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My Crimes Bill: One Step For The Victim

My Crimes Bill: One Step For The Victim, One Heavy Hand For The Criminal

New Zealand First Deputy Leader, Peter Brown, has placed in the ballot of Members’ Bills a Crimes (Criminal Justice Strengthening) Amendment Bill which attempts to toughen three specific areas of our criminal law.

“Firstly, it provides an exception to “double jeopardy” which means a person who has been acquitted of a violent crime can be tried again if there is new evidence. It also applies if perjury, bribery, etc. occurred at the first trial,” said Mr Brown

“The second provision provides for defence lawyers to fully disclose to the Court and the prosecution the nature of the defence of the accused. Currently, the prosecution must supply such information about their case. Stipulating the defence counsel does likewise is no more than balancing the system.

“Finally, in defined circumstances, the bill provides for relevant previous conviction of an accused to be admitted as evidence.

“I am hoping that this bill is drawn early from the ballot and that Parliament will support its passage to select committee. At that point I am hopeful the committee will look at full disclosure of an arrested person, including their relevant criminal history.

“This bill is a significant step towards toughening our justice system in favour of victims,” concluded Mr Brown.

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