A sad reminder why we need three strikes

April 19th, 2011 at 7:33 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

In the late 1990s, the Fourth Reich, a Nazi skinhead gang, became a breeding ground for some of New Zealand’s most vicious killers.

Malcolm George Chaston, 41, was right at its heart.

Yesterday in the High Court in Rangiora, Chaston received one of the harshest sentences in New Zealand history, a life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years for murder, and a sentence of preventive detention for two sexual crimes. For his surviving victims, the sentence will provide some relief. But for Vanessa Pickering’s family it’s far too late.

That is an appropriate sentence. Hopefully he will never be allowed out again.

His offending began 25 years ago and before he murdered Pickering he had 71 convictions, seven of a violent nature. He had used firearms and explosives, attacked prison guards and tried to escape prison.

It is highly likely that if we had three strikes, he would not have amassed 72 convictions, let alone be out of prison to murder Pickering. On the third and an any subsequent strikes he would be getting sentenced to at least seven years with no parole.

In 2002 he got six years for sexual violation. If that had been his third strike, then he would have been locked up for 20 years and not be out until 2022.

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