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

 


ACT Summary Of The Sentencing & Parole Reform Bill

ACT Summary Of The Sentencing And Parole Reform Bill

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks released the following summary and comment on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill which was reported back to Parliament today.

"The Bill does several useful things:

· It ends automatic release at two thirds of every sentence.

· It prescribes a minimum 17-year sentence for the worst murderers.

· It sets out in readily accessible form some of the current sentencing principles and aggravating and mitigating factors.

· Reparation is a must, so long as it does not cause "undue hardship to the offender or [his] dependents". Whether victims or their dependents are suffering "undue hardship" is not relevant. At least reparation payments rank ahead of fines if the criminal can't afford both.

"But in the other direction the Bill does much more. It makes sentencing suit the "criminogenic needs" of the criminals, and not the crime. In particular:

· The sentencing principles do not reflect two of the stated purposes, "accountability" and "denunciation".

· Any sentence of less than two years is automatically cut in half.

· Nothing in the Bill requires that preventative detention be used more.

· The minimum term for preventative detention has been reduced to 5 years from the current 10 years.

· Prisoners must be released if the Parole Board thinks they are not an "undue risk to the safety of the community".

· The Bill lowers the non-parole period for serious violent offences from two thirds of a sentence to one third.

· The Bill abolishes the Judges' current power to set minimum non parole periods for any serious violent offence.

· Criminals will be able to appeal if any sentence other than a fine is given, and a fine could have served the same purposes.

· The minimum age for imprisonment is raised from 16 to 17 except for serious offences.

· Judges can't stipulate what kind of prison the offender should go to or make community work to fit the crime.

· Offenders may demand that the Court hears their family or whänau representative on sentencing but victims can't comment on or recommend a sentence.

· Release conditions for parole cannot extend to require the offender to stay at work or to meet obligations to family or dependents or to victims, or to abstain from drugs or alcohol.

· Even serious violent offenders such as rapists must be considered for parole every 2 years, after one third of their sentence, despite the new power to postpone consideration.

· Offenders who have breached parole by absconding must be considered for new parole within 12 months after recapture unless they have a new sentence.

· "The Bill is encrusted with new processes and rights of appeal and review. The Law Society warned that lawyers would be bound to make a feast of it. It takes away existing Court powers," Mr Franks said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news