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Wet Sentencing Act Won't Stop Fires

Wet Sentencing Act Won't Stop Fires

Tuesday 2 Jul 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

The prospect of a serial arsonist in Masterton shows why Labour was wrong to reject ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks' attempt to extend preventive detention to arsonists in the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill.

"The Sentencing Act, which came into force yesterday, weakens penalties for most crimes, and is the direct opposite of what 92% of New Zealanders voted for in the Withers' referendum at the 1999 general election.

"Serial arsonists are addicted to lighting fires, and rarely reform. They cause millions of dollars of damage and endanger lives.

"Government members on the Justice and Electoral Select Committee refused to support me. I hope they take a hard look at themselves as Masterton residents face a spate of suspicious fires.

"While a 14-year jail term can be given to arsonists, they now become eligible for parole after just one-third.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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