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Tough Penalties - Hogwash

Media Release:

6TH September 2008


Tough Penalties - Hogwash


The Sensible Sentencing Trust has slammed the Government for saying they had toughened penalties and it was up to the Courts to decide the appropriate sentence.

Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar was responding to the sentencing of Harry Houkamau who had 43 previous convictions including the violent beating of Christchurch pensioner Nan Withers in 1997.

In his latest offence Houkamau was sentenced to 7 years jail for aggravated robbery and kidnapping in Christchurch.

Mr. McVicar said the sentence was pathetic considering Houkamau could apply for parole at one-third. “What is even more pathetic is the fact that a spokesman for Justice Minister Annette King said that the Government had toughened penalties and it was up to the Court to decide the appropriate penalty.

“Annette King knows that is wrong, she is responsible for legislation that has basically tied Judges in knots, a Judge is instructed to impose the LEAST RISTRICTIVE sentence, and Annette Kings parole laws allow offenders to apply for parole at one-third.”

“All the noise made about raising parole to two-thirds after the Graham Burton debacle has come to nothing and in fact the Government is considering implementing legislation to LOWER sentences by 25%.”

“The reason criminals like Houkamau are simply being recycled by the Courts is because of a corrupt ideology driven by a bunch of academics and burearocrats who have influenced legislation – and politicians have not had the spine to stand up to them.”

“This disastrous social experiment has been underwritten by various Ministers of the Crown and has totally conned and misled the public.”

It is time we asked who are the real criminals? Mr. McVicar said.


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