SST on bail

Michael Fox at Stuff reports:

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is set to launch a campaign to toughen bail laws after the murder of an Auckland teen, allegedly by a man on bail.

The hard-line law and order lobby group also wants judges to be subjected to annual performance reviews and the right of serious offenders to apply for bail removed under a campaign dubbed ‘Christie’s Law’.

The campaign comes after the death of North Shore teen Christie Marceau who was stabbed to death in her parents’ Auckland home last November. She died in her mother’s arms.

Akshay Anand Chand, 19, has been charged with her murder.

Chand was on bail having previously been charged with kidnapping Marceau, and despite opposition from police and Marceau’s family, the judge released him on bail to live at an address near her house.

Judges can never get it right 100%, but wow was that a bad decision.

The trust says a number of murders have been committed by offenders on bail and in association with the Marceau family, wants “to send a very clear message to judges”.

The trust is also recommending that judges undergo an annual performance review and for police to have the power to veto a judge’s decision to grant bail.

Ummm, no. I prefer not to live in a police state.

It has also called for amendments to the Bail Act including the removal of the option of bail for defendants with a history of violence which involved a sentence of more than two years.

Now that is a far better proposal.

The trust also wants an automatic inquiry after serious breaches of bail similar, to that carried out after police shootings.

Depends what is deemed a serious breach of bail, but certainly at a minimum any breach of bail which leads to a killing should be fully investigated.

The trust has written to Birkenhead MP Jonathan Coleman, seeking his support for the campaign.

Northcote. The seat’s name changed in 1996.

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