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Johansson Sentence Shows Flaws In Goff's Law

Johansson Sentence Shows Flaws In Goff's Law

Friday 20 Feb 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

The delayed sentencing of William Logan Johansson yesterday shows a judge applying Justice Minister Phil Goff's sentencing law - the non-parole periods are welcome, but justice has still not been done, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Justice Randerson highlighted Johansson's callous manipulation of the system in December, when sentencing was postponed, and the victims' families were left waiting for finality over Christmas," Mr Franks said.

"Mr Goff's sentencing code does not permit judges to ensure that the penalty tells criminals that showing contempt for the trial process is more trouble than it's worth. Johansson's sentence should have had an explicit extra penalty of some years for his callousness in extending the trial process.

"The heart of the problem is the Sentencing Act. It does not authorise a judge to add punishment for lack of remorse, or to ensure that the non-parole period negates the Parole Board's power to release a murderer in disregard of the sentence's deterrent and retribution elements.

"ACT will put forward amendments to do that. Labour will have to rely on its Green comrades to block those reforms if United Future joins NZ First and National in supporting us," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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