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'Three Strikes' To Become Law

'Three Strikes' To Become Law

Hon Rodney Hide, ACT Leader
Tuesday, January 19 2009

ACT Leader Rodney Hide was today pleased to announce that ACT's 'Three Strikes' policy is to be incorporated into the Government's Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill for passing into law.

"'Three Strikes and the Max' sends the clear message that repeat violent offending won't be tolerated. It is about making our homes, our businesses, and our communities safe once more," Mr Hide said.

"The strike offences are listed. As a general rule the list comprises all the major violent and sexual offences that have a maximum penalty of seven years or more.

"An offender's first conviction counts as Strike One. They will serve the sentence the judge sets and be eligible for parole. A conviction for a second strike offence will count as Strike Two. They will serve the full judge-given sentence - no parole. Subsequent offending will count as Strike Three - these offenders will serve the maximum sentence for their crime with no parole. The judge sentencing a Strike Three offender will have no option but to sentence the offender to the 'max' unless it would be 'manifestly unjust' to do so.

"'Three Strikes' deliberately escalates the punishment for repeat violent offenders. Most offenders won't want to risk a second strike. Repeat offenders will be locked up without parole and for maximum sentences. The result will be a safer New Zealand.

"Three Strikes has long been core ACT policy. We campaigned hard on it in Election 08 with ACT's Justice Spokesman David Garrett leading the charge," Mr Hide said.

"'Three Strikes' received huge support from a public sick of repeat violent offending and is well overdue," ACT Justice Spokesman David Garrett said.

"The key issues were the list of 'strike' offences, whether there should be a three or five year sentence to qualify for a 'strike' or just a conviction, and whether the 'Third Strike' would mean 'life' or the 'max'," Mr Garrett said

"As part of our Confidence & Supply Agreement National agreed to give ACT's 'Three Strikes' a fair hearing at Select Committee. David Garrett drafted the initial policy and through the past year ACT and National have worked co-operatively and constructively together to develop 'Three Strikes' into policy to keep Kiwis safe," Mr Hide said.

"National Ministers and the Prime Minister worked hard with me and the ACT team to get the best result for New Zealand. It's a proud day for ACT. It's a great day for law-abiding Kiwis. We finally have a Government cracking down on violent offending," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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