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Labour is backing some of New Zealand’s worst repeat violent and sexual offenders.
TVNZ reported yesterday that, not only is Labour intending to repeal ACT’s three strikes legislation, it might also legislate to allow second and third strikers to be re-sentenced.
Labour says the law isn’t working, but it’s not yet possible to come to that conclusion.
It takes time for a repeat offender to commit three strike offences and serve their sentences, and judges have applied the ‘manifestly unjust’ provision far more than Parliament intended.
“The Ministry of Justice has said:
‘…it is too soon to evaluate the full effects of the law.’
But there’s also preliminary evidence that three strikes is having a deterrent effect:
‘…in comparison with second strikeable offences committed before the law came into effect, there has been a drop in the number of second strike offences since the law’s implementation.’
In any case, incapacitation, and not deterrence, is the primary purpose of the law. Three strikes is keeping New Zealanders safe by locking repeat offenders away for longer.
But this isn’t about the evidence for Labour – it’s on an ideological power trip. The former Justice Minister called three strikes a ‘fascist’ law.
Labour is also considering allowing hundreds of second and third strike offenders to be re-sentenced, meaning criminals would be let out of jail early.
Our priority should be the victims, not the offenders. The worst offenders should get proper sentences.
ACT will defend three strikes because it is keeping New Zealanders safe and because we stand for the rights of victims.
By David Seymour