Labour wants to repeal three strikes

Stuff reports:

Supporters of the three-strikes law designed to combat violent crime say it should be extended to cover more offences, with one group saying a similar law could cover almost every crime.

But a critic says more should be done to address the causes of violent crime.

The “three-strikes legislation”, which passed into law in June 2010 after a push from then-ACT politician David Garrett, gives people who commit violent offences “strikes” when they plead or are found guilty.

A first strike serves as a warning, and a second strike requires an offender to serve their sentence without parole.

Someone who gets a third strike must serve the maximum sentence possible without parole, unless the court considers it would be manifestly unjust.

Nationally, 5378 first strikes and 76 second strikes have been given, but no third strikes.

So 98.6% of offenders who got a first strike, have not gone on and committed a second strike offence. That’s great. The certainty of knowing that they will not get parole if given a second strike appears to be a strong deterrent.

The violent crime rate was increasing significantly under and pre . In 2004 it was 77.87 per 100,000 and it increased every year peaking at 105.13 in 2009. Since then it has dropped every year, down to 87.80.

Labour Party justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said she did not accept figures showed the bill worked, and that more specific research should be done.

Labour wanted the law gone, as it took away judges’ power to look at the circumstances around an offence, with the party wanting to put more focus on helping offenders turn away from crime, she said.

So that is crystal clear. Labour will repeal three strikes.

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