The Herald reports:
A diluted but still hardline version of Act’s three strikes policy is now on the negotiating table with the National Government.
Act MP and three strikes architect David Garrett said Act would support any amendment that would have impact, citing a “three strikes and the max” version.
Instead of the third strike offence leading to the offender being “struck out” with a 25-year-to-life sentence, they would instead get the maximum sentence for the offence.
Mr Garrett said this would see an offender whose third strike offence was aggravated robbery serving 14 years – the maximum prescribed in the Crimes Act – rather than the four or five years such an offender would likely serve now.
I wish to point out back in March I blogged:
I would change the third strike from life (with no parole for at least 25 years) to being the maximum penalty set down for that offence
I think this achieves the aim of dealing harshly with repeat offenders, but avoiding the possibility of someone getting a life sentence for a relatively minor offence.
The three strikes and the maximum version would also allow for a “life means life” sentence if the offender’s third strike was murder, which would satisfy the call of many law-and-order hardliners.
Yep. It is worth noting that murderers can also now get sentenced to life with no parole under changes introduced since the election.
I hope National can back the law as amended. The main issue will be what crimes qualify as a strike.
Of interest to some will be whether the amended law, if supported by National, meets the iPredict contract:
This contract pays $1 if the National Party votes for the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (2009) at its second reading. The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill must include a requirement that courts impose a minimum period of imprisonment of 20 years for the third qualifying sentence for this contract to pay $1.
It would seem not to meet the contact, based on the Herald story. The longer description is:
1. The National Party votes for the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (2009) at its second reading.
2. The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (2009) includes a “three strikes requirement”, defined below.
For the purposes of this contract, a “three strikes requirement” means:
1. The definition of serious violent offense (or equivalent wording) in the bill includes, at a minimum, murder and attempted murder.
2. Courts are expected to be REQUIRED to impose a minimum period of imprisonment of at least 20 years for the majority of offenders on their third serious violent offence.
As some serious violence offences have maximum penalties of less than 20 years, I think this contract will close at zero, even if National vote for the law as amended. However this is based on the NZ Herald story being accurate!