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Labour already admitting failure on sentencing law


Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

4 July 2002

Labour already admitting failure on sentencing law

Phil Goff's admission today that Labour's new Sentencing law may have to be changed is proof that it's seriously flawed, says National's Justice spokesperson Wayne Mapp.

"The Minister's talk of reviewing the law to see if judges are applying it properly completely misses the point. The problem is the law itself.

"Yesterday, Haden Brown was sentenced to nine years' jail for bludgeoning his mother with a hammer. He'll be eligible for parole in three years. Phil Goff's weak response has been that the Government will be "monitoring closely sentencing patterns" and it "..has the option of changing the legislation if it believes that is necessary..".

"The Minister had plenty of opportunity to fix the law to meet the needs of New Zealanders, but he ignored them.

"What he should have done is what National will do - ensure that no violent offender is eligible for parole until they've served at least two thirds of their sentence, and only then if it is safe to release them," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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