiciary for political reasons.” It was a law which became necessary because Judges had lost touch with the community they are supposed to serve.

    Let me ask you two questions: 1) Should William Bell have been able to rack up 102 convictions, many of them for violence? 2) other than Bell himself, who was responsible for that state of affairs coming about?

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  25. bringbackdemocracy (425 comments) says:

    Labour are committed to repealing the three strikes legislation as are the Greens and the Mana party. I think the Maori party may also seek to repeal it.
    The Conservative party with Garth McVicker as Justice spokesman will definitely be seeking to retain it.

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  26. ross411 (774 comments) says:

    Judith (8,298 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    I hope they do abolish it, and look more at first time offenders — strike them before they become repeat offenders. Three strikes leaves three sets of victims – if we concentrated a lot more on first time offenders, instead of slapping them with wet bus tickets, we might not have subsequent crimes.

    I wish I was joking about the following. If first offenders get a harder knock, then any guy who is going to have sex, better be sure to have a contract signed and witnessed. Otherwise, we’re going to need one of those innocence projects they have over in the states.

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  27. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    Cunliffe will do what Russel tells him to do.

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  28. CharlieBrown (1,003 comments) says:

    Speaking on Labour policies, do they still intend to make young labourgreens… oops i mean student unions compulsory again if you want to study in NZ?

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  29. dcrown (15 comments) says:

    Perhaps Boris Johnson and Labour could form a coalition?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11054372/Britons-who-go-to-Syria-are-guilty-until-proved-innocent-says-Boris-Johnson.html

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  30. IGM (289 comments) says:

    Labour gave prisoners the vote, so no doubt, they will repeal three strikes; let’s face it, these being the scum that, along with deviants, leeches, and perverts, are their voting and support base.

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  31. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    So Mr. Garrett, the insults still fly eh? You indicate that crime fell overall in the US then admit it wan’t due to Three Strikes.

    So that supports my point. You then say imprisonment went up which suports my point about burgeoning prison costs. You failed to address concerns about judges’ concerns by labelling them all as incompetent, and then suggest that under MMP a law affecting the judiciary can’t be ‘tinkering’ for political reasons – is that how you felt about Sue Bradford and about anti-smacking?

    You cite Burton. I agree, he is a terrible example of misjustice. But then claim he was able to commit in excess of 100 crimes until we know what his third most atrocious crime was we will ever know if that would have prevented a later more henious one after release.
    Here’s a pop quiz What do the serial killers have in common?
    1. Jack The Ripper 1888
    2. Ed Gein 1954-1957
    3. The Zodiac Killer 1968-1969
    4. Charles Manson 1969
    5. Ted Bundy 1974-1978
    6. David Berkowitz ‘Son of Sam’ 1976
    7. John Wayne Gacy 1972-1978
    8. Aileen Wuornos 1989-1992
    9. Gary Ridgway 1982-1998
    10. Albert Fish 1919-1930

    That’s right. You got it. Non of them would have been stopped or even were stopped by a Three Strikes law.

    By the way, as you are into name calling, did you know an anagram of your name is:

    Graved Tart Id?

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  32. waikatogirl (267 comments) says:

    Thanks for the update David Garrett on 3 strike law. Been wondering since law came in how many had received strikes. Great to hear it working so well… Of course it is only for the worst violent offenders. I don’t understand how anyone couldn’t see this as beneficial to society.
    Wouldn’t it be better to give those young inexperienced criminals a short sharp shock of prison very early on in their offending (and comprehensive support to get them employed) stop them escalating their crimes? Or is that too draconian of me!

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  33. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    Except the kinds of violent repeat offenders you are imagining, WG are unfortunately, those most likely to prosper in a brutalised environment. In short prison, just teaches young people of that ilk, how to be more violent, and provides a ready network of people to be more violent with..

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  34. waikatogirl (267 comments) says:

    Yes that’s the problem! What to do about it though?? The government are wrapping services around beneficiaries to get them on the right track to employment, etc. I take it this is happening with prisoners as well?

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  35. Inthisdress (231 comments) says:

    Yeah I think it is best, there are definite links between literacy and numeracy and schooling and criminality. Often for some, if done right, prison can be the first kind of stable routine they have exxperienced. I think it is getting rehabilitation to the fore rather than punishment in our approaches to prisoners. A lot of great work to educate and provide trades has been done. This is the kind of initiative that might ‘catch’ people more efficiently than ‘throwing away the key’. Personally I thnk that prison should be a last resort, but also I think it might be more procductive to pay people to accommodate lower-scale crims rather than throwing heaps of tax-dollars at ‘punisihing them ‘ and taking them outof the productive loop.

    I don’t think the kinds of nut-jobs that some feel represent every criminal and whihc we should model our penal system on are really the big issue – just the most visible ones.

    Thanks.

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  36. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    I note that they haven’t come out and said they won’t abolish the law against infantaside or beastiality. Wait neither has National. Does this mean that National and Labour are actually in agreance and are secretly baby killing animal shaggers? ….or is it just that policy they intend to impliment is stateted and to list stuff you don’t intend to impliment would take forever. The three strikes law is probably low on a list of priorities. If they were directly asked about it they would have to adress it and give a straight answer although I would imagine it would be along the lines of what the the PM likes to give which is that they will look at it after the election.

    Desperate attempt to manufacture something to bitch and moan about really.

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  37. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    JamesB: You clearly didn’t read DPF’s original posting…I suggest you do so… s l o w l y

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  38. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    Oh no I read it DG. I noted that it was a policy to remove it at the previous election. Since then there has been a change of leader and circumstances in the electorate. This means that it has shifted in the list of priorities to one where they don’t feel the need to present it as part of their electioneering. I doubt they have even laid anything down about it hence no mention.

    As I said if you were to ask them they would have to come up with an answer. Rather than moan about something that has not been asked and try and present that as meaning that they will get rid of it therefore they are bad, you could, I don’t know, ask them?

    I guess my post was a little to subtle for you… it was pointing out that just because they haven’t spoken about it doesn’t mean you can attribute the policy to them. If you want to start that there is no end to the stupid lengths to which it can be taken. Is that simple enough terms for you?

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  39. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    I will grant DG I should have been more clear that the response was in relation to the 3 strikes law. The idea of guilty until proven innocent is one I don’t agree with and is one of the many reasons I won’t be voting Labour.

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  40. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    JB: “all good” as the yoof say, but the position is this: as recently as October last, Andrew Little – who was then and remains Labour’s justice spokesman – said Labour were “looking at” repealing it. I am not aware of any subsequent statement.

    Given that the law was controversial, that Labour opposed it at the time, and that as of last October they still appeared to oppose it, one would expect the Herald reporter to ask them about it, would you not? That was the point of DPF’s post – that we don’t know what Labour’s position is because the Herald didn’t ask them.

    I’m sure that’s clear.

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