Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Sentencing Reform Spin Sucks In Victims’ Reps

Sentencing Reform Spin Sucks In Victims’ Representatives

The announced headline features of the Sentencing and Parole Reform are sensible, ACT Justice Spokesman MP Stephen Franks said today.

“But the fine print shows another story.

“Victim spokespeople have been conned like widows dealing with door to door home repairers.

“We can now tell that the Government will just paint over the dirt and cobwebs, and it will all peel off.

“The cost figures give the lie. There can be no real toughening when the extra resource is less than $23 million per year – under 1.5 per cent of the Law and Order Budget.

“ACT’s Truth in Sentencing Bill had the modest aim of ensuring criminals served at least 80% of their present sentences. The Government costed it at over $800 million in the first year, and over $100 million extra per year after that.

“Instead of protecting the sanctity of life with a real boost to murder penalties, life imprisonment will go. It will be left to the judges to decide when deliberate killing is okay. Presently only self-defence is an excuse. Plainly ‘abuse-excuses’ will be encouraged. As the lawyers have pointed out – depending on the judges, the effect could be a drastic softening of average sentences.

“There must be softening somewhere. The Government expects the changes to add less than 5% to a prison population previously expected to grow by more than 50% in 5 years with no change in policy. In effect they must be expecting dramatic reductions in present average penalties.

“White collar criminals will get even more meaningless sentences.

“The unannounced trade-offs show the tough-seeming Mr Goff is just the PR man for bewildered Mr Robson.

“The softening for other early stage criminals will simply take us deeper into the mire of law that does not mean what it says”, Stephen Franks said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced today.

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little...

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be around February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.” More>>

 

Rebuilding: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels