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ACT:13 Year Non Parole Period For Murder In Homes

ACT Wants 13 Year Non Parole Period For Murder In Homes

Tuesday 22nd Jun 1999

Patricia Schnauer

Media Release -- Justice

Criminals who murder someone in their home will be jailed for at least 13 years before they are eligible for parole if Parliament supports an ACT amendment to the Government's Home Invasion Bill.

ACT Justice Spokesman Patricia Schnauer is signalling the amendment when the Home Invasion Bill comes before Parliament this afternoon.

Patricia Schnauer, a Member of the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee that considered the Government's Bill, said that at present the Home Invasion Bill does not provide for any extra penalty if someone commits a murder in a home.

"ACT believes that where someone commits a murder in someone's home then that person should receive an additional penalty. What my amendment will do is to make sure that the minimum non-parole period for murder - when that murder is committed within the context of a "home invasion" - will be increased from the present 10 years to 13 years.

"The Home Invasion Bill arose as a response to the brazen level of lawlessness which has hit our community recently, known as "home invasion".Home invasions have outraged the public and the way offenders are treated, and highlighted the need to look at tougher measures in dealing with law and order issues.

"ACT New Zealand is supporting the Bill because we have constantly and consistently been leading the charge for tougher prison sentences.

"The Bill signals to the community and to the Courts that penalties for serious crimes committed within the sanctuary of a person's home should receive a harsher penalty.

"The practical effect of longer sentences is that they act as a preventive measure. Criminals cannot commit crimes while they are behind bars. They cannot terrorise people in their own homes if they are in prison.

"In order to get the Courts to increase sentences, the maximum has to be increased. The sentence for rape or sexual violation had to be extended to 20 years, in order to achieve an eight-year average Court sentence. There is public concern as to whether the Courts are sentencing appropriately. That is why Parliament has to introduce the Home Invasion Bill to ensure sentences for such crimes are increased," said Patricia Schanuer.

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